Island Getaway

Gary Pini

If you haven't sailed off to Governors Island yet, we strongly suggest a visit on Sunday, September 20th. There's a free ferry that leaves every 20 minutes from the Battery Maritime Building (just to the east of the Staten Island ferry) and even the ride over is spectacular. The skyline looks like a hi-def background for the Tonight Show. Walk over to Nolan Park for Pioneers of Change (10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.), a festival of Dutch design, fashion and architecture. There's a pop-up store and exhibits by leading designers like Droog, Maarten Baas, MVRDV, Atelier van Lieshout and lots more. While you stroll past Water Taxi Beach who can catch the Freemasons spinning at a party hosted by The Saint At Large (6 p.m. to midnight, advance tickets here). And there's more! Sunday is the last night of the New Island Festival (4 p.m. to midnight). This is combination of fringe theater, performance art and an old-fashioned carnival midway. It's centered around a gigantic picnic table and a Silent Disco filled with headphone-wearing dancers grooving to tunes only they can hear. There are bars, rock bands, a drag-queen jukebox and a mobile piano. Outside the midway there are small theaters with performers from Boom Chicago, De Jongens, Divera etc. and several "haunted" houses programmed by Robert Wilson's Watermill Center. Our favorite performance is Salto Vitale by Theater Tuig. It's outdoors and free, but there is only one show a day at 9:15 p.m. on top of a hill on the south end of the island. Hard to find, but if you like Burning Man and Cirque du Soleil, don't miss this! The last ferry back to Manhattan leaves at midnight.

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