Don't trust Belgians!
September 19, 2009 11:44 AM   Subscribe

The lost town of Goverthing. On Governor's Island in New York City, a lost hamlet and all of its strange artifacts has been unearthed by Belgian archeological team. (Unfortunately, it's really just an art project.)
posted by fungible (13 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Seems not sufficient money, visitors or interest to hang on to Gov Island...and it may well close down to the public soon.
posted by Postroad at 12:29 PM on September 19, 2009

Really? I volunteered at Figment, and I don't remember anybody saying anything like that. Can you throw us some links?
posted by Afroblanco at 12:33 PM on September 19, 2009

I saw this the other day on Kotke and was fooled until I saw the intact jukebox. Pretty cool idea and nicely done.
posted by octothorpe at 12:33 PM on September 19, 2009

I was in the process of moving to click the links until I read the art project bit and realized I didn't have to. Whew!
posted by datter at 12:36 PM on September 19, 2009

My mother really did live on Governor's Island in the 1920's. My grandfather was stationed there because he was in the army. Every morning a soldier was required to get all of the kids on a boat that would take them to their elementary school on Pearl street on the southern tip of Manhattan. In the afternoon he would march them back form the school to the boat.
posted by Daddy-O at 12:46 PM on September 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

Wow! You know, I've spent a bunch of time on Gov's Island, and always wondered what it was like to actually live there.

Do you have any more stories about it?
posted by Afroblanco at 12:52 PM on September 19, 2009

I love the "primitive snow globe"! It reminds me of one of my favorite TVTropes, Future Imperfect.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:56 PM on September 19, 2009

My family was stationed on Governors Island twice. It was a fantastic place to live - hard to believe its part of NYC! Best view of the 1976 fireworks, too.
posted by blaneyphoto at 12:59 PM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

...a small factory in town that capitalized on a once-thriving international market for snow globes. ROFL
posted by Cranberry at 3:10 PM on September 19, 2009

That's pretty cool! I actually participated in a similar art project during the Piedmont Park Art festival in Atlanta one year in the early 90:s. It was fun, but nowhere near as elaborate as this one. If you like this sort of stuff, check out Motel of the Mysteries by David Macaulay.
posted by gemmy at 7:07 PM on September 19, 2009

Oh, so that's what that was! I ended up on Governor's Island last week without really knowing what was there, just because someone said it was cool and hey, ferry ride!! I can't say no to a ferry ride! (Like for real, if there's a ferry I must immediately abandon any prior intended destination and go get on the ferry, it's irresistable. Same thing with tunnels if I'm driving. I think this is why my friends like it when I DD.)

Anyway, I had no idea there was a festival, and I walked around and kept finding strange things and no human beings. I happened onto Goverthing, which was also eerily deserted, and it was unclear whether it was open to the public so of course I went in. But then the Belgians showed up and they were all talking Belgian and shit, so I left and hung out with the park ranger at the castle for awhile who explained that there was an art festival, but it was closed that day due to the inclement weather.

Also of note: Governor's Island has FREE BICYCLES on Fridays! (Which may also be closed due to inclement weather.)
posted by little e at 9:36 PM on September 19, 2009

I went to this on Saturday and it was great. The New Island Festival was in full swing, which made the Groverthing setup a bit more obvious as being art, since everything else on the island was weird art. Like if there are three guys wandering around in gray suits each with a fake dog on a leash, you tend to look at stuff a bit closely. But it was really well done. Besides the outdoor exhibit, there was a whole room full of fake documentation and artifacts. And they even updated all the park service maps around the island to add an "archeological dig" label.

I kind of wish I didn't know it was a hoax going in. I think it would be more fun, rather than the weird "I know you are lying to me but I'm playing along" vibe with the staff.

The festival itself was fantastic, with crazy theater all over the island and random art performances and installations. I hope they can find some way to do it annually, even though this one was a one-time thing for the 400th anniversary of the Dutch arriving in Manhattan.

Every morning a soldier was required to get all of the kids on a boat that would take them to their elementary school on Pearl street on the southern tip of Manhattan.

Interesting thing is that they are going to do the reverse next year. They are opening up a high school on the island, the Harbor School, and the kids will commute by ferry every day. Sounds like a blast.
posted by smackfu at 9:08 AM on September 21, 2009

The first thing I thought was: I want a snow globe depicting a small boy being chased by two polar bears.
posted by thekilgore at 11:49 AM on September 26, 2009

« Older Oh, Rom...   |   Does not compute Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments