ATLAS OBSCURA

Imagine taking a boat to an island within visibility of one of the world’s busiest metropolises and suddenly finding yourself walking through a row of Victorian homes to a carnival that seems transported from the 19th century, with wooden carousels whirring and the sound of a calliope playing out over the trees.

This is what’s happening all summer on Governors Island in New York City, where Fête Paradiso has installed a festival of vintage French carnival rides. You can jump on one of the 28 hand-carved horses that soars up and down on the 1850 carousel, take a spin on the Flying Chairs (appearing for the first time in the United States), or have a drink in the beer garden set up in a bumper car pavilion from 1900. You can even ride on a iron and copper bicycle carousel from 1897. This “velocipedes” is one of only two bicycle carousels in the world (the other is in the Musée des Arts Forains in Paris, which Atlas Obscura rode in April), and was created when bicycle riding was still a novelty.

How you can Time Travel on the Back of a Carousel Horse at a Vintage French Carnival in NYC, on Atlas Obscura!