Governor's Island is one of those summer activities that you promise yourself that you're going to do when the weather starts getting warm and then suddenly it's snowing and you wonder if summer even really happened at all. Last year I went a few times and loved it so I vowed to go back. This year an entirely new portion of the island opened to visitors—including a magical land called Hammock Grove—so of course I had to go check it out.
Jim and I were finally able to make it by the end of August, and this weekend is the last chance to see Governor's Island before it closes again until May. We were lucky enough to grab two (out of the fifty) hammocks when we first arrived, and they're just as relaxing and fun as you think they'll be. The only problem with Hammock Grove is that there is absolutely zero shade—you are surrounded by trees, but they're tiny and new—in a hundred years it will be amazing. Although we roasted and got awkwardly sunburnt, we were still laying in hammocks in the middle of New York City.
The rest of the time we spent just walking around the island (it was Jim's first time there) and I always manage to see something new. A lot of the old military buildings are abandoned and I almost got up the nerve to slip into the open window of one, but I chickened out like usual. I settled for sticking my camera through the window to creep on the incredible layers of peeling paint while scolding Jim for being such an upstanding, law-abiding citizen (the nerve).
The only bad part about Governor's Island is the excess of children, especially around the part of the island that houses a huge bell (oh god, that bell), but maybe that's just the spinstery, get-off-my-lawn old lady in me. There are a ton of food trucks to pick from, and we had delicious Philly cheesesteaks before hitting up the iconic Mister Softee (the first time for both of us!) because rainbow sprinkles always make an already-wonderful day even better.
We also both tried coconut water for the first time because they were handing them out for free. Turns out we weren't missing much, because no one told us that coconut water is terrible. But we did drink it while sitting in rocking chairs on the porch of an old dormitory overlooking men in Civil-War-era costumes, so I can't really complain.