Volume 23, Number 4 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | June 4 - 10, 2010
Downtown Express file photo by Jefferson Siegel
Leslie Koch, president of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corp. in 2008.
Gov Island season opens with new and old alike
BY John Bayles
When Governor’s Island officially opens to the public this Sunday, visitors will be treated to some brand new events and activities as well as some of the same old staples that have made the destination so popular for so long. President of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation Leslie Koch is predicting it to be the “best summer ever.”
She expects over 400,000 visitors during the summer and is positive not a single one of them will be disappointed. The island boasts an array of activities every season that draw thousands of visitors, such as the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, the World Trade Center Run to Remember, the NYC Pro Swim and the African Film Festival to name a few.
This summer the island is adding the NY Brewfest, is opening over 30 artists’ studios to the public for viewing and is showing off a number of newly renovated, historic buildings.
Below are five reasons Koch is so excited about the summer season.
More bikes than ever!
There will be twice as many bikes to rent on the island this year. At the end of the season last year, there were 250 bikes on the island and this year there will be 500 to start. Biking is one of the most popular activities on the island as it boasts five miles of car-free biking.
On Fridays, the island offers its “Free Bike Fridays” program where visitors can rent a bike for one hour on the house.
More music including free evening music concerts.
“The big music day is the Fourth of July,” said Koch. “We have Roseanne Cash and She and Him playing for free.”
There will also be concerts on the South Island Fields, including Passion Pit and M.I.A. Those, however, will not be free concerts. And then there is Make Music’s New York’s Punk Island concert on June 20 that will feature dozens of bands throughout the day.
More food than ever!
This summer the island will play host to numerous food related events. Two, however, are new to the island. Meatopia BBQ NYC is Jimmy Carbone’s BBQ festival and will be held on July 11. On September 5, the island will host the Vendy Awards, where hundreds of foodies will crowd the island to tastes the best of the best from NYC’s street vendors.
Opportunity for public input.
The entire Park and Public Space Master plan will be on display as a special exhibit. Visitors will be have unprecedented public input for the plan. There will be Post-it notes, rubber stamps and magic markers that visitors can use to create a “new form of public input,” according to Koch.
More mini-golf holes!
Koch said this was “sort of old and sort of new” because last year there was a miniature golf course; however it only consisted of two holes. This year there are nine new holes.
“Every year it’s my favorite thing to do on the island,” said Koch. “It’s a symbol of what makes Governor’s Island such a great destination. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It’s totally free, totally fun and it feels like you’re on summer vacation without ever leaving the New York City and that’s what is so great about it.”