In 1996 the Military Era ended. In 2003, it was transferred to the City and State of NY for $1.00 with 22 acres earmarked for the National Park Service. 2014 arrived with Phase I development completed with 30 acres opened to the public. 2016 opened up, “The Hills” – rising 70 feet above the harbor with spectacular views. The future plans will include completing the “Master Plan” when funds become available and offering spaces to tenants to develop the Historic District, plus other development zones.
dievca’s friend rode the Island when it first opened to the public and it was desolate. FDNY used some of the military base housing for fire training and its a strange thing to see the burned out houses…The development of the Island has been slow, yet well-done. Hammocks for lounging, fountains to run through, excellent food trucks, a well-known Jazz Festival, easy biking, a lookout hill, glamping, etc.
The evenings are lovely and the mornings are spectacular for the silence. Silence in the City.
A Brief History of Governors Island
An island at the tip of Lower Manhattan provided a stage where a local military community participated in national and international events. From its military beginnings as a colonial militia in 1755, Governors Island became a major headquarters for the U.S. Army and Coast Guard, making it one of the longest continually operated military installations in the country until its closure in 1996. Military decisions made throughout the island’s history reverberated through communities and neighborhoods across vast oceans. Although no longer a military post, Governors Island remains in public service, maintaining a watchful eye on the future and poised to redefine itself for the changing expectations of an ever-changing community.
Initially, Governors Island was valued more for its environmental attributes than its strategic position. The island’s natural resources and location within the diverse ecosystem of New York Harbor became a foundation upon which four nations were attracted, many hoping to fulfill their dreams of economic security. The Lenape and Dutch Nations took advantage of the harbor and its trade opportunities as well as the island’s plant and animal life. The British valued the area’s strategic potential, and by 1674, secured the region for themselves. Recognizing the island’s pastoral qualities, it was set aside for “’the benefit and accommodation of his Majestie’s Governors’” and from then on would be known as Governors Island. By 1776, tensions between England and her American colonies peaked. General Washington and his colonial army made a valiant yet unsuccessful attempt to secure New York against a siege by the British during the first and largest battle of the Revolution, The Battle of Brooklyn. Although the British captured and occupied New York for the duration of the war, the memory of these events steeled the resolve of the young nation to protect its borders against foreign occupation.
The end of the Revolution marked the beginning of a new nation, and a new banner under which Governors Island would serve. With international politics threatening domestic security and overseas trade, the United States developed a defensive strategy to protect its coastal borders and its most prolific ports. Despite initial fears of a large central government and standing army, federal funds were provided to build fortifications around important harbors. Known as the federal system of coastal defense, these systems of forts were staffed by quick responding local militia. The coastal initiative marked one of the first decisions made by the young government to unite behind a plan to protect the interests of her new nation. In New York, federal funds were supplemented by state contributions and later, by the city’s residents who volunteered to help construct the new forts.
Fort Jay and Castle Williams on Governors Island were two of the largest coastal fortifications in the Harbor. In 1794, Fort Jay was erected atop the remains of the earthworks used during the Revolution, and was refurbished in 1808. By 1811, Colonel Jonathan Williams designed a prototypical circular fortification which became known as Castle Williams. Williams, the first American born military engineer, planned the elaborate system of forts that were strategically placed throughout the harbor. With the outbreak of the War of 1812, these installations, along with others in the harbor, proved to be powerful deterrents to the British Navy who blockaded the harbor instead of entering it. New York’s coastal defenses underscored the importance that a unified system of fortifications could ensure the safety and livelihood of a community and ultimately, a nation.
Although the island’s fortifications became defensively obsolete by the 1830s, Governors Island remained in military service, while other harbor island installations were converted to non-military uses. The island became an administrative and training center for a peacetime U.S. Army and it served as a mustering point for personnel during the Mexican and Civil Wars. It also served as a federal arsenal, and an army music school. It was during the Civil War that Castle Williams’ use changed from a coastal fortification to a prison first for Confederate prisoners of war, and later as a military stockade for the U.S. Army. By 1878, Governors Island evolved from a small military outpost to the army headquarters for the Military Division of the Atlantic and Department of the East, responsible for coordinating army activities for the eastern United States. Once Governors Island became a headquarters, officers were able to bring their families to live on the island. The National Historic Landmark District is dotted with community structures which include a movie theatre, YMCA, Officer’s Club, public school and three religious chapels, a quiet neighborhood not far from the hustle and bustle of New York City life.
As New York City gained international importance, so did the prestige of a posting on Governors Island. For senior officers, it was recognition of accomplishment and a test of leadership that often led to more senior commands and responsibilities at the highest levels of the army. Additionally, soldiers stationed here enjoyed social, political and commercial connections in the city rivaled by few other army posts. Newspapers of the day heralded the arrival of a new headquarters commander and the society pages would report on sporting and aviation events and occasionally announce the wedding of a captain or a major to a bride well-known to New York society.
The army headquarters became nationally recognized as it played a greater role in international affairs through two World Wars. By World War II, the island was the headquarters of the U.S. First Army. Originally established in Europe in 1919, First Army initiated early planning efforts for the D-Day invasion in 1944 and led the American landing in Normandy, which resulted in the liberation of Europe.
In November 1964, the army announced that it would close its remaining New York posts and left Governors Island on June 30, 1966. Known as Changeover Day, this date marked the end of one military presence and the beginning of another. Governors Island “re-enlisted” with the U.S. Coast Guard becoming the largest Coast Guard base in the world and headquarters for its Atlantic Area command. The Coast Guardsmen and their families enjoyed the same sense of community and military prestige as their predecessors, a blend of small town life at the heart of one of America’s largest cities.
After 30 additional years of service, the Coast Guard announced that they too would leave Governors Island ending the island’s two-century military career. The closure was a quiet admission that island fortresses and urban military garrisons, although critical in the past, were no longer of primary importance in defending against the nation’s modern threats. As one of the last New York bastions of coastal defensive history drew to a close in 1996, Governors Island has again been called to serve. The island has returned to a civilian use, and will be developed as a public venue for exploration and discovery. Today, trees and an array of old brick buildings soften the profile of Governors Island. Fort Jay and Castle Williams along with the military community that evolved around them provided the safety and security from 1794 to 1996 which allowed New York City to develop and evolve into this nation’s center of commerce and finance. Governors Island chronicles the history of groups of people united behind their commitment to the national community they called home.
Thank you to http://www.nps.gov
THERE ‘s a thing that grows by the fainting flower,
And springs in the shade of the lady’s bower;
The lily shrinks, and the rose turns pale,
When they feel its breath in the summer gale,
And the tulip curls its leaves in pride,
And the blue-eyed violet starts aside;
But the lily may flaunt, and the tulip stare,
For what does the honest toadstool care?
She does not glow in a painted vest,
And she never blooms on the maiden’s breast;
But she comes, as the saintly sisters do,
In a modest suit of a Quaker hue.
And, when the stars in the evening skies
Are weeping dew from their gentle eyes,
The toad comes out from his hermit cell,
The tale of his faithful love to tell.
Oh, there is light in her lover’s glance,
That flies to her heart like a silver lance;
His breeches are made of spotted skin,
His jacket ‘is tight, and his pumps are thin;
In a cloudless night you may hear his song,
As its pensive melody floats along,
And, if you will look by the moonlight fair,
The trembling form of the toad is there.
And he twines his arms round her slender stem,
In the shade of her velvet diadem;
But she turns away in her maiden shame,
And will not breathe on the kindling flame;
He sings at her feet through the live-long night,
And creeps to his cave at the break of light;
And whenever he comes to the air above,
His throat is swelling with baffled love.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
The last day of summer is also the same as the first day of fall: Saturday, September 22, 2018
Also known as the Autumnal Equinox and the fall equinox, the Autumn equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator. According to The Farmer’s Almanac, both the Southern and Northern hemispheres receive the same amount of sunshine at this time, and day and night are of nearly equal length. The Northern Hemisphere will start seeing shorter days and longer nights, where the Southern Hemisphere will see a reversal in seasons due to the Earth’s tilt.
On the Autumn Equinox, the sun astrologically enters into the zodiac sign Libra. Her balanced scales mark the equal length of day and night on the first day of fall, as well as signify a need to balance the body, mind, and spirit with self-care.
The Harvest Moon will be on Monday, September 24. 10:53 pm Eastern Time (shake your wallet)
And coming back to those Toadstools that dievca photographed:
You know its been really wet in NYC when dievca rides past those very large Mushrooms or ‘Toadstools’. she thinks they are the poisonous Green-spoored Parasol…its a definite ‘no go’ to eat them no matter how much they look like a Portobello mushroom cap.
A quote from a mushroom web page composed by Tom Volk of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse describes the potential of this mushroom. “According to Dennis Benjamin (Mushrooms: poisonings and panaceas, 1995, W.H. Freeman and Company, 422 pp.) ‘In some individuals the gastrointestinal syndrome, which occurs about 1 – 3 hours after the meal, can be very severe, especially the colicky abdominal pain, which can mimic that of a ‘surgical’ abdomen. Symptoms persist for up to six hours, and even longer in a few patients. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea complete the picture. The diarrhea can be explosive in nature and become bloody.’
Umm, yeah, a pass.
Welcome to LIBRA – dievca’s birth sign. XO
Meaningful Peacock Symbolism in Culture and History
The peacock might be thought to have some of the most admired human characteristics. They are a symbol of integrity and the beauty we can do when we endeavor to show our true colors.
In history, myth, legend and lore, the peacock symbolism carries portents of: Nobility, Holiness, Guidance, Protection and Watchfulness.
You might like to contemplate the powers of the peacock when you need more vibrancy and vitality in your Life
The peacock can rejuvenate self-esteem levels too. If you’re feeling “blah” and blue, imagine the glorious, techno-color display the peacock provides. This puts us in a proper mood to embrace your own nobility. In no time, you’ll be walking tall and proud as a peacock!
Here is a list of keywords linked to peacock symbolism:
In Greco-Roman mythology the peacock is identified with Hera (Juno) who created the peacock from Argus whose hundred eyes (seen on the tail feathers of the peacock) symbolize the vault of heaven and the eyes of the stars. (Note: there is something about Argus watching the bovine form of Io…..)
In Hinduism the peacock is associated with Lakshmi who is a deity representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and good luck.
Similar to Lakshmi, the peacock is associated with Kwan-yin in Asian spirituality. Kwan-yin (or Quan Yin) is also an emblem of love, compassionate watchfulness, good-will, nurturing, and kindheartedness. Legend has it that she chose to stay a mortal even though she could be immortal because she wished to stay behind and aid humanity in their spiritual evolution.
In Babylonia and Persia the peacock is a guardian to royalty, and is often seen in engravings upon royal thrones.
In Christianity, peacock symbolism represents the “all-seeing” church, along with the holiness and sanctity associated with it. Additionally, the peacock represents resurrection, renewal and immortality within the spiritual teachings of Christianity.
You know, the ego isn’t a bad thing, as the peacock clearly indicates. There’s a reason somebody coined the phrase, “proud as a peacock”. If you watch the male – they are about as cocky as they come. Showing off and wooing his ladies. It takes a lot of brass to attract a bevy of peahens. This is a symbolic nod to us encouraging us to get some hustle in our bustle. The Peacock reminds us sometimes it’s totally okay to flaunt our stuff and show off our skills. Peacock energy can remind us we are amazing, and we should fan out our assets to land the opportunities we are seeking.
No reason not to dress in fine feathers as a female, too – Alice + Olivia Peacock pieces to help:
dievca is not a cook, she bakes…
she WILL be cooking today because 5 friends are coming for dinner.
They are a “Meat and Potato” crowd, so she is keeping it simple:
- Fresh Vegetables with Dip, Cheese Plate and Chardonnay for Appetizers on the rooftop
- Baked Pork Chops (bone in), Green Beans, Rice and Norman Cidre for the Main Course
- Lemon Meringue Pie and Pinot Grigio or Coffee/Tea for Dessert
Wish her luck, but dievca does have a secondary strategy: Distraction via Clothing
And Plan C: Pizza and Beer
dievca is all turned around. Her parents do that to her – it all blends. she hasn’t missed her dental appointment or dinner with friends, but it came close. You have seen this in the blog….she did Lingerie on Wednesday. (yesterday) instead of Thursday. Click “yesterday” if you missed it.
Now dievca knows why her Mother is always asking her what day it is….no papers coming, dievca doesn’t watch TV and hasn’t been on the computer too much because there is weeding, sorting, gardening, cleaning, trips to the store, family visits and trying to include her Dad and Mom as much as possible (slow going). All is a blur.
We will see if she makes it to her flight – tomorrow? or maybe the day after. Argh! she better look.
Is dementia catchy? dievca feels short-term memory loss is just one of the signs of old age. she IS getting older in Libra.
There was an issue on the French news….about too many tourists on the beaches.
That’s a refrain echoing in a growing number of European cities. The neoclassical gems that once made up the grand tour have been stops on package tours since the 19th century. But it’s only over the past decade or so that the number of travelers to these and other must-see destinations risks subsuming the places. Around 87 million tourists visited France in 2017, breaking records; 58.3 million went to Italy; and even the tiny Netherlands received 17.9 million visitors. (Time Magazine)
dievca’s Dutch friend told her about how the tourists are really dangerous on the bicycles in Amsterdam and the older people are too scared to bike around the City and get out of their houses.
How much is too much? And how are people to live in the Cities they love?
dievca runs into this in NYC. she sighs and tries to remember that tourism brings a lot of $ to the City. It’s annoying though~ five people walking abreast, taking selfies, clogging the Subways and expecting you to be kind and pleased that they are spending time in NYC – all when you need to get the hell to work and are pissed that they are lollygagging around.
In France, dievca kept her mouth shut most of the time. Tried to speak her pathetic French and was very cognizant of the locals. she avoided the hot tourist areas and when she was there, she was polite – even when a Honfleur shopkeeper was exceptionally nasty immediately upon entry to a nougat shop. dievca’s friend, who’s French is superb — went after her. dievca just walked out — an 80 Euro loss to someone who was located in a very touristy spot and having a bad day. dievca felt bad — it was early August, just the beginning of the Holiday month in France. The Lady was going to have a tough month. (Menopause kicking in? maybe – it was that odd.)
A tough issue for Cities like Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris, Palma, Venice, Dubrovnik, Copenhagen and more. And with Millennials wanting to travel:
Millennials will likely have more of an impact on travel and tourism than any other generational group, according to a new report from Resonance Consultancy. The report—the “Future of U.S. Millennial Travel”—studied the travel habits and preferences of Millennials, a generation that values experiences over material possessions.
It is going to be an issue for the future.
The French: they talk food, they seek food, they cherish food, they live food.
dievca knew that.
It became more clear throughout the week while driving all over Normandy. Many restaurants are/were closed for the August Holidays and finding food became a challenge. Dealing with a “foodie” increased the stress. It meant that running to a supermarché became imperative.
After a really bad meal at a desperate Chinese restaurant stop,
dievca was all for having food on hand.
That said, dievca and her friend ran into some great food, too. A Senegalese chicken and rice joint on the edge of the Seine River run by a very elegant and social Lady. A new Japanese Restaurant in the University section of Lille started by a young Chinese girl with her Mom helping. A local restaurant recommended by the Lady of a chambre d’hotes off the beaten path, yet, 10 minutes away from the Le Mont-Saint-Michel walk.
And dievca cannot forget the various pâtisserie and salon de thé.
This post was brought to mind when dievca’s friend went into full-blown conversation about the differences between food from Normandy vs. Brittany at the breakfast table for 30 minutes one morning. The stereotypes are there for a reason:
France = Food.
Photos: dievca 08/2018 France