Best Governors Island Redevelopment Proposal Yet: Jail!

For all the hype surrounding Governors Island's conversion to a year-round marshy playland some time in 2013, the darn thing almost didn't have enough money to open for business this summer. Maybe the princely polo matches and fake beaches and wooden bicycles need to be put on the back burner for something more realistic, Times columnist Clyde Habderman writes. Maybe the old army base floating near the Statue of Liberty needs to become...a prison! Yes indeed, Haberman takes a friend's idea to send the Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Governors Island and runs with it, albeit admitting that a Supermax prison 800 yards from Manhattan probably won't fly. And what would happen if any attempted escapees opted for the shortest swim to land, across the Buttermilk Channel to Red Hook? Then God help them:

No doubt, some will worry about Governors Island's proximity to the mainland. It is even closer to Red Hook, Brooklyn, than it is to Manhattan. But we’d like to see the prisoners try to escape, let alone swim to Red Hook. To rework a Bogart line from "Casablanca," that's a section of New York we wouldn't advise Al Qaeda to mess with.

Damn right! We've witnessed the fury of a thousand waiting Fairway shoppers when a cashier merely needed a price check. Imagine all that aggression unleashed on neighborhood invaders who don't even plan on supporting the local economy by popping into Baked for a scone.

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