A Bite of the Big Apple

After a brief trip to my hometown of Stamford, CT, the Boundless crew was off to New York for a refreshing new outlook on the city and a broadened view beyond Manhattan.

Our first NY stop was Port Washington, a great stopover for boaters before heading to NYC. They have free, town maintained mooring balls and a nice dinghy dock in a broad, protected harbor. There’s a grocery store, laundromat, boat store, and restaurants all an easy walk from the dinghy dock.  Our first day in Port Washington was a “chore day” including a massive laundry trip and our first “kid boat” dinner with another boat family with teens.

Laundry backpacks are unloaded from the dinghy.
Boatschool at the laundromat

The next day we took an Uber to the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. This was a must do stop for us given Andy’s movie making and game design boatschool classes. It was an interesting museum housed in the former grounds of the famed Astoria studios. If you ever wondered what the heck all those people do that are listed on the credits after a movie, this museum is for you. And we loved the classic video game exhibit where we got to play and introduce the kids to the old video games. After the museum, we enjoyed a stroll through the Astoria section of Queens and pupusas at a classic Salvadoran restaurant – yum!

Some of the studios are still operating next to the museum

We left Port Washington at first light to time our trip down the East River and through the famous Hell Gate currents at slack tide when the currents are lowest. Then we continued down the river and around the tip of Manhattan.

Doug at the helm in the East River

Having grown up outside of NYC and traveling there often with work, I’m familiar with the city, but this day was a totally different way to see the city from the inside looking out. We peered down streets, into factories and up at skyscrapers along the way. Some of the highlights:

  • Being surprised at how much of the shore along the East River is parkland and the number of people running, walking and enjoying parks.
  • Passing the UN and contemplating all that goes on there.
  • Getting our first glimpse of Freedom Tower in the distance and watching it get larger as we went along. My emotions got the best of me as I remembered the sadness and fear I experienced as I held 5-week old Andy and watched the towers fall. The feelings are still raw all these years later.
  • Enjoying the beauty of the Statue of Liberty – both physical beauty and what she represents about our history of immigration and being a place of refuge and hope.
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

Click below to see a video of our trip up the East River.

We spent the next 6 days at Liberty Landing Marina located on the grounds of Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. It’s right across the Hudson River from Manhattan, so our morning view was the lower Manhattan skyline. And it was only a few minute ferry ride from the marina to the city. Liberty State Park is absolutely beautiful. Doug and I ran most days we were there. It was ~2 miles from the marina to the end of a path that goes along the river and behind Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The Manhattan skyline was to our left and the Statue in front for most of the run out. Then we would turn around and get the opposite view going back. Absolutely stunning and very motivating to go for a run!

View of Manhattan on our daily run
The Statue is cool from the back as well

Most days we followed our typical schedule – boat school in the morning for the kids and chores/planning for the adults. Then off for fun in the afternoons. And fun it was. After loving NYC as a kid from the suburbs, the city had lost much of its luster in the last number of years. I went there often with work and that usually meant getting up before dawn to make the early train from DC and NYC, hailing cabs or fighting subway crowds to get to meetings all day, catching an evening train home, then getting home late after driving back to Virginia. NYC had become mostly tiring. This trip reintroduced me to how great NYC can be. We also enjoyed exploring beyond Manhattan. Some of the things we did:

  • Saw two Broadway musicals, Hamilton and Come from Away. Hamilton was a must see given Erin’s Hamilton obsession and Come From Away was surprisingly great – the family was spilt on which one was better!
  • Checked out the amazing architecture of the NY Public Library. I had never thought to visit before, but it’s well worth it.
  • Ventured to the NY Botanical Gardens in the Bronx to see the Chihuly blown glass exhibit. We went in the evening for “Chihuly Nights”. The glass installations were lit giving them a unique beauty and there were musicians playing throughout the gardens, from classical guitar to a world music dance band. So fun!
Chihuly exhibit
More Chihuly
  • Andy and Doug toured NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn while Erin and I shopped. It was the first campus that Andy seems really excited about.
  • Walked the Highline park where we visited the spot where Doug and I first planned the outline of this trip. And as we exited the park, we happened upon the Samsung 837 installation where we checked out the latest in virtual reality games and other fun technological innovations.
  • Ate a lot of great food from many different places – South American, Japanese, Chinese in Chinatown where very little English was spoken, Italian, and even American!

We were sad to leave NYC, but got one last look at the skyline at sunrise as we left!

Manhattan sunrise as we left
Our last glimpse of the Manhattan skyline

5 Replies to “A Bite of the Big Apple”

  1. Another great report.
    Had breakfast with Jack and Carolyn recently. You were in St Michaels. We were visiting our daughter in Md.

    1. I am enjoying the reports of your adventure. Andy looks good with the haircut. NYU is a good school , with an attractive campus, however did you notice many dorms?

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