Posted on: Thursday
To satisfy a spontaneous urge to escape from the city, we hopped on ferry to Governor's Island the other day to meander around the old abandoned mansions and sit beneath the massive Hickory and Chestnut trees. It was Biet's first time on a boat, and my first time to the island. I'm beginning to realize that the more years in NYC you put under your belt, the fewer and fewer genuinely new experiences you seem to have, so to travel to a brand-new-to-me nook of the city (part of Manhattan actually, according to the city), and see brand-new-to-me things, was exciting beyond belief.
Anticipation mounted as we boarded the massive boat and found seats right in the front, where the wind would be the strongest upon our faces and the view the most clear. Halfway through our ride, a bicycle-pulled ice-cream cart that was parked in the very front of the lower level of the boat, undoubtedly heading to the island with its owner to set up shop for all of the summertime visitors, somehow detached from its holding spot and, with the next bumpy wave, began plummeting towards Biet. As the cart hit her stroller and began pushing it onto its side, I pushed my arms out and tried with all of my might to lift it, envisioning the terrifying ice-cream covered disaster that loomed. Suddenly the conductor from the front of the boat was there, along with a few passengers and the ice-cream lady, frantically pulling it off. It all happened so fast, but everyone was okay. Biet didn't seem to mind the near-catastrophe, and just kept laughing like a lunatic at the wind blowing her hair in every which way. The girl's fearless, I tell you.
We crossed the Buttermilk Channel, gently pulled to dock, and walked down the splintered wooden boarwalk. And there she was, a glorious sight. Sprawling fields, gentle winds, ancient manicured buildings.. it felt like we had landed in another country. Suddenly, everything just felt free.
And so we roamed. We roamed through the poetry festival, the winding tree-lined pathways, and the acres of grass. We climbed the playground, collected pebbles, and ran through the current installation piece, Head in the Clouds, by Studio Klimoski Chang Architects, which is a giant cloud made entirely of recycled plastic bottles and jugs. It was surreal, and beautiful. We watched a man hack open a coconut for us so that we could drink the water. We admired the glistening city skyline in the distance.
And when the sun began to sink, we boarded the ferry once again, this time climbing the stairs to the open upper level, and sitting along the edge of the boat where we could peer down at the rippling waters below. Watching the skyscrapers of Manhattan come closer and closer, and then get further and further away, we passed Battery Park City and approached the Brooklyn waterfront. Tired but refreshed, we were back home. Although, technically, we had never left.
See you again soon, Governors Island.
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