Where to have Coffee on a Weekend in NYC (and a History lesson)

1996 Map of Governors Island

Governors Island

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.

2018 Map of Governors Island

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


So, you were wondering what LSD is?

No, not the drug. This:

Wiki Commons

  • It’s a very comforting feeling to drive a road you love. It’s also called the “Outer Drive”. I forgot that the song was used in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
  • It’s a very comforting feeling to listen to Chicago accents and think about my brothers graduating High School in the 70’s. And, yeah, there were drugs. Even if you were phenomenal athletes like they were ~ heck, maybe it helped.

I missed out. My age being many moons after them. That’s not a bad thing.

Here’s the story of the song from the manager and the last surviving member of the band who wrote the song, Skip Haynes. He died last year. Cancer. I always wonder about those DDT trucks, cruising neighborhoods killing mosquitoes. Do you wonder?


Caught the eye~

Not the most gentle of advertisements in the windows, right? diievca had to stop.

In Nolita since 2003, Rice To Riches was brought to life by a simple journeyman.  He was vacationing through Italy one summer, and was inspired by the beautiful gelaterias he saw in Milan and Florence. Motivated by the assortment of flavors, and the ultra-inviting design, he set out to re-create that experience back home in NYC.

The minute he returned the little men in his head began to work… Having played one year earlier, with the idea of a restaurant which would feature a menu made up entirely of rice based dishes, along with his relentless drive to be completely unconventional, sparked the vision of the world’s first rice pudding snackateria.

For the next three years, this rice pudding architect worked seven days a week toward what he dreamt would someday become a NYC landmark.

First, there was the high-tech rice pudding test kitchen. Six months of (never good enough) simmering with a team of expert pastry chefs, honing their techniques until they arrived at the sacred recipes.

And then another year of intensive design for the store … every detail, even the bowls and spoons had to be meticulously styled to match the wild vibe of the Rice To Riches concept.
It all came together with a bang and a buzz in April 2003. And Rice To Riches has roused the passion of New Yorkers and dessert adoring people around the world.

  1. dievca’s Mother loves rice pudding….and its been hard to get her to eat.
  2. It’s been in business for 15 years – it’s a keeper.

Slurp Shop and dreamy Creamy.

dievca’s Foodie friend introduced her to Ivan Ramen on the Lower East Side.
Fabulous! But a pain to get to for dievca.

dievca hadn’t visited the Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop on the West Side until she took her Scandinavian friend, this week.  It was a good call.  The shop is located at the Gotham West Market on 600 11th Ave, in Hell’s Kitchen.

Along with Ramen, dievca and her friend sampled the Ample Hill Creamery offerings.

More about Ivan Ramen:

Ivan’s journey began with a dishwashing job at a sushi bar when he was 15. He discovered a culture and cuisine that would shape the rest of his life. Upon graduation high school,  Ivan decided to major in Japanese language and literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder. After graduating, Ivan immediately moved to Japan to teach English and he quickly cemented his love of everything Japanese.

He returned to the US in 1990 and enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America, and began his culinary training.

Upon graduation from the CIA, and stints at Mesa Grill, Lutece, and Restaurant  Associates, Ivan returned to Tokyo to live in the country that he fell in love with. He had still never given thought to combining his love for cooking and Japan, but that was soon to change. Ivan was anxious to start a food-related business in Japan but was unsure of which direction to take. He thought about opening a cooking school, a sandwich shop, even a pizzeria. It was his wife’s suggestion that he open a ramen shop.

This move seemed destined for failure in a country where ramen enjoys a cult-like status. Incredibly,Ivan not only succeeded, but became one of the top ramen shops in Tokyo, an unheard of accomplishment for a foreigner. In 2010 a second shop, Ivan Ramen Plus, was opened. In 2012, Ivan returned to NY with the hopes of opening a business back home, while continuing to run his two shops in Tokyo. In the meantime his cookbook  “Ivan Ramen” was published. His first venture in the US, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, opened at the Gotham West Market on 600 11th Avenue in November of 2013 to huge crowds and critical acclaim.

Soon after, his US flagship, Ivan Ramen opened at 25 Clinton Street on New York’s Lower East side.


Gay Pride, the Beach and the Party

Photo: dievca 06/2018 37th Street NYC

dievca’s friend wants to check out the Gay Pride Parade and then they will head out to Brighton Beach. dievca checked in with Master and he is lying low for the day.

The inexpensive rainbow dress from Amazon is out of the package and ready to be worn. Cheap as chips, but fun.

It’s really warm and humid, so the curly hair is up. Simple make-up. Sunscreen.

A quick change for the Brighton Beach after a couple of hours for the Parade:

And if you are wondering what dievca wore to her Party, last evening:


Hair curly, natural make-up.

Haute Hippie Dress
Etienne Aigner Sandals

Friends came and went, some stayed until beyond Midnight and dievca’s visiting friend, true to her age (20 years younger than d.), – went clubbing at Vandal afterward.

dievca? she went to bed.

What are you doing on your lovely Sunday?


Midsommar Celebration NYC

Yesterday, the Swedish Consulate in NYC hosted a Midsommar Celebration in Battery Park City, downtown Manhattan. dievca biked down after work to see the chaos.  According to her friend, it was quite similar to what goes on in Sweden for Midsommar. Singing, dancing, eating, drinking while wearing floral crowns. A celebration of the Earth, topped off with the raising of the phallic Maypole (something about balls and a cock piercing Mother Earth. etc.)

It was too crazy to try to get food, so a bodega further uptown offered simple fair and the Hudson River offered a spectacular view.

Today, dievca is working and then heading out to watch the Germany/Sweden World Cup game. Afterward. dievca is hosting a small cocktail party for her visiting friend.

Have a fabulous, close to Midsommar Saturday. 🥂🥃🍸🍺

Photos: dievca 06/2018 Battery Park

Bachata at Bryant Park

Bachata is a style of dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. It is danced widely all over the world but not identically. The basics to the dance are three-step with a Cuban hip motion, followed by a tap including a hip movement on the 4th beat.

Throughout the Summer, in NYC, there is live music and dancing at various venues:
Lincoln Center, Bryant Park,  Meatpacking District , the High Line, etc.

dievca’s Home Opener for summer dancing was in Bryant Park: Bachata

Since dievca is on the “free” WordPress Plan, she had to convert her video to a gif and lost the sound.

The Bryant Park offering was free and had a lesson before the heavy dancing began. Yes, a lot of people with Latin roots came out to dance, but there was a strong showing from the Asian population and more. dievca opted for a glass of Rosé with a friend during the class and hit the dance floor afterward. Inexpensive fun!

(click if you want to see a demo of bachata)

On a side note: the public bathrooms at Bryant Park have been renovated and are insanely nice….so if you are caught out in NYC and need to go — make sure you are around NYC Main Public Library to use the “Taj Mahal” of public bathrooms.