Fête Paradiso

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This weekend, I took a 9-minute boat ride to 19th century France.  Before you get me a strait jacket, let me explain…

For the last few months, Governors Island – an abandoned military post just off the southern tip of Manhattan – has been home to Fête Paradiso, an authentic 19th century French carnival.

Walking into the carnival was like being transported to another time and place – the sounds of bygone carousel music mingled with the calls of peddlers in pinstriped vests spinning cotton candy.  It was a French film come to life – (Woody Allen was probably hiding in the bushes filming the whole thing).

My friend remarked that New York City was the perfect setting for something like this because – even though it’s constantly changing – the city always wears a certain patina from the past.  I think that’s one reason I love it here so much – not just because I can still see where the homeless guy peed on my apartment building last week, but because I can still see the place where my family first touched American soil in the early 1900s.  It’s all here!

And for a brief moment in time, 19th century France was here, too, with its flying boats and wooden Mickey.

Have you ever been to an event like this in your city?  Would love to hear about it!

And check out the pictures below (replete with creepy photos of empty officer housing on the island – you just KNOW there are ghosts here, right?!)  Here’s to wishing you a whimsy-filled Monday!

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