Manhattan Sunbathers Get Their First Public Beach, but No Swimming

There’s nothing like Manhattan in the summer: poorly dressed offices spill out of restaurants (and strewn with rose water), firecrackers explode whenever possible; It all started with the smell of stinking hot garbage. New Yorkers yearn to escape to the beach during those hot months to sunbathe, flirt and sometimes entertain their kids, but most options take the time to take the subway if you don’t live nearby, such as Coney Island or the Far Rockaways (it’s in the name; they’re far away). Or there’s Fire Island and the Hamptons — all far from the city.

Now, you don’t have to travel miles for a beach experience—somewhat. Later in the summer of 2023, a brand new sandy escape will open in the West Village—Manhattan’s first public beach. You just can’t swim.

“If you see the Christopher Street Pier in the summer, it’s covered with sunbathers,” Day said. “People want a place to lie down and take off their shirts, and that’s what they’re going to get here.” T-minus 9 months until this place becomes a high traffic dating app spot.

James Corner Field Operations/Courtesy of Hudson River Park Trust

Noreen Doyle, CEO of the Hudson River Park Trust, told The Daily Beast: Gansevoort Peninsula Park, has revealed plans for a five-and-a-half-acre theme park on the Hudson River Waterfront, right next to the Museum of Art American Art Whitney. While you can sunbathe on the south-facing beach, please don’t swim: despite what you may have read inside time Recently, New York is Not become LA and if you take a dip in the Hudson you may be at risk of hypothermia or contracting a strange virus.

“We made it clear from the start that this is not a beach to swim in,” Doyle said. “The Hudson River has made great progress in terms of health since the Clean Water Act was passed in the 1970s, but it was not designed as a swimming beach.”

The park also includes a 220 foot x 316 foot sports field for adults and children that can be used for a number of different sports, landing areas for small boats and kayaks, a promenade shady trees, strips of native grass to relax in and even a salt marsh, a feature that is unique to the Manhattan side of the Hudson River, to “improve the habitat,” Doyle said. The Foundation has also installed several baby oysters in small water structures on the north side of the park to improve the river environment for the fishes that swim there.

James Corner Field Operations/Courtesy of Hudson River Park Trust

Overall, the beach covers only a narrow strip on the south side of the park, but it is dotted with wide umbrellas and benches. About half of the space is dedicated to the large sports field, and between the yard and the beach is a green lawn dotted with trees that look perfect for hours of relaxation. A wide path in the middle cuts the park in half, and visitors can also cross the border, making their way to an open pier for a better view of the Jersey skyline.

“The reason it’s called the beach goes back 25 years when the park was conceptually planned, though,” says Karen Tamir, landscape architect and urban designer at James Corner Field. although there is still not enough money for it. Active, told The Daily Beast. When JCFO received a request for design proposals from the Hudson River Park trust, “the process went with the beach,” Tamir said. “There have been discussions before that we are not part of a community that has mandated” inclusion on a beach.

After performing wave analysis of the Hudson River, the JCFO architects assigned to the project determined that it was not feasible to build a beach that slopes down to the water—“the first storm It’s going to wipe it all out,” says architectural designer Cricket Day—so the group decided to perch on the beach on a solid rock wall that could, instead, be used as a landing spot. kayak bout.

As one can imagine, community discussions about what should and should not be included in the park are lively. When the Hudson River Park Trust began designing the park in 2019, the local NYC baseball and football leagues—collectively known as as a champion—to be pushed to the sports field immediately.

James Corner Field Operations/Courtesy of Hudson River Park Trust

“There were petitions as part of the process and whoever carried the torch on the sports field did a great job, as they were present in all the meetings,” Tamir said. They have children with them and they have parents with them.

“I think the most important thing is the sports sector,” Tamir said. “We struggled with that. It’s a very large field, and we’ve tried variations and subdivisions, smaller and multipurpose. Every combination just to go back to really make it as big as possible.”

Representatives for Community Board 2 in Manhattan did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

For decades, the park area has been occupied by the Department of Sanitation, Doyle said. Now it’s done 180: adjacent to the beach is last daymammoth permanent art installation by artist David Hammons is fully funded by the Whitney Museum of American Art and donated to the public. Whitney could not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.

James Corner Field Operations/Courtesy of Hudson River Park Trust

The work is based on another work of the same name by the artist Gordon Matta-Clarkin which he tries to drill holes in Pier 52, a 19th century industrial building, and discovers that it is a popular queer flying point. hammock’ last day looks like the bare bones of a pier; it’s the same size as the original Pier 52 building, but it doesn’t block the view.

The Daily Beast asked if the park is LGBTQ-friendly.

“Hudson River Park has had a historic and notable LGBTQ+ community presence throughout our long journey and we hope this continues in Gansevoort,” said Doyle. “last day directly links the Peninsula to the historic presence of the LGBTQ community in the area. In the neighborhood, we’ve got two memorials—one LGBTQ+ memorial and the other an AIDS memorial—and of course, there’s the fact that we think the sunny lawn, the yard sports, dog tracks and all the other great features on the Peninsula to be used and enjoyed by everyone.”

“We think the configuration of the site is unique,” ​​added Doyle. “Most of our park colleagues are long and skinny, and in this case, we have a 5.5-acre site that will give everyone a unique perspective on the water, about the Hudson River, about our cityscape, and about our neighborhoods. peers.”

James Corner Field Operations/Courtesy of Hudson River Park Trust

Keith Neuscheler, Senior Project Manager at Gilbane Construction for the Gansevoort Peninsula Park project, told The Daily Beast he thinks the public will love the park. “There is something for everyone, from dog walkers to people who just want to sit by the water to the community that wants to play sports. Everything is here. There aren’t too many places in the city where you can do all that at once.”

And while you still shouldn’t swim in the Hudson, New Yorkers have always found a silver lining.

“It’s going to be the only place you can stick your toes in the sand in Manhattan, so it’s pretty cool,” Neuschler said.

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