I’ve spent a good portion of my life obsessed with Peter Pan and Neverland. When I was little, I fantasized about Peter materializing at my window, holding out his hand, and flying me off to his magical island. Then one night, I discovered a real magical island much closer to home.
We lived in Queens at the time, on a street that happened to be the highest point in the borough. On a sultry late summer afternoon, the neighborhood kids congregated at the street’s pinnacle for a spirited game of Red Rover. As twilight fell, I glanced off in the distance and saw lights twinkling on an island against a pink and gold sky. I swore one day I would live in that Neverland, which turned out to be Manhattan. And I did.
Life often takes us in unexpected directions. A career change necessitated a move from my beloved city to its polar opposite, Los Angeles. I’ve never quite gotten over this geographical 180, and relish every return to the city of my dreams. On a recent trip, thanks to one of my closet friends, I got to experience the newest amazing addition to the already amazing Big Apple: a real-life Neverland called Little Island.
Little Island is the brainchild of media mogul Barry Diller. Its location alone is fascinating, with a connection to the Titanic. You can read about it here. Laurie, my bestie and in this case also my Peter Pan, got us a reservation for 8:30 p.m.
We arrived at this manmade marvel to the first glimmer of twilight.
We hiked its paths, taking in glorious views. Downtown, the new Freedom Tower, replacement and somber reminder of the World Trade Center lost on 9/11…
Uptown, the iconic Empire State Building, where my dad once had an office…
Laurie and I lingered for more than an hour, until nightfall brought this stunning sight…
A second Neverland now graces the original Neverland of my beloved Manhattan. And this Little Island in the big city gives me hope that magic is still possible in the world.
Peter Pan would be jealous.
Readers, is there a magical place where you live? I’m sure there is!