PHOTO ESSAY: Glamping at the "Collective" Governors Island New York City - Steemitbloggers Contest Submission

mikeycolon
Mikey Colon @mikeycolonOctober 2018 · 8 min read


Want to know what it’s like to co “glamping” in an island 800 yards from Manhattan? Then read on…. so for my 41st birthday my mom and my auntie treated me and my wife to a night of glamping at the “Collective” in Governors Island in Manhattan. Now for the uninitiated glamping is made up word that consists of glamorous + camping, as it’s not really roughing it when there’s electricity and access to running water and a bathroom. But more on the accommodations later…

GETTING THERE

Governors Island is only accessible via ferry. So we decided to grab a ride from Long Island City Queens as it was the cheapest place to park (vs Brooklyn or Manhattan).

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The journey begins...

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For those curious I chose to use my 70-200mm f2.8 telephoto lens to get closer shots of the city. While on a speedy ferry, you don't have the luxury of time to setup your shots so I had to work fast to do my best to get some money shots...

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I wasn't sure which version to share with you guys - so I'm sharing both the color and black and white version...

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Talk about a killer office view!

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CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW TO CHECK OUT SOME VIDEO FOOTAGE (Excuse the grainy footage as the partition was pretty dirty):

Some shots of the Williamsburg Bridge...

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This bridge should need no introduction...

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It was at this point we had to transfer ferries as there is no direct connection from Queens strait to Governors Island. And for those wondering if you can make transfers on the NYC ferry - the answer is yes.

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On to the second leg of the ferry trip...

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Now this ferry terminal is older than yo mama! The Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal was built in 1903 and it's amazing to see the juxtaposition between this ancient relic and the modern buildings in the background.

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WE MADE IT!


So the first order of business was to rent some bikes for the day. But when I see a Mister Softee ice cream truck you know I have to get a twist with chocolate sprinkles.

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Another "fun fact" (I'm being sarcastic on this one) do you know what some people call chocolate sprinkles in Boston? Answer is "Jimmies". Think Jim Crow and use your imagination to fill in the blanks. Even in some donut and ice cream shops that I've been to it says Jimmies on the sign. Anyway...

Before we decided to take a loop around the island we decided to check in.

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Overall the rooms / tents are really nice. The bed sheets were clean and there's electricity (so it's not really roughing it). With the higher end tents there's actually a bathroom inside, whereas the one we had the bathrooms are shared. But it's not a big deal as at lest there's running water and electricity!

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CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON FOR SOME BRIEF VIDEO FOOTAGE...

 

So before we embarked on our loopty loop around the island I setup my tripod so we can take a shot. I composed the image, put it on a 10 second timer - and walah!

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Talk about a restaurant with a stunning view!

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I'm not 100% sure what is meant by "inclusive". I'd like to know your theory!

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Apparently there used to be a fire fighter training site here. I guess it explains the broken windows...

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While on our loop around the island I saw this massive ship. Turns out the Queen Mary 2 was in town! This sucker is massive. It's like the size of a skyscraper laying down.

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I remember there was a lot of hype before the Queen Mary's maiden voyage. Just for fun I had a brochure delivered to me and holy cow was it expensive - like $10,000 a person expensive! Not only that but based on the photos in the catalog it's super formal. Even people laying down on the bed where in business casual attire - LOL. It was a treat to see it in person as I know it's a luxurious cruise ship and it was cool to see it. And in case you're wondering it was headed to Florida. Not very exotic sounding, but oh well.

LOOK WHAT WE HAVE HERE!

When we were on the ferry there were people really dressed up. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I got wind of a 1920 jazz concert going on. Once we heard the music, we decided to head over to check it out...

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And all I kept saying to myself was "THIS IS FREAKING COOL!". 🤯🤯🤯 For starters I really dug the music. Not that I have 1920's jazz era music on my phone, but when music is good - music is good!

Here's a video I found to give you guys an idea at to what was going on (circa 2014):

Now for me, the second mind blowing part was the effort people put into their outfits. Some even accessorized down to the picnic basket!

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And even a vintage bike...

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The third part that was freaking cool - was the fact that everyone was so happy! As a photographer, you add all these elements up and it's a recipe for some magical photos...

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TIME TO MAKE TAKING A STAB - AT SOMETHING SPECIAL

Photography is about "making" photos and not "taking" taking photos. So I decided to bring with me my neutral density filter.

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You can see it attached to the end of my lens. Essentially it's like putting sunglasses on your camera so you can take longer / slower exposures in the day. Check this out...

Here's a regular exposure taken at 160th of a second:


Now here's a special shot taken at 82 seconds:


And just for fun, here's a black and white version...


The thing about shooting with ND filters is that it'll slow you down as you have to use a tripod and if you're not happy with (let's say a 1 minute exposure) you'll have to start again. You can literally be trying to achieve what you envision in the same spot for over an hour. I didn't have an hour since I did have my wife with me so I did my best to work fast!

My time was limited so I decided to shoot the Statue of Liberty with the ND filter on...


As a photographer a winning recipe for a money shot is sunset / sunrise photo + location. Since I was in the right place at the right time plus I was daydreaming of an epic sunset shot at Governors Island I used an app to check the time and location.

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I was hoping that the sunset would be behind the city - but it turned out it was just to the right of the Statue of Liberty.

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Now that I had the time and exact location it was time to take another spin around the island until dinner time.

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The food was delicious, but my initial reaction was "where's the beef"? I probably just aged myself with this reference! Back in my day it was a popular term that came from this commercial:

Welp the sunset wasn't picturesque and it was a bummer. This was the best shot I was able to make via using the and editing in HDR (high dynamic range):



I MUST BE A VAMPIRE!

I can sleep for 10 hours and wake up at 7am and still be tired. I've never been a morning person and I always get sluggish everyday in the late afternoon. But once 6/7pm comes around I come alive! So far it was a long day. Factor in driving from Boston the night before, getting there via ferry, the heat and pretty much biking all day I was feeling exhausted. But once the sun was going down I was getting pumped up.

Why you ask? That's because my favorite genre of photography is shooting at night! The following images don't need an explanation so I'll let them speak for themselves. But I will say I was getting eaten alive by bugs and I found it amusing how everyone was asleep in the camp by 8:30! LOL









Fun fact - you get fined if you're busted outside of the camp grounds you'll get a fine. I believe it was about $100. I didn't feel like being questioned by authorities so I stayed just outside of the entrance. Maybe next year I'll roll the dice.

Well this is where my story ends. The next day we had to take different ferries back as the routes change during the week.



WOULD WE DO THIS AGAIN?

The answer is a resounding HELL YEAH! Next year we're going to time it so we'll be there for the jazz festival, get tickets and stay an extra day. And I definitely want to take portraits of people attending the festival instead of only shooting candid shots.

A special thank you goes out to Mom and Helen for this wonderful birthday gift!

That's it for now folks. I hope you enjoyed reading this and if you'd like to purchase prints or license any images don't hesitate to reach out!

Mikey Colon
🌍 www.colonphoto.com
🖥 [email protected]
📞 917-703-0346

I’m available in New York City, Boston & worldwide!

Posted from my blog - check out colonphoto.com for more!


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1712
Comments

This is such a post! I wonder how I have never come across your post before. This is truly amazing work and I love all your photos.

I'm not 100% sure what is meant by "inclusive". I'd like to know your theory!

I think they meant , everyone uses the same bathroom! LOLOL

I definitely want to take portraits of people attending the festival

I so want to!!! hahaha Always love to be in the beautiful pics! :D

Very very great post! Love it!


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Oh! No wonder why, I just checked you site. You're a pro!!!!


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Thanks for the kind words.


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Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. I'm still not sure what is meant by the bathroom thing - but next year I'll investigate - lol.

Get your butt over to NYC next year. There are a lot of Thai places to eat here so you'll feel at home!


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Standing applause for you, @mickeycolon , not only for the beautiful photography, but for the fresh and lovely way you describe you birthday tour. I've never been to New York, but after seeing your photos and videos, I'm sure is something I must do at least once in my life. Congratulations for your extraordinary work.


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Thank you! NYC is most definitely a bucket list worthy place to visit. If you ever do decide to go and I'm in town let me know and I'll show you around town!


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Thanks, you are very kind!


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Hi @mikeycolon,

Wow, great work as always. I grew up on the Jersey Shore in the shadows of New York City. We could walk a couple blocks to the beach and look across to see the bridges, the skyline, and the Statue of Liberty. I now live in middle America and miss those views. Your photo essay brings back many great memories.

This post was nominated by a @curie curator to be featured in an upcoming Author Showcase that will be posted in about 12-24 hours on the @curie blog.

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Thanks for your time and for creating great content.
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I'm glad you liked the post! I lived in NYC the majority of my life - but never went to the Jersey Shore. I had coworkers that lived there but never made the time to take them on their offer to visit.

I'm sure living in the Oklahoma has a completely different vibe! Especially coming from big cities.

I'd be honored to be featured in the Author Showcase! I'll email you an addendum to add at the end via an email and feel free to excerpt any text as you see fit.

Thanks Gene for the time and support!


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Facinante tour, best day impossible, from departure to dusk, I loved the photographs of the architecture of the bay, good choice to use the neutral density filter, then I must say I'm looking at at least an hour, the photographs of the jazz party, I have gone twice to new york, my grandmother lived in boston and took me for a walk, but it's a pity she didn't think of that route, of course at that time he was a child and he wasn't a photographer:(but without doubt, if I go back to use, I will not hesitate to make that fascinating and beautiful tour.

Thank you for sharing this excellent post, worthy of curie and steemit bloggers too.

Greetings peace and love, I will be watching your other publications.


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Thanks for the feedback and for taking the time to write your thoughts - I really appreciate it! If you ever plan on coming to NYC again let me know as it'd be great to link up with a fellow Steemian! Plus I can show you the "real" New York.

Thanks again - HUGS


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bengy
Bengy @bengyOctober 2018

Wow, I've heard of glamping... but I've never actually seen it. It's is a pretty luxurious way to hit the outdoors! Quite strange setting to have it in such a big city though!


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The hardest part was taking a cold shower. The collective has other locations too (but not as cool as NYC). Check it out: https://www.collectiveretreats.com/


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bengy
Bengy @bengyNovember 2018

Oh man, cold showers are the absolute worst! They're supposed to be good for you, I think.... But it is just too much of a shock to the system!


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For real! That's what I hear but I just can't do it. Brrrrrr


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What an amazing post!! Thank you for taking us along! That concert looked like so much fun!!! Thank you!


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I'm glad you dig it! It took me a while to get this out and I appreciate that you appreciate it. LOL


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Travel through your lens was entertaining, black and white photography captured the imagination each time, keep clicking!

Jazz band outing, an era to be celebrated and must have been fun.

Campsite looked amazing with city skyline in the background, excellent photography captures @mikeycolon

Visiting from #steemitblogger


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I'm glad you enjoyed the post! Stay tuned for more monster posts in the future. :D


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janton
Jonboy @jantonNovember 2018

haha! howdy sir mikeycolon! wow this was a fantastic post. So many great shots and scenery, I can't wait for next years trip! That 20's gathering and show was simply amazing! Great job on all of it sir!


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Thanks man! I'm glad you dig it.

I think the 20's Jazz festival really took our trip to the next level. It was very serendipitous to say the least!


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janton
Jonboy @jantonNovember 2018

yes sir it was amazing and that made if one of the funnest posts of the year!


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Congratulations! Your high-quality travel content was selected by @travelfeed curator @for91days and earned you a reward, in form of a 100% upvote and a resteem. Your work really stands out! Your article now has a chance to get featured under the appropriate daily topic on our TravelFeed blog.
Thank you for being part of the TravelFeed community!

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Awesome thanks for the support!


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jocqua
jocqua @jocquaOctober 2018

Nice post man! I really enjoyed the jazz festival and all the photos of people in 20's garb. I had no idea so many people would take it that seriously hahaha It's so cool to see! There's something very special about that era. Seems like it was such a cool time.

I loved your long exposures of the tents in the foreground and the city in the background. Your sunset photo wasn't all that bad either.

Thanks for sharing you trip with steemit!


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For real - people went all out and go over the top! I don't know if you've ever played Fallout 3 & 4 - but that's what the music sounded like. Perhaps that's where I got the appreciation for that style of music.

I was hoping for an epic sunset - but that's the nature of, uhhh, nature I guess.

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

✌️


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jocqua
jocqua @jocquaNovember 2018

No problem man! I'm a HUGE fan of Fallout. I've played them since the very first one. I know exactly what you're talking about and I love that kind of style. It's one of my favorite time periods. Hearing that music live would be pretty awesome.

I recently had a similar experience with the sun hahaha only on sunrise. Not much you can do when those clouds roll in.

Cheers!


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