Time Travel at Governors Island

Stepping off the boatGovernors Island 1 was like stepping into another world. Leaving behind a metropolis filled with honking taxis and speeding sirens, she touched new ground — with ne’er an automobile in sight. “What is this place?” she thought as she took it in…soaked in the smells, the people, the mysterious intangible that made it markedly different.

An outsider, it was as if she merely observed from afar. Was there some partition? An invisible force? Fellow wanderers milled about the grounds. But they, too, were in a daze — quieted by the intrigue surrounding them.

Once inhabited houses, yards and playthings were left, forgotten. Perhaps their owners vanished into thin air…forgetting to lock doors on the way out. A small stone church still sat on its perch, almost as a warning. Of what, who knows. Inside, the footprints of long-since moved pews were still obvious to the eye.

As she tread along the well-worn path, a fenced-in green materialized up ahead. Music! Dancing! A festival of sorts…at last! Walking on, she was transported to a time when jazz ruled and flappers were scandalous. An attempt at recognition proved she would remain unseen. She must be content to simply witness.

Revelers twisted and twirled — in twos and threes — to a five-piece jazz band on the makeshift parquet floor. One wearing nothing but a cream-colored slip with a dropped waste and black undergarments. Off to the side, children in vintage swim trunks pulled snacks from wicker picnic baskets as their mothers sipped cocktails and laughed the afternoon away…their beaded headbands already slightly askew.

Moving past the dance floor, a gaggle of men laughed, passing cold beers from one to the next while two young innocents twirled their parasols and looked on longingly from the next blanket over.

Distracted by a monkey on a bicycle, she snaps back to reality. Suddenly boat loads of neon and tie dye-covered ravers storm the beat-bouncing, DJ-inhabited beach. Departure nears. Ah yes, the horns and sirens come back into focus. Where was I?

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