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Friday, September 7, 2007

Why Can't Roosevelt Islanders Get in the Water


Roosevelt Island is a waterfront community surrounded on all sides by water but with no access to the water by its residents. A recent post lamented the fact that Roosevelt Island, unlike Long Island City and the Upper East Side which both have a boat house, kayak launch and ferry service, does not have any access to the water. Another example of a community on the East River that does provide waterfront recreation is Red Hook:

The Red Hook Boaters is a volunteer organization that is dedicated to providing waterfront access and education to the public. We launch from Louis Valentino Jr. Pier Park in Brooklyn, New York and offer programs within the protected cove area as well as open water explorations of Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Buttermilk Channel and voyages to Governors Isle.

During the past season, which begins in May and ends in October, over 500 individuals participated in our programs and we logged over 800 trips on the East River and Buttermilk Channel. As people experience and enjoy the waterfront through our programs, they become advocates for its revitalization.
The Red Hook boaters are giving Kayak lessons on Saturday, September 8 from 1-5 pm. Here is another East River waterfront organization, the Gowanus Dredgers, that provides boating lessons as well as stewardship of the river. The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, is probably the best clearinghouse for information on waterfront development and activities.

Since it is Friday and the weekend is nearly upon us, I am in the mood for some music. The video above is from one of my favorite bands, Great Big Sea, who hail from another island, Newfoundland in Canada. Many of their songs are about the sea so I thought it appropriate for this post. Also, featured in this video are The Chieftains, from another island, this one called Ireland.
Enjoy.

21 comments :

RI 360 said...

Apparently NY Mag took notice of this post. I just don't get why they refer to the East River as "frothy". I get the moat part but frothy?

Roosevelt Island Rick said...

When I get in the East River I like to add to the liquid content , if you know what I mean

Anonymous said...

Dont worry RI, with the exception of a few spots in LIC, most of the waterfront is given over to private developers who will rope it off from the community.

Garbanzo said...

Kayaking around Roosevelt Island is pretty good given the very swift currents in the East River. It's like jumping on an express train to head north or south (depending on your timing). New York City, in general, has very poor waterfront access, so don't feel particularly slighted -- the very expensive Hudson River park on Manhattan's West Side does not have water access south of 23rd Street and are only four authorized access points in all of Manhattan. Once you're on the water in a kayak or canoe, you're almost guaranteed to get the notice of the NYPD marine unit or Coast Guard. NYC is just not friendly to kayakers or canoers (but it is rewarding once you can get to the water).

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