Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Governor's Island

In an effort to avoid the mass hsyteria associated with the Puerto Rican day parade (remember Ricky Marteeeen), Marathon Man and I decided to spend a few hours exploring Governor's Island. It is located just off the coast of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Everything about it is free, which basically is a go for my cheap ass. The island was originally used to house the British "Governor" of the area. Basically it was his own personal island. Since it is nicely situated at the tip of Manhattan, they also put a huge fort there to protect both the East and Hudson Rivers. After the revolution, the island's fort was still used and the head of the army or navy would have a summer house there. Eventually they built a prison on the island (think alcatrez but with more attitude), and it was the place to do time since the standard hard labor issued to all prisoners was simple gardening. Other prison's hard labor was like rock quaries, construction, etc, so mowing the lawn was a cake walk. Evidently convicts would commit crimes and then surrender on the island just to ensure they could go to the club med of jails.

We were able to freely tour the fort, old Governor's house, old Admiral's house, gardens and festival grounds. The freedom was awesome but they also had park rangers around to give you a complimentary tour of the sights if you wanted a more structured tour. I think we would have liked it more if it wasn't hot as balls outside.


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