Give Me Your Kite Fliers, Your Pork Roast, Your Pot-Smoking Teenagers Yearning to See Bloc Party

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We still like Calatrava's proposed gondola.


Governors Island is a unique spot: It's 172 acres in the middle of New York harbor featuring a shoreline facing Lady Liberty, landmarked forts, and small hills perfect for sled runs. And as the city and state plan to convert the new-abandoned military base into a public park, you'd like to think the Governors Island Preservation & Education Corporation could come up with an equally unique plan. You'd be disappointed. Last night Leslie Koch, who heads the city-state entity, announced five finalists for a landscape-design competition. The group includes Field Operations, which is overhauling Fresh Kills; Diller Scofidio & Renfro, Field Operations’ partner on the High Line redevelopment; and Weiss Manfredi, currently beloved for a riverside park in Seattle — which suggests we're heading toward a Governors Island scheme that is perfectly competent but unlikely to be original. What uses should these designers have in mind? Koch proposes multiday music festivals, kite-flying, and cookouts. “Grilling," she notes, "is illegal in most city parks." Fair enough. But can't we come up with some more thrilling plans? Here's the best hope: The gossamer gondola that Santiago Calatrava sketched for the mayor’s office last summer remains under consideration. Public comment begins this summer. —Alec Appelbaum

Governors Island Preservation & Education Corporation [Official site]