Childhood memories tend to gloss over the rough edges of history, softening the focus on hard details in favor of a perception of happier times. That's especially the case when there's a reunion like the one recently held on Governors Island for children who grew up on "the greatest 172 acres on the planet.” The New York Times has an account of the reunion of Coast Guard brats were raised on the ice cream cone-shaped island in New York harbor held this weekend. Adults who grew up on the base before it was decommissioned and sold to the city remember it as a haven from the violence and social problems that plagued the rest of the city. Doors were left unlocked and kids were free to explore the island that featured a swimming pool, a bowling alley, and a golf course. The picture above shows two teenagers posing in swimsuits with lower Manhattan in the background. Much like 1 WTC today, the Twin Towers are in mid-construction and downtown's skyline seems much less dense. One thing this idealized harbor halcyon lacked: a hammock grove.
Governors Island in 1959:
· At Governors Island Reunion, Childhood Bonds Endure [NYT]
· Governors Island coverage [Curbed]