Governors Island Announces 2019 Public Season
Apr 2, 2019 2:25 pm
April 2, 2019. New York, NY. The Trust for Governors Island (The Trust) today announced its six-month public season along with its full lineup of programming and activities. Beginning May 1, New Yorkers and visitors alike are invited to enjoy the Island’s open space with unparalleled views of New York Harbor, car-free recreational activities and an expansive calendar of events and public programs just a quick ferry ride from Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. This year, Governors Island will be open daily from May 1 to October 31, with extended late-night hours every Friday and Saturday between Memorial and Labor Day. Ferries will be free for all visitors during the first week of the season, Wednesday, May 1 to Sunday, May 5.
“We’re excited to kick off another season for New Yorkers to experience the culture and natural beauty of Governors Island,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With a new ferry and extended hours, more New Yorkers will be able to enjoy the Island than ever before.”
“Governors Island continues to bring an easy and affordable escape to all New Yorkers right in the heart of the city,” said Michael Samuelian, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “We’re proud to continue to expand access to this Island oasis with the arrival of our brand-new ferry and even more evening hours this season. With new and improved dining options and even more cultural and educational partners from across the city, we are adding more and more amenities to complement the Island’s amazing views and vibrant park.”
This season, public hours will expand with late nights every Friday and Saturday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The Island will remain open until 10:00pm those evenings, allowing visitors to enjoy delicious food and cocktails from Island vendors, beautiful open space and special events surrounded by the incredible nighttime New York skyline. Additional evening arts and cultural programming will be announced in the coming weeks.
In addition to expanded hours, expanded ferry access comes to Governors Island this season. Beginning in June, visitors will be ferried to the Island by a new addition to the Trust’s fleet: a brand-new, 400-passenger ferry. Built to serve flexible routes and support the ever-expanding events and services offered, as well as future activation ofGovernors Island into a year-round destination, the new vessel will increase frequency of trips between Lower Manhattan and Soissons Landing on weekends, with service approximately every 20 minutes, carrying an additional 1,000 passengers per hour. A new weekend ferry schedule will be announced in the coming weeks and will go into effect in June.
“Governors Island has continued to grow into a welcoming green space, and I am thrilled to see all of the new amenities that will be available to the public this summer season,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I hope all New Yorkers will take advantage of the increased ferry service, extended hours, many food vendors, and free events that will take place there this season.”
“I am thrilled to invite my fellow New Yorkers to take advantage of all that Governors Island has to offer as it launches its 2019 season of activities. With 70 free events and a new ferry, even more families will have an opportunity to explore and relax on this iconic sanctuary of lush green space, unbeatable waterfront views, and eye-opening art. I thank the Trust for Governors Island and all its community and arts partners for their collaborative work to preserve this haven for culture, recreation and discovery,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin.
Events on the Island start soon after opening day, with the 1st Annual Opening Weekend ShinDIG, a community volunteer event and opening celebration hosted by the Friends of Governors Island on May 4. Special events kick into high gear in June, with the 14th iteration of the Jazz Age Lawn Party, the world’s largest prohibition-era gathering with live music, dancing and more, and the freeform folk festival Porch Stomp. Events featured later in summer include the New York City Poetry Festival in July, the Japan Performing Arts Festival in August and the Vendy Awards, a fierce competition featuring the best of New York City street food. New to Governors Island this year is the Longines Global Champions Tour, one of the world’s most exciting and competitive equestrian series, coming to New York City for the first time ever in September.
“Governors Island continues to be a beacon of joy and openness in our crowded city,” said Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “We’re thrilled to kick off the season with our first-ever ShinDIG on May 4, a spring celebration that invites New Yorkers of all ages to lend a hand in caring for our shared oasis in the harbor. And this is just the first of so many fun, free activities and events that will engage and delight visitors this year.”
More events will be announced throughout the season.
For a full lineup of special events, click here.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
The Trust today also announced new vendors who will expand Governors Island’s culinary offerings this season in Liggett Terrace Food Court. Brooklyn-based Threes Brewing will open a new outpost, located in Liggett Terrace that will serve a selection of beer & wine. As part of their involvement this season, they will launch a special beer to serve on the island, Public Property, with 10% of the proceeds donated. Neapolitan Express, the Island’s first pizza vendor, will bring its 100% alternative energy powered truck to serve Neapolitan-style pizzas, salads, sandwiches, coffee and pastries seven days per week. Makina Café will serve traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean food with a modern twist, including a range of vegan and vegetarian options. Perros Y Vainas will bring traditional “Perros Calientes” (or hot dogs) and other Venezuelan treats. Joe Coffee, Melt Bakery and People’s Pops will offer ice cream, dessert, coffee and pastries. Caribbean eatery Fauzia’s Heavenly Delights and Red Hook-based Little Eva’s Beer Garden Grill will return.
Vendors announced today responded to a Call for Proposals for food and beverage establishments issued in early 2019. Waterfront restaurants Island Oyster and Taco Vista will return this season, located near the Manhattan Ferry Landing. This season, Island Oyster will host live music on the second and last Saturday of each month between June and August.
ARTS, CULTURE & LEARNING
A diverse range of season-long, free exhibitions spanning visual arts, performance, culture and science in the historic houses of Nolan Park and Colonels Row will open between May and June. Over three dozen organizations bring free, public programs to the Island’s historic homes, including returning organizations like the Climate Museum, NYC Audubon, 4heads and the New Art Dealers Alliance, who will open NADA House on May 2, a new program featuring 45 artists from NADA Member galleries and non-profits in an expanded format across 34 rooms in three historic houses.
New cultural programs to Governors Island this year include the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), Pioneer Works, the American Indian Community House, the Climate Reality Project and the Human Impacts Institute, opening in Nolan Park in June. Visitors will be able to peruse a diverse array of free exhibitions, workshops, performances, artist talks and demonstrations every weekend of the season. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s newly expanded Arts Center will open its doors in September, with inaugural programming focused on themes of ecology and sustainability including site-specific exhibitions by Yto Barrada and Michael Wang, plus Open Studios and related public events surrounding the Center’s signature Artist Residency programs and work developed in the space.
Beginning May 4 at the Island’s Urban Farm, visitors will have the opportunity to engage first-hand in programs that span environmental stewardship and sustainability, including the return of GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden and Earth Matter NY’s Compost Learning Center and Soil Start Farm. The Island Bee Project’s Bee Sanctuary expands their family to 80,000 honeybees with the addition of a new hive this year in partnership with the Honeybee Conservancy. Artist Mary Mattingly’s food accessibility awareness project, Swale, returns with an indoor exhibition in Nolan Park and a new outdoor food forest in the Urban Farm, featuring over 400 edible plants.
Visitors will also once again be able to enjoy guided programs exploring the rich history of the Governors Island National Monument. Fort Jay and Castle Williams will be open throughout the summer. The National Park Service will offer frequent ranger-led tours and many exciting programs. Visit www.nps.gov/GOIS for more information about upcoming tours and hours.
“Come and join the National Park Service at Governors Island National Monument starting on May 1, 2019,” said Shirley McKinney, Superintendent of Manhattan Sites for the National Park Service. “We are excited to welcome visitors to the monument to enjoy the wonderful views to NYC from Castle Williams and Fort Jay. I encourage all to discover more about Governors Island’s magnificent history!”
In addition to free weekly walking tours, this year the Trust, in collaboration with Urban Archive, will launch a free self-guided mobile history tour. Merging technology with archival photographs owned by the Trust, Library of Congress and other institutions, Urban Archive’s app will take users on a historical journey around Governors Island. Users will learn details about the Island’s history, from its earliest inhabitants, the Lenape to its strategic position as a military installation, to its present-day transformation, while viewing stunning photographs from the Island’s past and seeing firsthand how its features have evolved over centuries. This unique self-guided experience will be available beginning in May. For more information, visit www.urbanarchive.nyc.
For a full lineup of ongoing programs, click here.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT GOVERNORS ISLAND’S 2019 SEASON
Governors Island is open every day from May 1 through October 31. On weekdays, the Island is open from 10 AM to 6 PM. On weekends and holidays, the Island is open from 10 AM to 7 PM. On Friday and Saturday evenings between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend, the Island will be open until 10 PM.
Ferries will run from Lower Manhattan every day from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street. Direct service from Brooklyn will run from Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturdays, Sundays, Memorial Day and Labor Day.
All weekday and weekend afternoon ferries from Brooklyn and Manhattan are $3 round trip for adults. Children under 12, IDNYC holders and Governors Island Members ride for free at all times and senior citizens’ fares are $1.
Morning ferries (10 AM, 11 AM and 11:30 AM from Manhattan and 11 AM and 11:30 AM from Brooklyn) on Saturdays and Sundays are free for all. There is no surcharge for bicycles at any time.
Visitors will be able to purchase ferry tickets at the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan or at Pier 6 in Brooklyn. Only cash is accepted.
Ferries will be free for all visitors during the first week of the season, from May 1‑May 5.
A full ferry schedule is available at www.govisland.org.
Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the city’s NYC Ferry service will offer additional connections to Governors Island’s Yankee Pier via a dedicated service from Wall Street/Pier 11. For ticketing information and for a full schedule, please visit www.ferry.nyc.
Welcome Centers are located at both Soissons Landing and Yankee Pier on Governors Island.
Visitors can pick up an information guide, receive personalized assistance on the day’s activities from our friendly Visitor Services team, purchase souvenirs and Island essentials like sunscreen and cold drinks and learn about membership and volunteer programs.
Soissons Landing Welcome Center hours:
Yankee Pier Welcome Center hours:
Every day, visitors can bring their own bikes, or rent one while visiting. Blazing Saddles offers visitors over 500 bikes and 60 surreys for rental, and on weekday mornings offers an hour of free cruiser bike rentals. For the 2019 season, Blazing Saddles will expand to include pedal cars, scooters, and balance bikes for families with small children. Citi Bike kiosks can be found at Soissons Landing, Yankee Pier and Picnic Point. Visit govisland.org for more information.
Kayakers can access the Island’s kayak dock at Pier 101. The Downtown Boathouse will also offer free kayaking sessions to visitors of all skill levels on Saturdays from June 15 to September 14, 11am-4pm. For more information, visit www.downtownboathouse.org.
Gatherings and Grills
Visitors may reserve grills for gatherings, parties, reunions or any celebration when the Island is open to the public. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance and are booked on a first come, first served basis. All applicants will be charged a $26 non-refundable fee. For more information and to apply visit www.govisland.org/permits.
Adventures at Governors Island
Adventures at Governors Island is New York City’s première summer destination for thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts of all ages, open daily. This unique “pop-up” amusement park currently features four exciting amusements, including a zipline, climbing challenge, maze and mini-golf course. For more information, visit www.adventuresgovisland.com.
Collective Governors Island
Collective Retreats offers unique, seasonal lodging on Governors Island, offering both full hotel-style service and premium select service accommodations as well as experiential dining. The retreat offers a full-service restaurant and bar open to the public as well as public lawn space featuring yoga classes available on the weekends and lawn games. For more information on class times, accommodation booking and other events visit www.collectiveretreats.com.
About The Trust for Governors Island
The Trust for Governors Island is the nonprofit corporation created by the City of New York that is responsible for the redevelopment and operation of 150 acres of Governors Island. The Trust’s mission is to transform Governors Island into a vibrant resource for New York City, making this island at the center of New York Harbor a destination with extraordinary public open space, as well as educational, not-for-profit and commercial facilities.
For more information, visit www.govisland.org.
About Governors Island National Monument
The National Park Service manages Governors Island National Monument, which consists of twenty-two acres, including the historic fortifications Castle Williams and Fort Jay. The Monument is one of twenty-two sites operated by the National Park Service in the New York City area. Its purpose is to preserve and protect Castle Williams and Fort Jay, and to interpret them and the harbor’s rich history and ecology for the public. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/gois.
Photo by play:groundNYC.