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5 Reasons to Go to Governor’s Island this Summer

NYC History NYC Story

This last weekend was a big one. Not only did we celebrate Mark’s marriage, but also we went to Governors Island! We had the pleasure of watching Amelia, an epic Civil War tale performed in the powder magazine inside the 18th century Fort Jay. You can’t watch anymore Amelia, as the last performance was over the weekend, but there are tons of activities over the summer. Hooray for Governor’s Island!

Here are 5 of our favorite reasons to visit this summer.

1. Old-Timey Baseball

We all know that Conan O’Brien offered the best glimpse of the early days of America’s pastime, but if you’re already bored by the Brooklyn Nets come cheer on the NY Gotham!

Old-timey rules include underhand pitches, a shorter distance from the pitcher to the homeplate, and a ball caught after a single bound is an out. Old-timey slang includes “Muckle”, meaning a player with great muscle power and “Muffin” meaning an unskilled player. Old-timey deaths are not expected.

NY Gothams play July 14, July 28 and August 25 from 12 to 4 PM on the Parade Ground.


2. Glass Blowing

The Levys are well known history nerds but believe it or not, I had a brief spell as a glass-blowing nerd who took a trip to the Corning Glass Museum every chance I had during college. This summer, Corning will come to ME (on Governors Island) in cooperation with cutting-edge graphic designers from the Cooper-Hewitt museum for some dynamic hot glassblowing performances. Hot glass! Oowhee!

Saturday June 30 – Sunday July 29, 11:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. in Building 110


3. Swim Around the Island

Oh Sgt. Ezra Lee, your ill-fated trip in 1776 to attach explosives to General Howe’s warship was one of the blunders of the American Revolution.  But we remember you and your wacky hand-cranked submarine (pictured above.)  He got really really lost. But with the help of ferry boats and some seriously strong swimmers (It’s a 2 mile race with many prizes to go around,) you won’t. Sign up at or just cheer people on from dry land.

Saturday, July 28: Governors Island Swim, 11:30 AM. 


4. Appreciate and Create Sculptures

Mark Di Suvero had such a lovely home for his enormous steel sculptures that for the second year in a row, Storm King Art Center has remained on the island. Continuing in the trend, the Sculptures Guild is enjoying their fifth year on the island with hand-casting and stone-carving workshops.

If that ain’t enough, the Children’s Museum of the Arts and Storm King Art Center partner on the family fun Tamimiami Pixilation Project. Drawing inspiration from a rad Di Suvero sculpture, join CMA teaching artists to explore the art of pixilation, animate your own body, and create your own choreography to bring the sculpture to life.

Sunday June 24: Artists Respond: Mark di Suvero, 3 PM (also held July 1, 8 and 15) in Building 110: LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island

Saturday, July 14: Tamimiami Pixilation Project, 11 AM – 3 PM in Nolan Park


5. DrawNow!

Making sense of the city can boggle the mind and test the will, but a successful program from the UK brings a celebration of drawing that will certainly put things into perspective – with exclamation points!

The first project in the series, Stretch it Out! will produce drawings in space by wrapping bungee cords and trail marking tape around trees to produce forms that emerge from the skyline off the in distance. Another project is a kinetic installation that features a cast of 12 dancers and 4 visual artists that will use moving bodies to create visual design in three-dimensional space.

Saturday and Sunday, June 23–24 and June 30–July 1
2:00pm, various locations

We’ll see YOU on Governor’s Island this summer!

By Jonah Levy

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