Part of why Greenpoint is so special is because of our waterfront location. And while many still make disgusted faces when thinking of getting anywhere near the Newtown Creek or The East River, others are paddling up our local waterways and even fishing off our piers.
We still have a long way to go before we can even safely touch the water, but with more awareness and recreation on our waterways, the faster they will be cleaned up for future generations to enjoy.
City of Water Day, which is taking place this Saturday July 20th is “a celebration of the potential of the waterfront,” and lots of events are going on nearby.
While nothing specifically is organized on Greenpoint’s waterfront, enjoy a picnic in Transmitter Park or at the Newtown Creek Nature Walk or watch the sunset on the India St Pier or the Manhattan Ave Streetend Park. We have lots of waterfront access in Greenpoint.
If you want to travel to the other end of Brooklyn, Greenpointers who brought you the Newtown Creek Armada along with the Gowanus Dredgers & Brooklyn Atlantis are taking on our sister super-fund waterway, The Gowanus Canal with the Gowanus Voyage, an interactive public boat pond on the Gowanus Canal in which you can explore above and below the surface of this historic waterway by piloting miniature remote control boats and aquatic robots equipped with video cameras and environmental sensors. Gowanus Voyage will take place on Saturday, July 20th, from 1pm-6pm at the 2nd Street boat launch near Bond Street in Brooklyn and is presented with the support of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club. The rain date will be Sunday, July 21st.
Dudes! The Fourth of July has passed. August is fast approaching. Sure, this constant humidity and 90 degree heat sucks and begs us to stay indoors in front of the AC racking up the electric bill, but we cannot let Mother Nature win!
Autumn’s cool breeze will be blowing leaves in our faces before we know it. We’ve got to take charge and make the most out of the last of our summer weeks. Here are a few inexpensive suggestions to help you end these hot, sunny days with a BANG.
1. Bike to Coney Island
I dare you! It’s not as far as you think. Well, it is, but it’s a pretty flat, easy route and once you arrive you can eat a hot dog at Nathan’s, jump in the ocean depending on how hardcore you are, and then brag to your friends that you biked 26+ miles. Once you get past Prospect Park, you’re on the Ocean Parkway Greenway for a little more than 4 miles. This bike path is mostly shaded and separate from the street so it’s safe and for the most part a pretty sweet ride. If you’re one of those New Yorkers who’s never been to the historic amusement park, I highly recommend it. Heck, I demand it. It’s equal parts awe-inspiring and gross, but will dazzle you nonetheless. Also, you’ve got to ride the Cyclone at least once in your life.
We live in the best borough in the world! Instead of spending money on a plane ticket, we decided to take a much needed staycation in Brooklyn. Hotel Williamsburg was generous to sponsor Greenpointers for a two night stay, while we toured the area. We were tempted to lock ourselves in the hotel room and listen to records all weekend. The gigantic plush king size bed was a main attraction and we found ourselves making giant Xs and saying, “I miss you, where are you?” The window from the bedroom into the bathroom made urinating very interesting and the view of McCarren Park’s red tailed hawk pair was a score! We had an intinerary, not a very ambitious one. The beauty of the staycation is you don’t have to fit it all in because there is always next weekend.
Friday night we took the East River Ferry over to Dumbo for a nostalgic ride on Jane’s Carousel. There isn’t a better view of Brooklyn than from the ferry and there isn’t a better spot for an old timey carousel than under the Brooklyn Bridge, which is housed in a modern glass building. And $2 per ride makes this a great budget attraction. Continue reading →
Earlier this week, I greeted my work day aboard the upper deck of the East River Ferry, which just started service from Greenpoint’s brand new India St. Pier. My fellow passengers and I lined the ships railings like wide-eyed pilgrims, taking in the curious wonders of the shoreline as we passed. We arrived at 34th street in under ten minutes, our sea legs barely earned.
Once in Manhattan however, the connecting shuttle bus detailed on the pier’s ferry map failed to materialize and I ended up walking the twenty or so blocks to my midtown office. I did eye some possible pre-ferry/after work watering holes within the squeaky clean blocks of Murray Hill (Pinetree Lodge you may have a Greenpoint regular). I would recommend bringing your bike as the travel options from that far east on the island are pretty limited and are not eligible for a transfer. Over all the experience was pleasant but not entirely practical.
The weekend service was a different story. On Saturday, my girlfriend and I waited for twenty-five minutes amongst a growing crowd on the pier, which was shadeless and hot in the mid-morning sun. The boat eventually docked and soon a ferryman approached us from the opposite side of the gate. “Only 6 of you…” He told the crowd of about fifty, a dozen of them a group of teenage bicyclists perhaps hoping to spend the day riding and picnicking on the lush greens of Governors Island. The lucky few hurried on board, the rest of us left to wait another half-hour on the pier, or to give up entirely.
I’m sure ridership will drop-off significantly once NY Waterways begins charging four-dollars a ride and I do understand that they need a few weeks to work out the kinks (they’ve already issued and advisory addressing capacity issues), but their slogan “Relax. We’ll get you there.” might take some time to stick. Our neighborhood has been underserviced for a long time and the Ferry is certainly part of the solution, but it may take some coordination with the MTA before a sea voyage becomes a practical part of many Greenpointers commutes.
The East River Ferry starts running tomorrow, and Greenpoint is lucky enough to have a stop via India Street. Service is every 20 minutes during peak hours (7:30am-9:30am and 4:30pm-7:00pm) and every 30 minutes the rest of the day (ending at 9pm). It’s free for the first two weeks, so make sure you get a ride in before the fares begin (one way tickets will be $4). Check out the whole schedule and fare list here and a list of the local sponsors here.
You can bet your booty that I’ll be taking a boat to work tomorrow, even though I work a mile away and this is sure to take much longer. But come on! FREE BOAT RIDE! WEEEEE!!!!!
June 13th is the day the new East River Ferry will launch its service connecting Dumbo, North and South Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City to Lower and Midtown Manhattan. And until June 25th it’ll be FREE.