First Trip to Governor’s Island

First Trip to Governor’s Island

Despite having lived in Manhattan for 18 years, and being born in raised in Brooklyn before moving to Manhattan, there are a lot of places in the 5 boroughs that I’ve never been.  I decided to go to Governors Island and have a look around.  My mother was telling me about these “glamping” tents that she had been reading about and I figured that would be interesting to see.  Going to Governors Island meant a trip on the ferry and I love the water so that appealed to me in a major way.

The ferry is free on weekends before noon, and $3 dollars after that and on the weekdays, which is a reasonable price.  The trip is short, under ten minutes, but it’s fun to glide on the water, seeing other boats and the view of the skyline.  You can almost pretend that you’re on a cruise.  I’ve never been on a cruise, but it’s definitely on my list of things I want to do one day.  Speaking of the skyline, this is the view when you finally land on Governors Island.

35mm photography, a7Rii, architecture, color photography, Freedom Tower, Governors Island, Manhattan, Manhattan skyline, NYC, river, skyscrapers, Sony, Staten Island Ferry

The sky was clear and the weather was nice and cool, making it perfect for exploring and picture taking.  It was part of why I chose to go out that day.  Most of the time the weather has been hot and sticky.  When you get a gorgeous day in the middle of it you have to take advantage.

35mm photography, a7Rii, color photography, Governors Island, Manhattan, NYC, overcast day, river, sailboat, Sony, Statue of Liberty

Of all the days to take the 35mm instead of the 55mm!  I think the last time I used the 35mm was when I was in Italy in April.  To be totally honest, I was regretting exchanging the 85mm.  I could have gotten a better shot of the Statue of Liberty.  I still like this one, but I just wish I could have been closer.

35mm photography, a7Rii, color photography, food truck, Governors Island, Manhattan, NYC, Sony

This place had frozen Mars bars, which as the day grew warmer, sounded really good.  I did almost cave and buy a water because once again I forgot to bring a water with me, but I forgot about my thirst as I explored some more.

35mm photography, a7Rii, bar, bar stool, blue, chairs, color photography, deck, deck chairs, Governors Island, Manhattan, NYC, patterns, shadows, Sony

I really liked the beachy/tropical/island vibe this place had going on, with both the decor and the music.  If I had the time (I started out late) and the money, I would have sat down for a drink and something to eat.  Since I only had a few hours until closing to walk around, I snapped a few pictures and continued on my way.

35mm photography, a7Rii, Castle Williams, color photography, entrance, Governors Island, jail, Manhattan, NYC, prison, Sony

This was only 1 of 2 street shots that I got that day.  I don’t know if it was that it was the middle of the afternoon or if not that many people visit Governors Island, but I didn’t really see many people.  This building is Castle Williams, a former prison.  After I walked into the courtyard I saw a group with a tour guide, who was telling them the history of the place.  Here is a good place to get some interesting background information.

35mm photography, a7Rii, Collective Retreats, color photography, entrance, glamping, Governors Island, Manhattan, NYC, Sony, tents

Initially I was going for just a shot of the entrance, but this girl walked through and I realized it looked better with a person in it, walking through the gates.  You obviously can’t walk into the tents, but you can walk inside the entrance and along the gates that surround the tents.  I love the outdoors, but I would never do traditional style camping ever.  Sleeping on the ground?  Outside?  With bugs?  Hell to the no.  Glamping is the only camping I’d ever do.

35mm photography, a7Rii, arrows, bokeh, Collective Retreats, color photography, glamping, Governors Island, Manhattan, NYC, sign, Sony, welcome

35mm photography, a7Rii, Collective Retreats, color photography, glamping, Governors Island, Manhattan, NYC, Sony, tents

Some of the people inside had the flaps open, and it does look pretty nice.  Big, comfortable looking beds, bathrooms, etc., but in a tent.  It’s the best of both worlds.  Sleeping outside without actually being outside.  The sounds of the water, which no sound machine can accurately replicate, the way the city lights up after dark, and the tranquility of it all after the day explorers, such as myself, go home is very appealing.  If I wasn’t saving for a trip to Cairo I’d be very tempted to at least spend a night in one of these tents.  From what I’ve read, they can be quite expensive (not really a surprise for something in NYC), so it’s probably just as well.  Either way, if you have the money, I say go for it.


  1. July 13, 2018 / 11:57 AM

    I WANT to test it !!! I’ve been looking at the prices for september, just for fun, and it’s about 150$ for one night for 2, for the simplest tents. Expensive, but with this view and all the accomodations, it can be affordable… I wish I could stay for a drink at the tropical/beachy bar !! lovely place.

    • Tina
      July 15, 2018 / 12:02 PM

      It definitely looks like a fun thing to do. The weather should probably be nice because even if it’s hot, you’ll still get that nice, cooling breeze from the water. I read that there is a 10:00 curfew, so you can’t just wander all over the island, but even so, it still looks pretty cool.

  2. July 17, 2018 / 3:41 AM

    The island seems very quiet and the tents are very big! It’s camping with a great confort but it’s very expensive I think. In France, camping is for the little budgets (most of the time), the night for 2 people with a car, it’s less than 12 $. Take the sea, just for 10 minutes is already so cool! 🙂

    • Tina
      July 21, 2018 / 12:23 AM

      Hi Anne! Definitely very expensive. I read that there is a 10:00 curfew, so you can’t go wandering around the island after that time. In a way I can agree, since people can get hurt, but for what they’re paying they shouldn’t be confined to their tents after a certain time. My cousins and their families go camping in the summer. They bought these camping trailers that you can attach to your car and drive around. You can enjoy the campgrounds and then go to your camper to sleep. It sounds like a lot of fun.

      I’d love to go camping in France, especially for such a reasonable price. I love the sea so it would be like heaven to me. 🙂

      • July 21, 2018 / 3:11 AM

        In France we can’t camp where we want (like Finland) but we have a lot of campings. We can camp in the sea, at the moutains and in the countryside.
        There are often hours of closures, but rather when you come back by car, even if the goal is not to come back too late not to wake other campers of course. 🙂

        • Tina
          July 21, 2018 / 11:20 PM

          I’m not familiar with the rules of camping over here since I’ve never done it before. The closest I’ve come is when we would spend time with my aunt and uncle in Michigan who have a small place for camping on the lake. We would spend our time inside after it got dark, but even if we wanted to go anywhere, the house is so far away from most places that it was just more convenient to stay inside.

          I agree about not disturbing other campers. People go camping for the peace and quiet. It’s hardly enjoyable to listen to noisy campers nearby.

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