The Governor’s Island Explorer’s Guide


A thought occurred to me the other day: New York is such a large, complex and amazing city that events that would be earth-shaking elsewhere can go relatively unnoticed here. Case in point: over the past decade or so, New York has seen the creation of a public park/ tourist destination every bit as eye opening, rewarding and enjoyable as Central Park, Prospect Park, or Ellis Island. I try to get over to Governor’s Island at least once a summer because it offers several things I really love all in one fell swoop: history education, natural beauty, arts and New York craziness (there’s always something going on there), recreation (hiking and biking mostly), a fun boat ride, and above all, it’s a CHEAP day trip.

And now my buddy Kevin Fitzpatrick has come out with THE tourist guide for Governor’s Island. Honestly, I wouldn’t go out there again without this tome in my grubby paw. You may have noticed that I listed “history” first in my litany of things that make me enjoy Governor’s Island. Fitzpatrick’s book is especially good at giving you the run-down on the island’s many incarnations over the centuries (defensive forts, military bases, hospital complexes and the like). He even gives you a breakdown on the history of the fascinating but mysterious-looking buildings that grace the island. When I’m out there, I always go, “”I wonder what that was?” This book tells it. And Kev is a former Marine. He knows whereof he speaks. We don’t usually think of NYC as a military town (apart from Fleet Week), but it certainly has a military past, and Governor’s Island played a major part in it.

The timing of this post isn’t accidental. We’re entering Memorial Day Weekend. To observe the occasion, Kevin Fitzpatrick is having a signing of his great new book at Governor’s Island on Saturday and Sunday. Get all the details here. 

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