Labor Day Weekend as an American Cliché

When we last left our hero (me), she was attempting a move uptown but evil villain movers were thwarting her plan.  After a battle with an armoire, a screaming match with the a-hole moving company owner, a perilous ride in the front seat of a truck smooshed between 3 grown men, and the aid of my darling friend Walter, I emerged victorious. More or less. Everything got moved and that’s all that matters. A week later, it feels like home. From where I stand, there was only one moving casualty. It always has to be something.

I woke up Tuesday, the day after Labor Day, refreshed and ready to get back to work. I was going to be a good little blogger, write about my weekend in the timeliest of fashions, including dozens of pictures, it was going to be great. And then I couldn’t find my camera USB connector. Buzz buzz! I ripped my newly organized room apart in search of the thing. To no avail. I racked my brain, called friends whose apartments I had recently visited. To no avail. I ransacked my room again, double checking every nook and cranny. Nowhere. That’s how I spent my week in the greatest city on earth. Is there a worse feeling? When you have a plan and then forces beyond your control thwart it? Just like my movers. It’s always something. Yesterday I gave up and went to Best Buy and purchased a universal USB connector. Today I write this belated post. Without further ado:

Governor’s Island, swimming distance (if swimming were allowed/advisable) from the southern tip of Manhattan, is a fantastical place. A former military base, only accessible by a five-minute ferry ride from Manhattan, populated only with abandoned buildings and summer attractions. It is open only on weekends from May 26-September 30. “Governors Island offers a diverse array of arts, cultural and recreational activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy.” say’s their website. I have been meaning to go for years, but again, it was always something: I was away for the summer, it’s a whole ferry ride away, I work weekends, I’m a lazy excuse-spewing American cliché. Nothing motivates an American cliché like money, which is exactly what finally brought me to Governor’s Island. I booked a job for Labor Day weekend working an event called “Pig Island”.

A company I frequently do promotions for was sponsoring the event. A huge cook-out with everything pork with tickets at $100 a pop. A vegan’s nightmare. Miranda was working with me and we anticipated a perfect day. Sunny, warm, a picturesque ferry ride, and all-access passes to a plethora of pork. We arrived at the 9AM ferry with plenty of time to stroll aboard. The island doesn’t open until 10AM, this ferry was specifically for event workers and we felt blissful to avoid the crowds. We wandered up to the top deck which had a great view of the harbor and bridges.

It was almost nine when we received a text from our 22 year old and ridiculously disorganized manager. She had forgotten the long grilling tongs for the grill and was asking us to buy some and save the receipt. Miranda and I looked at each other, “It’s always something!” We hurried to exit the ferry only to arrive at the moment of its departure. We could have jumped back to shore with no problem, had there been no ferry personnel stationed strictly to prevent such attempts. Instead, we were stuck on a roundtrip ferry ride. Not a bad way to spend a morning, it sure beat setting up a tent and firing up the grill! The return trip to Manhattan, we were the only members of the public on the ferry, the only people to go to the top deck. I’ve never been somewhere so deserted in a public space in Manhattan. It was so cool, I’d even recommend it as a trip.

The view of Manhattan from Governor’s Island.

If you ever find yourself in Lower Manhattan looking for long grilling tongs at the end of the summer, let me save you some time. You won’t find them. Not at Bed Bath and Beyond, not at hardware stores that assure you over the phone that they do have them (liars), nowhere. They are as impossible to find as my USB connector. I can’t speak for Memorial Day weekend, but come Labor Day there is not a long tong to be found south of Canal. Two hours later, medium-sized tongs were just going to have to suffice. Paired with gloves, they did just fine. We spent the rest of the day  grilling sausages, trying all different brews of Sixpoint beer (Bengal Tiger was my favorite. The only thing better than drinking at a barbecue is drinking while on the job, one thing my 22 year-old manager has going for her.), and sampling every pork dish in the festival. Best, most American, Labor Day weekend ever.

My first time behind a grill! I even learned how to light charcoal. Now I’m truly an American cliche!

And for Governor’s Island? I liked it so much, I am going back this weekend for a music festival and to explore some more!

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

One thought on “Labor Day Weekend as an American Cliché

  1. Next time you are at Uncle Johnny’s house, look for the picture of your Dad, our Grandpa, and me. It’s upstairs between the two guest rooms. Your Dad is striking a pose, similar to that of yours in this photo, by the grill, in the backyard of 372. Xoxoxox

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