The Best Worst And Worst Best Ideas For Governors Island

by SUSANNAH LONG · April 16, 2010

    The Times just posted their round-up of CityRoom commenters' ideas for the redevelopment of Governors Island, but they didn't give appropriate recognition to some of our favorites! We like the crackpots - if only because everyone seems extremely serious about his or her idea.-

    Among the many votes to build affordable housing, erect a revenue-boosting gambling Mecca, plant a giant urban garden, trick out a mega-park, or let the island revert back to nature, there was a strangely high number of calls for the island to be turned into a massive detention center, be it for "Abu Ghraib terrorist(s)," "MTA board member(s)," or "corrupt NYC politicians." We don't think they're joking. Some of the proposals were very detailed.

    Steve De Long fantasizes about a big ol' wetland, but hasn't figured out how to use photoshop to sell his idea; C. Lay wants an enormous Mr. Potato Head, because the Statue of Liberty is too "somber."

    Also peculiar: the popularity of moving the UN to Governors Island from its current E 46th Street location. Advocates for this plan particularly kvetch about UN meetings snarling up Midtown Manhattan traffic. However, they seem to have forgotten the most important take-away lesson of our high school years, as represented by the first X-Men movie: if you put all the UN delegates in one place on a little island (as opposed to the biggish island of Manhattan, where there are roads and thus escape routes), Magneto will try to kill everyone.  How could one ignore this? But then, the motives of those who like to hang out in Midtown are inconceivable to us anyway.

    Dustin Tobias wants a compost/flower isle. He helpfully includes colored fume clouds on the illustration.

    Various theme park concepts were also popular: Joshua Alter campaigns for "Our own Jurassic Park," Ned for a “Sopranos-style water and theme park," and dreamking for "An Escape From New York safari-theme park." David's dream is an "Abstract Expressionist Restoration Village," where visitors can witness "a Pollock impersonator paint, get drunk and crash his car nightly." R.K. wants to imprison former guvs in glass houses, "making it a true Governor's Island."

    Trace has his idea well planned out:

    the New York city energy and water purification center, a network of bicycles and trampolines that are wired to power the city, and purify wastewater, with every resident required to go over and bicycle for two hours a month. It will be fun, believe me, after you bicyle, we will serve pizza, and you get to meet the random people from your granfaloon of bicyclists.

    As does aslkdjhfalskdfhj:


    And doyle:

    Why not the world’s largest Popeye’s?

    Rick has a pervy but earnest request:

    How about a red light district? New York City is sorely lacking one.

    Has he seen UES widows when it's vodka time at luncheon? And how will you get to the ladies of the night, anyway? Well, Kevin Medina wants gondolas (gondolas!) connecting the island to Manhattan, And jacob thinks federal funding should pay for "a subway line perhaps the 1/9 or the G to the island." Simon Tsui, on the other hand, suggests "dredging the waters until Governor’s Island and Manhattan are connected by land."

    However, we like commenter Jackson Pollock's idea best of all:

    Giant Panda Wrestling Center – A place where families can gather to watch man vs panda single combat. This is SUPER! Pandas are strong but can be overcome.

    You can't spell "Governors Island" without "Panda Attack."

    [All photos from NYT]