July 2, 2010

Free Bike Fridays on Governors Island

Pin It now! governors island was always one of those mysterious islands around manhattan that i never made it to.   i wasn't sure what was on it.  was it part of ellis island...no.  was it part of brooklyn...no.   recently though, the city has been renovating it and trying to spur up interest for people to visit, and there are a lots of events there each weekend. 

i first heard about it this summer when hubby found the meatopia event taking place this sunday.  of course it involves food, massive amounts of bbq meat to be exact.  i was curious and read up on the island.  for 200 years, the island was used as a military base (us army and coast guard), but the base was closed in 1996.  in 2003, the federal government sold most of the island to new york for $1.  today, the nys agency, Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC) maintains, preserves, operates and redevelops the island.  the northern 92 acres is the historic district and is open to the public for picnics, tours, concerts, car-free biking, and more.  the southern 80 acres is the site of the future park and public spaces, as well as future development.

Governors Island by the Numbers:
  • 172 acres total
  • 102 landfill acres added to original island from subway excavations
  • 92-acre National Historic Landmark District and New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Historic District on North Island
  • 3 historic fortifications
  • 52 landmarked buildings totaling 1.4 million square feet
  • 80 acres of non-historic land south of Division Road
  • 3 working ferry docks
  • More than 1,600 trees
  • Closest point on land to the face of the Statue of Liberty
the main thing that attracted me...free bike fridays.  on fridays, bike and roll has a free hour bike rental.  so i made hubby take the day off with me today and we headed over the Island.  the ferry is right next to the staten island ferry and takes about 10 minutes from lower manhattan (there's also a ferry from brooklyn).   we ate at water taxi beach which was fabulous.   the view of the city was amazing and having a small beach to layout in the middle of the city is a treat.  there were lots of families and it's a perfect urban oasis to relax and feel like you're on vacation.

then we got our bikes (after waiting on a really really long line).  it was such a fun time!  i haven't been on a bike in years, but it's true what they say about it.  hubby and i raced around the island like little kids.  since the island is closed off to cars, it was nice to ride around with no worries about taxis or crazy drivers.  the free hour is definitely enough time to explore the island.  there are forts and and side areas that we rode to.  there are food carts if you need a pit stop.  the views of the statute of liberty are spectacular.

hubby and i are already planning our next trip there!

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