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Vacation island getaway has been hiding in plain sight

By Steven Spinola

The secret is out: a spectacular vacation island getaway has been hiding in plain view right under our noses in New York Harbor.
Governors Island re-opened last month, and it’s better than ever.

After a long and bitter winter, the time has finally come to embrace summer in full force with a brand new hotspot.

Governor’s Island re-opened last month, and it’s better than ever.
Governor’s Island re-opened last month, and it’s better than ever.

Over the past several years, artists and architects have been keeping a watchful eye over the island, taking note of who visited it, how often, and what they chose to do during their stay. Out of that observation blossomed a brand new 30-acre park on the island’s southern end that includes a gorgeous new landscape design, playing fields, and 50 hammocks.

The former military base had once been home to the U.S. Coast Guard, and now it has become a dynamic public space where anyone can enjoy history, art, recreation, or a peaceful stroll by the water’s edge.

The list of events coming up this summer is much too extensive to list here. From now through September, the island will host a staggering array of plays, concerts, festivals, free boat tours, children’s activities, poetry readings, dance performances, fishing trips, a badminton competition, and more.

In August, Civil War historians will be on hand to offer a glimpse into the island’s military history, and as recently as last weekend, a miniature golf course opened on the island. For a full list of programs and events, visit

New Yorkers and visitors alike owe a debt of thanks to Leslie Koch, the president of the Trust for Governors Island and her hardworking team for making the island an inviting destination that feels both far away and very nearby all at once.

This $75 million renovation will provide our city with yet another relaxing location to bring family and friends, as well as a place to learn more about our New York City’s history.

For the first time ever, the island will be open to the public seven days a week until it closes in September. So when planning your itinerary this summer, you would be remiss in neglecting Governors Island. It’s a hidden crown jewel of New York, and it’s only a few minutes away by ferry.

In other REBNY news:
June 10 is the Real Estate Weekly Young Leaders’ Forum at National Bohemian Hall. Join over 350 real estate players for an annual summit highlighting the emerging players in real estate and finance. The forum is from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and more information can be found at
June 10 is the Residential Brokerage Annual Owner/Manager Luncheon from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m at the New York Athletic Club at 180 Central Park South. The event is for REBNY members only and $35 per person, and or more information contact Indi Jaipal at
Also on June 10, the winners of the Retail Deal of the Year 2013 Awards will be announced at a cocktail party hosted by the Retail Committee. For more information, contact Jeanne Oliver-Taylor at
On June 17: The Long Island City Partnership presents a day long summit, LIC Now: Perspectives and Prospects, at the Museum of the Moving Image for more info visit:
June 18 is the Brooklyn Committee’s cocktail event at the Brooklyn Winery from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, contact Jeanne Oliver-Taylor at
July 15 at 9:30 a.m. is the next Sales Agent Boot Camp, “Don’t Be Afraid of the Phone.” The event features speaker Eric Barron, CEO of Keller Williams NYC. Sales Agent Boot Camp is a free seminar offered to Residential REBNY members and geared towards agents who have been licensed 3 years or less. For more information, email

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