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island in the stream

It's right around this time every year that Husband and I start dreaming about buying a country house. I'm talking Baby Boom-style (all the Diane Keaton/80s film fans will get it)... that perfect fixer-upper with a private lake and serene views. Maybe an apple orchard? I'm getting greedy now. I also would not mind having a town vet that looks like Sam Shepard, but that's a different dream altogether. Ahh... to have wide open space in which to roam, a place to run a sprinkler for Baby S, a backyard where Husband can be manly and barbecue. A car in which to drive back to the city when we get bored. The dream isn't completely ridiculous, but seems like more of a long range plan at this point... we hope, anyway.

This July 4th holiday, we were here in the city, cranking the AC and mulling the poor decision to stay put for the weekend. At the suggestion of friends, we decided to make a break for it and venture out to Governor's Island. Smack dab in the middle of the Hudson, this island was used as a military facility in various forms for oh, the last 200 years or so. These days, all that's left is a series of abandoned buildings (some of them quite beautiful) and a pretty amazing view of Lady Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. Jersey City, I'm not forgetting you, either. Lucky for us New Yorkers, the island has become a park that everyone can enjoy, provided they aren't prone to seasickness (the free ferry is located next to the Staten Island ferry terminal by Battery Park).

Saying hi to the Statue of Liberty
Always in search of a little adventure, this day trip fit the bill. We felt like we had really "gotten away," despite our close proximity to Manhattan. If you're into biking, the island is a great spot for a leisurely ride, and you can't beat the views (bike rentals are available and FREE on Fridays). Baby S is still too young for much activity other than clapping and chewing on her toes, so we concentrated on circling the island on foot (she took it all in from her cushy stroller, lucky gal). Roseanne Cash was there for a free concert, and we cruised by as she was performing. The mellow sounds seemed fitting as we looked down Colonel's Row. Side note: Husband felt like he was walking around the set of "Lost."

A few suggestions: if you're looking to picnic, I would bring your own food.  There are various food carts located around the island, but there didn't seem to be too much variety other than sandwiches and gyros (though Water Taxi Beach has a cafe- we did not go there).  Arrive early.  There are hammocks on Picnic Point, and I have a feeling once you sit down in one, you don't get up for the rest of the day.  I would advise NOT going for a swim in the Hudson.  We saw one such unlucky fellow doing a few laps, and the speed with which the NYC Police boat came on the scene was mighty impressive.  All in all, spending July 4th with Miss Independent herself, Lady Liberty, seemed fitting.  I feel sure we'll be back for another visit this summer.

That evening, we checked out the Macy's fireworks show from our rooftop. I was a little worried that Baby S might have an adverse reaction to the noise, but she was completely mesmerized.... for the first 5 minutes, afterwhich she made it abundantly clear she was ready to go back downstairs. After a long day "island-trekking" by way of subway and ferry, we were ready to go home, too.

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July holiday!

Baby S & Husband taking in the show

1 comment:

liz said...

It sounds like your weekend turned out great, without ever leaving home.

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