It’s a cloudy day here in New York City as I leave my house in Queens for a 30 Plus Teams Tour of New York City .
I’m taking a day trip to Governor’s Island .
People do work here until October or so , but the majority of us can only get there by ferry from Lower Manhattan , also until October .
I was born in and raised in the city , but I never really knew anything about this island that sits in the East River.
When I returned to New York City in 2010 , I still had no desire to see Governor’s Island .
After all , if you’ve seen one island , you’ve seen them all.
Sort of .
Now that I’m back in New York City with oh so much time on my hands, I figured why not visit Governor’s Island ?
They make it oh so very easy to get there .
There’s two ferries that can get you there .
One is the New York Waterways Ferry where you can either purchase your tickets online or at the Governor’s Island Ferry Terminal , which is next to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal .
For some strange reason , if you buy your tickets online , that doesn’t guarantee you a seat on the ferry .
For the New York Waterways Ferry , the prices are $2 for adults , $1 for seniors , and it’s free for children under 13 as well as those who hold a card that’s called the NYC ID , which is only available to those of us who live in the five boroughs .
( Thank you for thinking about us, Mayor DiBlasio ! )
There’s also another Governor’s Island Ferry, which happens to cost zilch, nada, that’s right , free.
This particular ferry runs a little more often than the New York Waterways Ferry .
Guess which one I’m getting on at 9am ?
The ride is very calming , even though I’m not at all a ferry person .
On the ride back, though , I was brave enough to sit on the top and watch the waves ripple , along with a couple of other passengers .
When you get off the ferry , which is only a seven minute ride, by the way , there it is .
No, not just Governor’s Island , but part of the skyline of Lower Manhattan is right behind you across the water .
Most prominently in the skyline is One World Observatory .
It’s beginning to rain , but now that I’m here , there’s no turning back now .
I’ve never seen Governor’s Island before and I’m not going to blow my chance now because of a few raindrops .
Do you remember in high school reading about how the Indians sold the Island of Manhattan to the Dutch to what basically would be $24 now?
This is the place where they did it, although it wasn’t known as Governor’s Island then.
It became that name when the British took over New York and established this area for the royal governors of New York .
Walking around some of the buildings reminded me of some of the colonial style houses of Boston and Philadelphia .
Looking at two of the buildings , Fort Jay and Castle Williams confuse me just a little bit .
Am I doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour of New York City or Baltimore ?
Both of these forts look so similar to Fort McHenry in Baltimore that it’s really hard to tell them apart .
If you happen to go to either place , you’ll see what I mean .
All three of these places were built to defend the United States from the British and their allies during the War of 1812 .
Even though it’s now a steadier rain , I’m really getting my exercise here .
There’s not that many cars or bikes around , but just like me , people are walking , admiring the view .
Wait a minute ! !
What is that in the distance ?
It’s Lady Liberty and far off to the right it’s Ellis Island .
I didn’t realize how close it is to Liberty Island either .
( Liberty Island is going to be another stop on my 30 Plus Teams Tour of New York City , but not today . )
Governor’s Island is technically considered part of Manhattan and while it’s just a small part of the borough of Manhattan , visiting Governor’s Island is a great way to pass an hour or two right in the shadow of Lower Manhattan .
I was born and raised in that other city that never sleeps , New York City .
So I’ll bet you’re wondering just why would I fly across the country just to see a hotel and casino with a fugazy Brooklyn Bridge , let alone a replica of the Statue of Liberty in front of it ?
Um, because it’s there and I can because this is my 30 Plus Teams Tour of Las Vegas .
The first thing one notices when you stand on the street and look up at the facade, is just that.
The facade that represents Grand Central Station .
Those screams you hear aren’t from people who just won some money on the slots or on the tables .
Look above you before you walk in, you can’t miss it .
Yes, it’s a big roller coaster and it’s called ” The Big Apple ” .
You can pretend that you’re in Coney Island , watching the Cyclone go round and round .
The roller coaster cars are even in the shape of a New York City taxicab .
Do my eyes deceive me?
Right behind that much smaller version of the Statue of Liberty , is that a smaller version of what else , Ellis Island ?
(Special thanks , by the way to my fellow New Yorker and friend Mish for allowing me to use the Statue of Liberty picture in this post.)
This is New York , New York Hotel , so those just have to be replicas of the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building , right ?
Yes they are .
When you finally walk inside , there’s more than enough sights to make a New Yorker or a former New Yorker homesick for all those things that you remember as a kid growing up in the Lower East side , Washington Heights , Harlem or even Brooklyn , Queens , or Staten Island .
The buildings with the fire escapes that a lot of us used to sit on to get some air in the summer because no one could really afford air conditioning back then bring back great memories .
Of course , being the New Yorker that I am, it’s all about the food.
They even have a Nathans , just like the ones you remember going to in Brooklyn .
What would New York New York Hotel be without some authentic , sort of , pizza parlors ?
This was comfort food to many a New York school kid, and it still is .
I might be in the middle of the desert , but for a few minutes visiting New York , New York brought me back to those memories of growing up in the city .