Starting this weekend, you'll be able to travel back in time to France in the late 19th Century, just by taking a ferry ride to Governors Island. Yesterday photographer Katie Sokoler had a chance to check out Fête Paradiso for us in advance of the opening—this is the world's first festival of vintage French carnival rides and carousels, and it's making its American debut right here in NYC.
We're told "the rare, museum-quality collection, which includes a diverse array of attractions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as carousels, flying swings, carnival games and a pipe organ, will be available for the public to ride and enjoy every weekend from July 13th through September 29th." Among the attractions—which have all come from the collections of Francis Staub and Regis Masclet—is a bicycle carousel from the late 19th century (there are only two in the world, the other was featured in Midnight in Paris).
There is also an early 20th century Music-Hall Ball Guzzler, a carnival game that features life-size caricatures of Josephine Baker, Charlie Chaplin and other celebrities of the time. Apparently in France "they just play games for the sake of having fun," but they're Americanizing the experience here with prizes of lollipops.
On top of all that, there's a bumper car pavilion from 1900 that's been transformed into a beer garden and special event space, serving "food reminiscent of a French carnival" (think vichyssoise, crepes and croques-monsieur) courtesy of French bistro Le Gamin.