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Sail with PRIDE

Press Release:

June 9, 2020PRIDE NYC

Classic Harbor Line


Pride 2020: Trans New York Harbor Pride Sail for the Hetrick-Martin Institute

Sponsored by Classic Harbor Line

For the benefit of transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming youth support programs of the

Hetrick-Martin Institute, Classic Harbor Line hosts a sail in New York Harbor on Saturday June 27, 12:30-2:30100% of net ticket sales goes to the Hetrick-Martin Institute. (Yes, outdoor sailing and boat tours are operating in Phase 1 of New York City’s reopening guidelines, but with restrictions.)

Due to Covid 19 restrictions, capacity is limited by 50% & guests will be required to wear masks.  

A 400 square foot spinnaker cloth Pride Flag will be flown.  The flag will be hoisted to the aft-leading edge of their mainsail as they glide from Chelsea Piers, south on the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty and back.  This Pride Flag is nearly half the size of schooner Adirondack’s mainsail and will certainly prove to be an epic and awe-inspiring experience for all those who see it.

Founded in 1979, Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) is the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization serving LGBTQ+ youth. Today, HMI serves more than 2,000 at-risk youth each year between the ages of 13 and 24 from more than 300 zip codes in New York and throughout the tri-state area, and an additional 8,000 young people through outreach efforts. Through a comprehensive package of direct services and referrals focused on basic needs, mental health, and job readiness skills, HMI seeks to foster healthy youth development. HMI promotes excellence in the delivery of youth services and uses its expertise to create innovative programs that other organizations may use as models.

NYC Pride Sail in NY Harbor

Trans New York Harbor PRIDE Sail for the Hetrick-Martin Institute

Celebrate PRIDE with us and step aboard for an afternoon sail on one of our classic Schooners! 100% of net ticket sales goes to benefit transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming youth programs of the Hetrick-Martin Institute.  So grab your friends, soak up the sun and sail with us through the waters we proudly call home.  

  Duration: 2 hrs  Boat: Adirondack OR America 2.0  Cost: Adult $75


A balance of boujee and wellness in NYC

Recommended by Mapped!  A balance of boujee and wellness while in NYC. Click here to read more! 

Views of NYC from yacht Manhattan II

Views of NYC from yacht Manhattan II

Sailing NY Harbor on Schooner America 2.0

YourAAA Daily sails NY Harbor aboard the schooner America 2.0!  Listed as one of the top 8 things to do in NYC! 

To read more click here

Schooner America 2.0 sailing

Schooner America 2.0 sailing

Captain Greg speaks of life on the water

Captain Greg of Classic Harbor Line speaks of life on the water.  Epic Times interviews him to get the perspective of the person behind the wheel of a yacht.  

“You have to commune with Mother Nature, you have to deal with the elements. You’re not dealing with external forces, you’re not dealing with other people—something happens to you, you can’t blame somebody else,” Freitas says. “You have to be self-reliant, you have to rely on yourself. It’s just you. It’s proof of existence.”

Click here to read more. 

Life of a Captain

Captain of NY Harbor

Life on the water with Captain Greg

As seen in … New York magazine’s “The Cut”

We love weddings! Yes we do! And so does New York Magazine’s The Cut. To read the full article click here!

Cruise with us through NY Harbor with your loved one and take all of the magical views this city has to offer on your special day.

NYC Boat Wedding

An Architectural Tour Around Manhattan

By Marian Betancourt

Photos by Bridget McFall

Most of the curious crowds visiting the repurposed Hudson Yards are on land, strolling along a foundation built over rail yards, but this newly created West Side NYC Architecture Boat Tourneighborhood makes an impressive addition to the Manhattan skyline when viewed from the water. The fittingly named art piece, “Vessel,” a staircase to the endless imagination, sits at center stage in an open space near the waterfront surrounded by new skyscrapers. New York has always been a city in progress and the skyline changes periodically, so it’s a good idea, even for natives, to take a water cruise around the city to get the lay of the land so to speak. 

Click here to continue reading!

AMNY: A Unique Valentine’s Day Date Idea

Valentine's Day Cruise

NYC Valentine’s Day Champagne Tasting Cruise

Valentine's Day Wine Tasting Cruise | Classic Harbor Line

If you’re looking for something other than a dinner date this Valentine’s Day, we’ve got your back.

From love-themed comedy shows and salsa classes to burlesque performances and acts of kindness, New York City is full of unique ways to spend time with your Valentine.

Here are some of our favorite ideas. Click here to read more of the article! 



Key West Sunset Sail

Key West Sunset Sail

Key West Sunset Sail

We know.  Winter is here.  Tired of the cold already?  Well, start planning your vacation and join us down in Key West!  The Schooner America 2.0 spends the winter down in Key West FL from October through May.  And it just so happens to be that we host the best Key West Sunset Sail the Island has to offer!

So take off that winter coat and sail with us through the emerald green waters of Key West.  Watch the dolphins surf the bow of our boat as you sip on Champagne.  Let the sun warm up your soul and forget about the cold up north.

Sail with us at sunset and catch a glimpse of the famous Key West “Green Flash”. Spend some time with friends or loved ones for the perfect vacation getaway. 

Click here to check out our Key West Sails. 




Father’s Day Gift Guide 2018

Downtown Magazine listed us as one of the best experiential gifts for Father’s Day in 2018!   It’s almost time for that special day of the year in which we honor the father figures in our lives. Whether you celebrate Father’s Day with your dad, uncle, grandpa, or any person who is a father figure in your life, it’s always nice to get that person a little something. Whether big or small, a gift is a nice way to show appreciation for the all that this person contributes to your life. Click here to read more.

NYC Pride Fireworks Cruise

Thank you AMNY for the shout out about our NYC Pride Fireworks Cruises! 

Pride month goes well beyond the official New York City parade.

While thousands of locals will line up on Fifth Avenue to witness the annual festivities on June 24, there are plenty of other events this month dedicated to celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ community. Click here to keep reading. 

Staycation offers perfect antidote to surging gas prices!

Many Thanks to the Daily News for the shout out! 

With gas prices hovering near $4 a gallon, this could be the summer of staycations for New Yorkers looking for an affordable getaway. But don’t fret, a train ride into the City That Never Sleeps is a small price to pay to rediscover its many gems.

Manhattan also empties out during the steaming summer months as locals flock to beach towns and country homes, leaving bargains to be found at many of the hotels dotted across its 24 square miles…….click here to read more. 

Time Out gives us a Shout Out!

Time Out NY has listed as one of the best dinner cruises in NYC. 

Time Out gives us a shout out to join us on our Morimoto Sushi and Sake Sunset Sail aboard the Schooner America 2.0 for a magical sunset dinner cruise. 

Sail with us into the sunset as you enjoy top rated sushi for dinner by the Iron Chef: Chef Morimoto.  Watch the sun dip behind the Statue of Liberty and take in the view of the most famous skyline in the world.  Sip on your sake and sail with us for this magical dinner cruise. 

Click here to read more. 

Executive Chef: Wendy Crispell gets mentioned in Forbes Magazine


NYC Executive Chef Wendy CrispellOur Executive Chef Wendy Crispell gets mentioned in Forbes Magazine as a Top Hospitality Pro!  Wendy has been with Classic Harbor Line for over 11 years hosting our Wine and Cheese Pairing Cruises as well as creating scrumptious menus as our Executive Chef.  She is a wealth of knowledge and a creative force in the wine and culinary world.  She leads with dedication and creates a delicious experience which will keep you coming back for more.  





Which life-and-career advice do successful pros put front and center? I asked travel-and-culinary mavens for their most meaningful maxims, their guiding-light phrases — and discovered that the simplest mottos inspire greatest strengths. These short (but mighty) behavior beacons have proved essential for the long haul. 

Click here to

AIANY Bridge & Infrastructure Tour

Recommendations by Time Out NY

AIANY Bridge & Infrastructure Tour

Click here to see Time Out NY Architecture Tour Recommendations. (This will bring you to another site) 

Sunset Sailing NYC

Sunset Sailing in NYC

Sunset Sailing NYC

New York City is full of the most beautiful photo opportunities. If you’re wanting to capture New York City in a unique and fun way, I highly suggest visiting Classic Harbor Lines NYC Sailing located off Chelsea Piers. 

Things to do In NYC

Best Date Night Idea in NYC

Things to do In NYC

Making date night plans can be hard. More often than not we find ourselves wanting something more interesting than the basic dinner and a movie. This is especially true if you and your partner have been together for a while. Don’t end up in a date night rut. Instead, plan a romantic sunset sail and a meal with Harbor Line Cruises….. 

Best Fall Foliage tours in NY

The Best Places to See Fall Foliage in New York State: Travel and Leisure

Best Fall Foliage tours in NY

If you’re scratching your head and looking for ideas on where to get the best views for autumn, there are plenty of places to go all around New York.

Click here to read more (This will take you to another website) 

Sailing in NYC

City Lights Sailing in NYC

Sailing in NYC

I love cruising on the Hudson River, especially in Manhattan. My favorite cruising brand is Classic Harbor Line, which offers an assortment of incredible sailing experiences. I went on its City Lights Sail on America 2.0 and enjoyed every minute of it! I saw spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, Battery Park, and Ellis Island. The classic boat itself is a contemporary tribute to the 1851 schooner that won the America’s cup. She’s a beauty at 105 feet long with a strong set of sails. The one hour and forty-five minute journey is incredible!

Click here to read more (This will bring you to another website) 

Luxury Vacation Idea

Forbes: 11 Luxury Family Getaways In New York City

Luxury Vacation Idea

Having little ones doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the finer things in life when visiting New York City. There are plenty of ways to soak in the fabulousness of Manhattan with kids in tow. Here are some of our favorite options for where to stay and how to play with children in the Big Apple.

Click here to continue reading (This will bring you to another website) 

Schooner America 2.0

Make waves with Classic Harbor Line for City of Water Day

Schooner America 2.0

This weekend marks City of Water Day — a fun and event-filled happening to honor the importance of the New York-New Jersey Harbor. And to celebrate, Classic Harbor Line is giving away free sailing trips on its elegant Schooner America 2.0 vessel.

Click here to continue reading (This will bring you to another website) 

4th of July Fireworks Cruise

4th of July with Classic Harbor Line in NY Harbor

4th of July Fireworks Cruise

The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display over the East River is the largest and most extravagant celebration in the country and nothing beats being on a opulent sailboat champagne in one hand with a delicious treat in the other saluting our nation’s birthday. 

Click here to continue reading (This will bring you to another website) 

NYC 4th of July Fireworks Cruise

New York Magazine recommends Classic Harbor Line’s 4th of July fireworks cruise!  Click here to read more (This will take you to another website) 
Things to do In NYC

Best NYC Wine Tasting

Things to do In NYC

Best NYC Wine Tasting!

Cruising along the Hudson is one of the things we look forward to every spring. The view of the infamous NYC skyline and the tranquility of sailing is an experience that never gets old. A few weeks ago we upgraded our usual cruise, with a wine and cheese pairing class aboard  Classic Harbor Line‘s Manhattan II. This particular cruise is about 2 hours long and features wines from all over the world paired with artisan cheeses all presented by Wendy Crispell, a certified wine and cheese educator.

Sail NY Harbor on Father's Day

NYC Father’s Day Cruise

Sail NY Harbor on Father's Day

NYC Father’s Day Cruise: The day of the dads is this weekend – Sunday, June 18 – and if you haven’t gotten around to buying a gift yet, this one’s for you.

Don’t rush to the department store in a harried frenzy just to leave with another satin tie or leather watchband. Your dad has enough ties, we promise. This Father’s Day, think outside the box. Here’s a list of five out-of-the-box ideas to make dad feel special this weekend and all year. Sometimes the best gifts can’t be wrapped.

Click here to read more (This will bring you to another website) 

Navigate Manhattan with Classic Harbor Line

WPIX Channel 11 News – How to navigate the Island of Manhattan

Navigate Manhattan with Classic Harbor Line

Pix 11 gives a shout out to Classic Harbor Line for ways to navigate the Island of Manhattan this summer. 

Click here to view the video! 

In Style Germany sails NY Harbor

Sails NY Harbor

Brooke Baldwin CNN Sails Schooner Adirondack

Sailing the Hudson

Sail the Hudson River with us! 

Best Brunch in NYC

Best Brunch in NYC

Best Brunch in NYC

Best Brunch in NYC:

Boating has a rich history in New York. It’s been over four hundred years since Henry Hudson first sailed the river to the east of New Jersey and the west of Manhattan. In the early 1800s, there were over 1,200 boats making their way up and down this famous corridor. Today, there are quite a few less, but more than one of them offer a unique take on something we happen to know a lot about. Click here to continue reading. (This will take you to another website) 

Sail around Manhattan

Hi Class Living: Sail around Manhattan with Classic Harbor Line

Sail around Manhattan

Sail Around Manhattan and Discover New York City’s harbor, skyline and monuments aboard Classic Harbor Line old-world-style yachts. Their newest yacht, the beautiful Manhattan II, is appointed with glass walls, gleaming teak decks and mahogany finishes.

Classic Harbor Line features several sightseeing trips including romantic sunset cruises, architecture tours, brunch sailings, fireworks on 4th of July, and other thematic sails. The boats are also available for private events and charters.

America 2.0 to sail to Charleston, SC

April 18, 2017 – America 2.0 to sail to Charleston, SC       

Classic Harbor Line’s fastest and largest schooner, America 2.0, will be wrapping up the season in Key West, FL., on May 15 before sailing to Charleston, SC., for the Maritime Tall Ships Festival. Events begin on May 19 through May 21, 2017, and will bring together nine international tall ships offering sailing excursions and boat tours throughout the festival. 

During the 3-day Festival, Schooner America 2.0 will partake in the highly anticipated Parade of Sail with three other sailboats. Bring your camera! The boats will sail by the Historic Charleston Waterfront and up to Riverfront Park for a cannon salute, giving spectators a chance to see each boat up-close and under sail. Looking for a more unique experience? Participate in the Parade of Sail by hopping aboard America 2.0! Tickets are available for purchase here

Built in Albany, NY, by Scarano Boat Builders, John and Rick Scarano, America 2.0 joined Classic Harbor Line’s fleet in 2011. She spends half the year in New York City offering public Day Sails to the Statue of Liberty, Sunset Sails and City Lights Sails, along with private boat charters, and the rest of the year in Key West, FL operating beautiful Key West sunset sails. America 2.0 is a tribute to Schooner America that won the first America’s Cup in 1851. Built with cutting edge technology, the materials used to build America 2.0, along with her electric propulsion system, make her an eco-friendly sailing vessel. 

Following the Maritime Tall Ships Festival, America 2.0 will continue sailing to New York City. Her first sail of the season in New York Harbor will be on Saturday, May 27.  

Learn more about this festival by visiting the site: www.tallshipscharleston.com

We hope to see you!!!! 


A Note about the Author: 

Meg Yeiter: Meg grew up and went to college in Michigan. After graduation, she did what any 21-year-old with a degree and no img_9344job would do – move to a mountain town to spend all day skiing fresh powder and afternoons clinking glasses at chic après ski lodges. Just kidding, she moved to Park City, Utah, where she got her first journalism job as a reporter at the local newspaper and borrowed her friends ski’s to hit the slopes a few times a month. Meg has always had a passion for traveling and the outdoors. She moved to New York City in early 2015. During her first year here, Meg found herself consistently running to Classic Harbor Line to catch an evening sunset sail. She officially joined the Classic Harbor Line team in April 2016 and now no longer needs to run anywhere. In her free time, Meg enjoys exploring New England, repurposing furniture, and sailing of course.

Valentine's Day Cruise in NYC

Brunching it in NYC by Sarah Funky

NY Harbor Cruises

On a gorgeous Sunday morning, I went crosstown to Chelsea Piers to board the Classic Harbor Line “Around Manhattan Brunch Cruise”. It was a little cold because Mother Nature decided to bring winter back to New York City, but the sun was shining. The boat was much smaller than I was expecting but it was a nice surprise because it felt more intimate and not touristy. Inside the boat, I was delighted to find it heated to the perfect temperature and was able to have a large table all for myself and friend. I loved that Classic Harbor Line didn’t over book to make guests feel crammed. Click here to continue reading (This will take you to another website) 

Valentine's Day Cruise in NYC

Sarah Funky talks about Valentine’s Day in NYC

Valentine's Day Cruise in NYC


The Daily News suggests CHL for New Year’s Fireworks




It’s is just around the corner and tickets are going fast.  Join us aboard the Luxury Yacht Manhattan II for our New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise! We were recommended and in the top 12 places to be by the Daily News.  Click here to read more.  

Click here to purchase tickets! 

Outdoor summer fun in NYC

Recommended by NYC’s Original City Guide!  Click here to read more. 

All aboard!! Witness the splendor of Manhattan—its twinkling soaring skyline, iconic waterside landmarks, and color drenched sunsets from aboard the deck of a schooner. This evening sail is enjoyed from the deck of the 80-foot Adirondack, which departs from Chelsea Piers. Other sails are also available at different times. Chelsea Piers, Pier 62 and West Side Highway (around 23rd St.), 212-627-1825, sail-nyc.com/browse-by-boat/schooner-adirondack

What New Yorkers are doing before summer ends!

See what New Yorkers want to do before the end of the summer in NYC! 

Click here to read more about what Ric Addison the CEO from Addison Hospitality Management Group has to say.  

Pop the Question in NY Harbor aboard a classic Yacht

statueclarabrodericksunsetNautically Unique.  Breathtakingly stunning. Classically elegant.   Pop the question on one of Classic Harbor Lines luxury yachts in NY Harbor.  

Click here to see what Martha Stewart Weddings had to say! 

Sushi & Sake Sail in NY Harbor with Chef Morimoto

Sailing aboard a stunning 105 foot schooner in NY Harbor and enjoying sushi prepared by the world renowned Chef Morimoto restaurant of Chelsea NY, you are sure to enjoy your evening out on the water. 

Click here to read what the Advice Sisters had to say! 

Morimoto Sushi on a Yacht in NY Harbor

Step aboard the Schooner America 2.0 , Classic Harbor Lines 105 foot sailing yacht.  Enjoy a stunning sunset as it dips behind the Statue of Liberty while you sip on hand picked Sakes paired with Morimoto Sushi!  

Click here to read more about what the Resident Magazine’s experience was like!  

Wine Tasting with Wendy Crispell


Join us for a Wine Tasting aboard a luxury yacht in NY Harbor with Wendy Crispell.  Enjoy a afternoon (Or evening) of a fun and educational class on Wine and Cheese.  

Click here to read more about what Parade Community Table has to say! 


UnTapped Cities: Photos of America’s Cup Race aboard CHL

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 3.50.03 PM After difficult sailing conditions on Saturday, Sunday turned out to be a spectacular day for the 2016 America’s Cup(at least for us viewers). On Saturday, we attended via the official media boat and on Sunday, thanks to Classic Harbor Lines, we were able to get in on the three races Sunday afternoon very close to the action in New York harbor. The America’s Cup is the oldest international sporting trophy historically, named for the schooner that won the first regatta in 1851. Winners host the event the next time, and as such the New York Yacht Club hosted the race from 1851 to 1983 (with some years in between with no races) when it lost to the Royal Perth Yacht Club of Australia. In 1920 the race was moved to the Newport Yacht Club, making it 85 years since the race was hosted in New York harbor. Read more here. America's Cup NYC - 2016 ; Day2 Click here to see more of Untapped Cities photos!  

America’s Cup Coverage in NYC

aidan-americaAfter difficult sailing conditions on Saturday, Sunday turned out to be a spectacular day for the 2016 America’s Cup (at least for us viewers). On Saturday, we attended via the official media boat and on Sunday, thanks to Classic Harbor Lines, we were able to get in on the three races Sunday afternoon very close to the action in New York harbor.

Click here to view some amazing photos and read more on Untapped Cities!

America’s Cup in NYC with Classic Harbor Line

Schooner America 2.0 Sailing on the Hudson into NY Harbor
After a 96-year absence, the America’s Cup returns next month to the Big Apple with the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series at New York Harbor May 6-8. This time around, however, devotees will have an unusual opportunity to experience the thrill of world-class sailing as if they were members of the crew itself.  Click here to read more on Westchester Magazine

Most Romantic Date Idea in NYC


A romantic date idea in NYC.  Enjoy the most famous skyline in the world from a classic yacht in NY Harbor.  The Yacht Manhattan II is a place for sipping Champagne and taking in the twinkling lights.  Grab your loved one and join us for an evening on the water. 

America’s Cup and Classic Harbor Line in New York City: May 6, 7, & 8 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 8.42.52 AM

The America’s Cup races return to New York City for the first time since 1920. This May 6, 7 & 8, New Yorkers will be able to see sailing matches right here in New York Harbor just off Battery Park City.

Warm ups happen on Friday May 6 and official points – counting matches occur Saturday and Sunday Afternoon May 7th and May 8th. This racing weekend counts for one of the six events scheduled in 2016 that counts for the 2017 Cup. Presently the US Team – Oracle holds the trophy – winners of the 2013 America’s Cup.

The history of the America’s Cup is very significant to New York City and to Classic Harbor Line.
It was the New York Yacht Club who sponsored the build of the very first Schooner AMERICA in 1851. The US was challenged by England, in conjunction with the first World’s Fair, to build the fastest sailing vessel. The New York Yacht Club responded with Schooner America and prevailed.

Today, Classic Harbor Line’s Schooner AMERICA 2.0 is a tribute to the original Schooner AMERICA. Designed for speed and elegance and sharing the same lines and scale, guests can sail aboard a true performance schooner aboard AMERICA 2.0. AMERICA 2.0 was designed and built by Scarano Boat building in 2011 – an affiliated company of Classic Harbor Line – as are all the boats in the Classic Harbor Line Fleet.

Classic Harbor Line will be on the water both days with tickets available for viewing the races.

Photo shows the US Team Racing Vessel ORACLE, and Schooner America, a 1995 design and build also by Scarano Boat Building.

www.classicharborline.com www.scaranoboat.com

PRESS CONTACT: WILL CANDIS [email protected]

**** For the Month of May 2016. Follow Classic Harbor Line on Twitter and Facebook to be alerted of HIGH WIND DAYS such that you can be able to participate in high-speed performance sailing aboard Schooner America 2.0 and Schooner Adirondack.  We will alert our followers anytime we have forecasts of 18 MPH winds or greater! 




Fashion Shoot aboard Schooner America 2.0

Elegant. Stunning. Breathtaking. Nautical. Take a look at Downtown Magazines fashion shoot aboard the Schooner America 2.0 with Classic Harbor Line in NY Harbor.   Click here to view the fashion shoot of Downtown Magazine. 

Speed Sailing in NYC

america20speedsailingYes.  Speed Sailing in NYC aboard the Schooner America 2.0!  Built by Scarano Boat Building and operated by Classic Harbor Line, you are sure to experience the true nature of what it is like to Sail.  See what the NY Times has to say!  Click here

NY Times Article about Classic Harbor Line

New York Times – Spared Times: Archtober

‘Archtober’ (through Oct. 31) This monthlong celebration of architecture and design continues with lectures, tours and other events at locations around the city. Presented by the American Institute of Architects New York and the Center for Architecture — with the participation of 50 organizations — the series includes boat tours around Manhattan, an urban film series at the Guggenheim Museum and walking tours. A schedule is at archtober.org. Brochures are also available at the Center for Architecture, 536 La Guardia Place, Greenwich Village, (212) 358-6121.


Click here to read more!

Best Way To Brunch in NYC | Classic Harbor Line

Sunday Brunching With Yacht Manhattan

Brunch is a weekly event all across NYC. Every weekend, hungry diners enter the growing plethora of eateries in search of good food and relaxing atmosphere. This weekend we ditched the usual places and enjoyed a grand brunch with the Classic Harbor line. We enjoyed our meal sailing on the Hudson, aboard one of their elegant yachts. We boarded the “Yacht Manhattan II”, one of two vessels inspired by the roaring 20’s. We met our vessel at Chelsea Piers along with an assortment of other guests and set sail on a gorgeous Sunday morning.  

The other brunch lovers on our voyage ranged in age from retirees to infants. Young couples, big families, and in our case lifelong friends filled the boat and took their assigned seats. After we all were seated and given a quick safety lesson, we took off on a leisurely cruise. Guests are treated to a complimentary Bloody Mary or Mimosa. Brunch is served buffet style and divided into four courses. The first course revved up our appetites with mini bagels smoked salmon, fresh waffles and assorted berries. The courses were spaced out enough for everyone to have a bite and take a short break in between to enjoy the scenery. The view is gorgeous from inside the ship. Large windows offer a picturesque view while dining. However, the best view for photo ops is on the outer deck. The outside features smooth bench seating and a protective safety rail. The cruise took us from lower Manhattan all the way up to the Bronx. Having ridden on several harbor cruises over the years, this was still an interesting experience, we saw parts of the city we had never seen before including the infamous little red lighthouse. The smaller boat made for a more up close experience and some amazing photos.

NYC Morimoto Sushi Sunset Sail

Photo Credit:  Julienne Schaer.  On a calm, warm summer night, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s Sushi and Sake Sunset Sail is the perfect way to enjoy the harbor. This light dinner sail features a refreshing assortment of four sake flights that are perfectly paired with two plates of sushi. Dinner is served on New York’s newest and most sophisticated schooner, America 2.0. While relaxing and enjoying the calming waves as they brush against the boat, you will observe the New York skyline, Battery Park, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Read more here


All Aboard- the Sunset Sushi Sail

Do you love sushi? Do you love sailing? Do you love sunsets? I’m going out on a limb here and guessing you’re a fan of all three (we’re not friends anymore if you said no, sorry.) Guess what, this isn’t just a culinary fantasy — from now until September 21 Classic Harbor Line and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto will offer a light-dinner sail on deck of one of New York’s newest schooners. 

I partook in the sail this past Wednesday and it was truly dreamy. We sailed past iconic landmarks such as Battery Park, Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty. It was a beautiful and breezy escape from the hot concrete of the city. 

But let’s talk about the star of the show — the sushi. The menu includes a sampling of nine sushi pieces and one roll served in two platings and paired with four sake flights. Everything is served super fresh, stored in special coolers just one hour before the sail. 

If you want to snack on some of the highest grade sushi in the city, sip sake all while sailing down the Hudson River, you can buy tickets here.


Chef Morimoto Hosts Sunset Yacht Cruise


Click to view image gallery


NYC hottest boat bars

NYC’s 6 Hottest Boat Bars

Our streets may be dense and green spaces few, but New Yorkers love to be outside. We host cocktail parties on fire escapes, casually inquire about alfresco seating in March bluster and risk legal infraction to picnic as we please. As summer temperatures tilt toward tropical, we are particularly inclined to eat, drink and be merry while sailing the high seas. (Or, y’know, bobbing on the East River.) Fortunately, a fleet of barge bars, culinary yachts and roving schooners has arrived on New York’s shores, giving nautically minded imbibers opportunities to drink up and ship out. Here are six places to set sail this summer.

Morimoto Sushi & Sake Sunset Yacht Cruise

Why it’s hot: This isn’t your Uncle Leon’s dinner cruise. Monday nights, a 105-foot schooner glides down the Hudson for two-hour sunset sails, providing peak skyline views and enviable hashtag opportunities. The biggest draw, however, is on-board menus by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, served alongside healthy pours of sake and champagne.

Must-try item: Haiku Gekkeikan sparkling sake, plus fresh cuts of fatty tuna hamachi and king salmon unagi. 

Insider tip: Morimoto sailings depart Chelsea, but a sister vessel, the 1920s-style yacht Kingston, is debuting in Brooklyn Bridge Park Marina this summer. Brooklyn waterfront tours start Saturday, June 20.

The details: Pier 62, Chelsea Piers, Manhattan; 212-913-9991


106 Great Things To Do Around Westchester This Summer

Have a romantic night – August 3

Need a fun summer date night? Set sail around New York Harbor on Monday nights with the Morimoto Sunset Sushi Cruise. Aboard the elegant schooner, America 2.0, you’ll get a sampling of sushi from Iron Chef Morimoto, paired with four sake flights and stellar sunset views of New York City. Chelsea Piers (Pier 62), Manhattan; www.sail-nyc.com


Waterways offer deeper insights into New York City

Around Manhattan Architecture Tour

Architecture equals history, Kyle Johnson told passengers on the 80-foot yacht the Manhattan as it chuffed past the curtain of skyscrapers filling our view. “Buildings are made to endure.”

During the nearly three-hour AIANY Around Manhattan Architecture Tour, Johnson explained the skyline through its buildings (and at times the lack of them) and the textures, colors and shapes that are the key to the island’s various eras of design.

“This tour gives you an overview of the entire city, which you can’t possibly do in two hours on foot,” said Johnson, an architect. “You can see the entirety of buildings.”

The tour, structured by the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, sails up the Hudson River (which Johnson is quick to point out is not a river, but a tidal estuary) before turning right at the northern tip of Manhattan. The guide lists 156 points of architectural interest, although at some point, I start classifying some structures as either “Neat” or “Who thought that was a good idea?”

The voyage south on the Harlem and East rivers passes under 19 to 20 bridges that provide access to Manhattan’s east side, including a few inventive swing and vertical lift bridges designed to allow passage for tall ships.

The route is similar to any number of circle-island boat tours, but with fewer passengers than most (plus snacks and Champagne) and with a more informed voice about a rapidly changing aspect of the city.

“Typically the city has turned its back to the waterfront because it was a working waterfront,” Johnson said. “The city now is engaging the waterfront; it’s now a place you go to recreate, to enjoy the views.”

Even within the past five years, dozens of new waterfront parks and projects appeared in areas that had been dilapidated industrial zones and rotting piers.

“You’re a lot more aware of the river,” Johnson said, “and you’re not only able to get a look at it, but use it and travel on it.”


Our favorite NYC activities with our moms

Happy Mother’s Day! In honor of the most important of holidays, the staff at amNewYork is sharing our favorite activities to do with our own moms. Let us know your favorite activities with you own moms too.

And don’t forget to at least call your mom today. She deserves it.

Sail around NYC

It’s tough to pick one top NYC spot to hang out with my mom, because I’m lucky to have made so many memories with her in the city over the years. Our classic traditions, like riding the Coney Island Cyclone (front car only) to being the loudest fans at Yankee Stadium (she is, at least) will always be favorites. But just last summer, we started getting into boat cruises, a new tradition I hope we will continue. We are both constantly busy, so taking a relaxing sail out on the water is a great way for us to unwind — the wind in our hair, amazing views of the skyline in the distance, mandatory wine glass in hand. Classic Harbor Line has a bunch of options worth checking out at sail-nyc.com.


Morimoto: New Wave Cuisine

All aboard! Chef Masaharu Morimoto has signed on to host Classic Harbor Line’s June 1 kickoff of the Chelsea Piers boat line’s weekly sushi dinner cruises along the Hudson. Morimoto is probably best known for his “Iron Chef” showdowns with embattled chef Bobby Flay, in which he declared that Flay “is not a chef.” Classic Harbor Lines is adding trips along the East River this season, and yacht tours out of Brooklyn Bridge Park will run this summer.

Praise for AIANY Architecture Tour

Praise for the AIANY Architecture Tours

As noted by the New York Times, this is the tour that reintroduces New Yorkers to the marvels of their waterfront, or as some now call it, the “Sixth Borough.”

Click here to read what the New York Times said about the NYC Architecture Cruise 2015
Click here to read what the New York Times said about the NYC Architecture Cruise 2012
Click here to read what the New York Times said about the NYC Architecture Cruise 2010

Read what guests have to say about our cruise.
Click here to learn more about our New York AIA Tour Guides!


Private Charters Available

All of our AIANY Tour Programming can be booked privately for you and your office, clients, family, guests, school or whomever you’d like to entertain with this spectacular series of tours! Read more about Private Charters.

“A fabulous trip. There are many buildings in NY that are best seen from the water, and of course the boat takes you close to the bridges. The docent was excellent — well informed, his remarks were very well paced, giving us time to both listen and to look at the buildings (and landscape). And he had a lovely voice! The crew members were friendly and attentive, though never obtrusive. They served drinks and snacks that were too tasty. The boat feels quite luxurious, and there is a chance to walk around, go outside or stay inside (from inside the views are very very good). My friends and I had a wonderful time and learned a lot and we plan to ask others to join us when we are all in NY. Very happy passengers, we were.”
~ Kudos from a Chicago architecture tour guide


Summer and Spring Cruises around Manhattan Return via Classic Harbor Line

You may not afford a yacht in NYC but Classic Harbor Line can let you spend this spring and summer cruising around the islands of NYC on gorgeous, wooden Gatsby-era motor and sailing yachts, built in Albany, New York  with 100% all made-in-America materials. Classic Harbor Line — designer, builder and operator of classically inspired yachts — offers year-round tours, sails and cruises in New York Harbor. You can make a full day of it, too, starting your evening experience with a day visit to the High Line, a bite at Chelsea Market, or some time at the new Whitney Museum. https://www.sail-nyc.com/

One of my favorites of their cruises is the annual Architecture Tour, a natural in a city with a skyline like New York City’s. This year’s tour will include sneak previews of Staten Island’s Freshkills Park, the world’s largest sustainable park project and the city’s most exciting land reclamation project. Vegetation, wildlife and pristine wandering waterways now fill this once-active landfill area. https://www.nycgovparks.org/park-features/freshkills-park

>A foodie lover cruise, Chef Morimoto’s Sushi and Sake Cruise happens on Monday nights.  Eat and drink with a fantastic menu from the master chef, all with a beautiful backdrop of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, and New Jersey (yes, New Jersey is growing up!).  http://www.morimotonyc.com

For families, the “Around Manhattan” brunch cruises run every Saturday and Sunday morning on the luxury yacht Manhattan. Food options happily include gluten-free choices, complimentary brunch cocktails, and selections for even the youngest guests.

Full-day cruises to Bear Mountain are a great way to escape the city and get physical as well. The program combines a stunning cruise up the Hudson River with hiking and exploring (or relaxing) in beautiful Bear Mountain Park and a cruise back to the city on a luxury yacht.  Breakfast is included on the outbound trip, with a picnic lunch on the return.

Specific dates for all cruises are listed online at  https://www.sail-nyc.com/


NYC: Classic Harbor Line’s 2015 Itineraries Include New Tours, Returning Favorites

You may not be able to afford to keep a yacht in New York City, but Classic Harbor Line – an operator of classically inspired yachts offering year round tours – can let you spend this spring and summer cruising around the islands of New York City.

Beginning this season, Classic Harbor Line will be starting new service out of Brooklyn Bridge Park Marina that will feature special Brooklyn waterfront-inspired tours including a special series done in partnership with Turnstile Tours. Check out the Brooklyn Waterfront Tour every Saturday starting June 20 aboard the 1920s style yacht Kingston. The series features a rotation of Brooklyn waterfront themes including: the past & present of Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront; the history and future of Brooklyn’s food production and distribution; and several other rich themes the drape this dynamic edge.

Classic Harbor Line is also debuting a new larger motor yacht, Manhattan II, a 100 foot long luxury yacht that will be especially built to accommodate their most popular cruise – AIANY Architecture boat tour series. The new yacht will also feature a larger galley, a larger bar, more seating and all the fine fishes that the fleet has as a whole. Other high tech features will include high-end audio and video systems.

This year’s featured Architecture Tour will include sneak preview tours of Staten Island’s Freshkills Park, the world’s largest sustainable park project and the cities most exciting land reclamation project of all time. Only with Classic Harbor Line can you travel up into the heart of the Freshkills waterways to get grand sweeping views of the capped mounds of this once active landfill. Vegetation, wildlife and pristine wandering waterways now fill the space.

Private events to impress or propose have been added to the Classic Harbor Line’s event packages. Their new VIP menu for small, special, and last second affairs offers gourmet food options like lobster dinners. To really make an impression to any size private event, book a fireworks display synced to music so you can pop the big question with a bang or just knock the socks off of your guests.

In addition to the new lineup, familiar itineraries are also returning. Classic Harbor Line’s acclaimed New York City AIA Architecture Boat Tours are back with lower Manhattan Tours and full circumnavigation tours around Manhattan offered daily. A date favorite and foodie lover cruise Chef Morimoto Sunset Sushi & Sake Cruise is back on Monday nights. The family favorite Around Manhattan Brunch cruises run every Saturday & Sunday mornings. Wine lovers can rejoice with a full schedule of regions to explore with Wine guru and Cheese Master, Wendy Crispell.

Full day cruises up to Bear Mountain return, combining a stunning cruise up the Hudson River with exploring or relaxing in the beautiful park, then cruise back to the city all in the comfort of one of the luxury yachts. This event is offered on major summer holiday weekends and several other Saturdays & Sundays. This 9-hour cruise includes a full breakfast on the way north and gourmet picnic lunch on the return.

Classic Harbor Line, www.sail-nyc.com


A 3-Hour (Manhattan Boat) Tour

The American Institute of Architects guides you around the city’s diverse coastline.

Though I’ve lived in New York City for almost a decade, like so many New Yorkers, I rarely take the time to learn about my city, and it seemed to me there’s are few better ways to do it than on a boat, floating around the island, the river mist and wind keeping you cool under a summer sun. And I was right. And the Classic Harbor Line’s American Institute of Architect’s boat tour around Manhattan is a great way to see a familiar city from a new perspective.

We departed Chelsea Piers and passed the glass and steel wonders that are Barry Diller’s IAC headquaters, the Standard Hotel and the glitzy Perry Street towers, another recent addition to a Westside skyline once dominated by brick and mortar. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty that remains: Richard Meier embraced the neighborhood’s industrial past when he made the ’60s-era Westbeth building, and the former Federal Archive Building, now filled with apartments, is a burst of red cinder. But the city’s changing face, and the neighborhood’s changed demographics, are in full display for those coming down the river.

The Lenape Indians used to travel these waters, a much cleaner river splashing into their canoes as they traveled from village to village, trading pelts and shells. It was they who called Manhattan island “Manna-hata.” They referred to lower Manhattan as “Sapokanikan” and used it as a base camp for a sprawling, multi-borough territory dubbed Lenapehoking, “in the land of the Lenape.” Now the area is lower Manhattan, an area built up and out by landfill and is home to the world’s seemingly unstoppable financial engine. The new World Trade Center is the steeple of this glittering shrine to economic success, but pockets of history remain. For example, City Pier A, a port first built up for civilian use in the late 1800s and whose tower resembles a Dutch town hall, due in part to the city’s large population of immigrants from that region. This place wasn’t called “New Amsterdam” for nothing.

The Statue of Liberty greeted us with an unremarkable yet welcoming stare as we moved into New York Harbor. The neoclassical beauty was still being repaired from Sandy damage, but stood as tall and proud as she did when France gifted it to the States in 1886. This was when neighboring Governor’s Island was still an army base. Later, in 1966, G.I. would be transferred to the Coast Guard, and it would still be three decades before it became civilian territory. On this day, the daily dose of visitors were being deposited at the landing just north of the new New York Harbor School, a public institution that’s the island’s first permanent inhabitant in over ten years. I glanced toward the cutie up front. I could swear he had been looking over his left shoulder at me, but now his eyes were straight ahead, on the East River.

The Woolworth and Municipal buildings stand tall, as they have since 1913 and 1914, respectively, but then there’s also Frank Gehry’s contrarian residential tower at 8 Spruce Street and, below that, the hideous William Beaver House. The steady, stony Brooklyn Bridge remains a constant, and now stands mightily above the recently renovated, and splendid, Brooklyn Bridge Park. It’s there that you’ll find Jane’s Carousel, a 1922 merry-go-round renovated by the eternally fabulous Jane Walenta, wife of developer David, the man who transformed Soho and Dumbo into the neighborhoods they are today.

We pass The Manhattan Bridge, all steel and wires, and to the left there’s East River Park, a space turned “public” when Robert Moses and his crew cleared out the homeless and the riff-raff. To our right, in Brooklyn, new glass towers rise above Williamsburg and the old Domino Sugar Factory first built in 1856. That lot too is being converted into pricey residential towers. Parks, shops and restaurants will also be added to the complex to become what developer’s are describing as “the Highline of Brooklyn.” Luckily, the giant, yellow Domino sign will remain. Kitschiness has its value.

There’s no kitchiness whatsoever at Roosevelt Island. Called Minnehanonck by the Lenape, and once a private estate, the land would go on to house smallpox patients, to house prisoners, and as host to an insane asylum. Many relics from the olden days still exist, like the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, built in 1889, but since 1969 it has been mostly residential and the island is dominated by apartment buildings. At its southern most point, though, there’s a new jewel, Four Freedoms Park.

Erected at the southern most tip of Roosevelt Island, this white granite monument was designed by Louis Kahn in honor of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd president. The name “Four Freedoms” comes from Roosevelt’s landmark 1941 State of the Union address, the one in which he outlined the four freedoms every human deserves: freedom of speech and worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. Kahn designed the park in 1972, but it wouldn’t be completed and opened until 2012, 38 years after Kahn’s death, and 68 after FDR’s.

I’ll admit, I zoned out a bit as we went by familiar Mid-town and the Upper East Side. I listened only a little when the Chrysler Building and Empire State building were discussed, and I very nearly missed Gracie Mansion, the official home of the mayor, though not the one Michael Bloomberg uses. His penthouse is far nicer than public housing. Speaking of, my ears perk up after we pass Randall’s Island and are in the Harlem River. The landscape, made up of public house, is less inspiring, but no less educational. Riverbend Houses, designed by landmark architects Lew Davis and Sam Brody in the late 1960s, come into view as we approach 138th Street’s riverside.

These were an attempt to lighten up Brutalist architecture with bursts of colorful “skyways” that were meant to be “streets in the sky.” The buildings were supposed to give residents a more airy street scape, but the residents weren’t interested in hanging out in exposed hallways and the grand design was later, after some fan fair, deemed a failure. Or, at the very least, an eyesore, just like so many buildings that line this stretch of Manhattan. River views were not yet en vogue — the city was still all about Central Park — but today developers are sinking their teeth into land abutting the river, eager to take the view from places like Riverbend and the Harlem River Houses, the first public housing to be built for black people and with federal funds.

The landscape reverts back to its pre-colonial days as we approach Manhattan’s northern tip. Rocky, jagged cliffs topped with robust, leafy trees loom large and strong and high, providing a base for generations of daredevils willing to climb back up after a jump. The more cheeky ones, we’re told, spend their time at the top, mooning tour boats like ours. We pass through by Hell Gate, a narrow straight known to take ships and sailors back in the day, and under bridges linking tiny Manhattan Island to the sprawling Bronx, and then we’re back on the Hudson, across from the Cloisters, a museum and complex donated by John D. Rockefeller in 1938, and remains today one of the city’s most beautiful and isolated sights to see.

The island is once again lush. This is where the truly rich used to set up shop, away from downtown and, later, Central Park. If the park was the suburbs, this was the country, and on this summer day the trees are in full plumage, allowing fantasies of the Lenape to reappear as we pass Riverbank State Park and Grant’s Tomb, a 19th Century circular structure containing sarcophagi of the 18th president and his wife. It’s not too long before we’re told about the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, another circular structure completed a few year’s after the Grant memorial, in 1902.

Soon enough the 79th Street Boat Basin is behind us and we are directly west of Roosevelt Island at this point, and Midtown’s glitz steals the show. Trump Place, the Time-Warner and Heart buildings can be seen through slits of steel and glass. The Intrepid, a former air craft carrier, is obviously easier to see, and those fantasies of Lenape Indians are replaced by Seamen as I marvel at the sheer size of this floating city. It’s a city docked next to another city, both ultimately small but daunting all the same.

Then, before I know it, we’re beside Hudson River Park and Chelsea Piers and pulling back into the dock. Could it be over already? Was that a three hour tour? And what happened to that cocky young man? He was gone, lost in the city’s shuffle, between its buildings and historic landmarks. And soon enough so was I.

For more on the AIA Architectural Cruise, check out their website. And don’t fret, they offer tours all year-round, and there’s probably an even better view of Northern Manhattan’s rough terrain in the winter. A version of this story originally appeared on Out.com


New York: a harbour view of the city and its eras

On a breezy morning in November, the handsome 1920s-style yacht we were aboard came to a brief stop in the choppy waters off Lower Manhattan. It was the perfect moment for our group of 15 or so passengers to jump up from our comfortable seats and criss-cross the glassed-in cabin, cellphone cameras poised.

In every direction, an icon loomed.

Just to the south was the Statue of Liberty.

Not some tiny figure in the distance, but 225 tons of copper, steel and iron outlined against the cloudless sky.

Closer in, Ellis Island basked in the sun.

Its main building is a Beaux-Arts-style wonder of arches and towers and cupolas, “a symbol of the public grandeur that awaited immigrants,” as the architecture critic Paul Goldberger said.

But it was the silvery skyline of Lower Manhattan that held our attention.

We edged in for a closer look, as John Kriskiewicz, an associate member of the American Institute of Architects, spoke into a microphone: “Lower Manhattan is the oldest part of the city, but it is also where some of the newest architecture is.”

The observation made it easy to think of the city as a palimpsest, a place where the old makes way for the new, but never really gives up the ghost.

We had already sailed past a few examples of this: industrial buildings transformed into apartments and offices in West Chelsea; a derelict freight line reimagined as the High Line.

And, now, standing before us was One World Trade Center.

At 1,776 feet, it is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Not some tiny figure in the distance, but 225 tons of copper, steel and iron outlined against the cloudless sky.

Closer in, Ellis Island basked in the sun.

Its main building is a Beaux-Arts-style wonder of arches and towers and cupolas, “a symbol of the public grandeur that awaited immigrants,” as the architecture critic Paul Goldberger said.

But it was the silvery skyline of Lower Manhattan that held our attention.

We edged in for a closer look, as John Kriskiewicz, an associate member of the American Institute of Architects, spoke into a microphone: “Lower Manhattan is the oldest part of the city, but it is also where some of the newest architecture is.”

The observation made it easy to think of the city as a palimpsest, a place where the old makes way for the new, but never really gives up the ghost.

We had already sailed past a few examples of this: industrial buildings transformed into apartments and offices in West Chelsea; a derelict freight line reimagined as the High Line.

And, now, standing before us was One World Trade Center.

At 1,776 feet, it is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Not only is it an homage to what stood there before Sept. 11, 2001, but it was also an indirect reference to a building the Trade Center towers above, the nearby 40 Wall Street, an Art Deco beauty that was itself built to break records as the tallest building in the world some 85 years ago.

The insights offered by Kriskiewicz, who also teaches architectural history at Parsons the New School for Design and Yeshiva University, made this excursion around Lower Manhattan a real lesson.

It is one of several tours organized by Classic Harbor Line and the New York Chapter of the A.I.A. (The newest, a cruise through the waterways of Fresh Kills Landfill, is scheduled to begin in April.) All tours are guided by A.I.A. members, all depart from Chelsea Piers — later this year some cruises will depart from Brooklyn Bridge Park Marina — and all are aboard motorized yachts that offer an experience that is, according to the cruise line’s website, “wrapped in turn-of-the-century tradition.”

Indeed, our 80-foot-long vessel, the Manhattan, does possess a certain nostalgic elegance. If you have an hour and a half and $46 to spare, you, too, can sit back in the climate-controlled cabin, with its teak floors and Oriental-style carpets, and sip a free glass of wine or Champagne as the urban landscape slips by.

Passengers can also venture onto the deck, not an appealing option on a chilly fall day, but inviting when the weather is good. Our group of tourists and New Yorkers chose to stay inside, listening to Kriskiewicz as we sailed from Chelsea Piers up to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, then back down the Hudson River, around the southern tip of Manhattan, and into the bustling East River, with its ferries and sailboats and helicopters buzzing overhead, before turning back the way we came.

Along the way, Kriskiewicz pointed out various enigmas and oddities: The purpose of those towers above the Holland Tunnel? To house the fans that ventilate carbon monoxide so drivers don’t choke when they drive beneath the Hudson.

At 200 11th Ave. in West Chelsea, designed by Annabelle Selldorf’s architectural firm, he said, “you can drive into an elevator and park in your private sky garage.”

At South Street Seaport, the tall-masted ships docked there reminded Kriskiewicz that the word “skyscraper” was once used to describe the masts. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that the term was applied in print to buildings.

Making our way back around Lower Manhattan, we again take in the crowd of multi-generational buildings that seem to jostle right up to the edge of Battery Park, as if they are vying to get the best view of us. It was an oddly intimate encounter with the ever-evolving metropolis. And it’s the kind of encounter best experienced from the water, with the insights of an expert delivered as you go.


Departing from Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers (West 22nd Street and the Hudson River), the 90-minute Lower Manhattan Architecture tour, offered by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and Classic Harbor Line, is available from April to mid-November. Tickets, $46 for adults, $32 for students. For information on this and other architecture- and infrastructure-themed cruises, visit Classic Harbor Line, sail-nyc.com.


The New York Times



Need a Break from the Holiday Crowds? Take a Cruise around the City to Celebrate Winter

Sometimes I feel like Mean Old Mister Scrooge this time of the year. A simple taxi ride takes four times as long as it should, assuming you can even find a taxi. Busses are full up at 7am. And you have to endure police stringing “do not enter” tape across streets near Rockefeller Center in the most simplistic and makeshift type of traffic management technique ever concocted. Help! I need a way to enjoy my own city at this most magical time of the year.

Enter Classic Harbor Line. I really love what they’re offering to get you off the city’s crowded streets and out of the crazy NYC commercial scene. Grab your spouse, your significant other, your BFF and all of your family for a tour of the city decked out in its holiday splendor…. from the water. On a cruise leaving from Chelsea Piers (Pier 62, West 22nd Street and Hudson River), you’ll get to see the city lights on a one-and-a-half hour sail, seated indoors in complete comfort, with live carolers or jazz musicians as your hosts.

Pretty cool? Actually, quite warm. You’ll be back to singing “it’s a holly jolly Christmas” in a flash as you snuggle up in a heated back-deck salon on a 1920s-style sailing vessel. Aboard the Luxury Yacht Manhattan, you’ll soak in the scenery as you stay toasty with cocoa and cookie treats. (Adults have a choice of beer, wine, spiked hot cocoa or champagne as well).

Battery Park, South Street Seaport, and the Financial District are your twinkling downtown sights, along with gorgeous views of Governor’s Island, The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Depending on the weather and the course taken, you’ll also see some areas of Brooklyn and Queens, and, of course, the Manhattan skyline.

Jazz concerts take place Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Caroling (with guest participation encouraged) is scheduled for Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Now through January 2. Adult tickets are priced at $56; children’s tickets are $36. Cruises start as early as 4pm, with the latest sailing at 8pm. Check https://www.sail-nyc.com/browse-by-theme/holiday-cruises/ for available dates and sail times. www.sail-nyc.com.

Read more from Meryl at http://www.travelandfoodnotes.com.


Fall Foliage Outings

Classic Harbor Line’s Hudson Valley Fall Foliage Cruises October 25 and 26 and November 1 and 2, 10:15AM

Take in the colorful fall views of the Upper West Side and the Hudson River Valley as you cruise in style aboard the elegant 1920s-style yachts, the Manhattan and the Kingston. The 2.75-hour journey up the Hudson, in partnership with Hasselblad Swiss camera company, is joined by a professional photographer who’ll offer photo tips and provide guests with high-quality photos posted online for easy downloading post-cruise. Tickets from $72. 62 Chelsea Piers, W. 22nd St., 888.215.1739


Hudson River fall foliage cruise

Fall is one of the prettiest times of the year in the tri-state area. The colors on the trees are just amazing. If you want to get a closer look at the foliage, all you have to do is hop on a boat.

Don’t blink. If you do you just might miss the sea of reds, yellows, and oranges about to wash over city trees. As it turns out, the best way to savor the colors of fall is by boat.

Classic Harbor Line’s fall foliage voyage sails past the Upper West Side, Palisades Park, and the George Washington Bridge and heads to Tarrytown.

For under $100, the cruise includes brunch on a 1920s style yacht.

The tours continue well into the colder months.


Fall Foliage in New York City

The peak time for fall foliage in New York City is typically late-September/early October through early November. Whether you want to wander on your own observing the beautiful colors of the changing autumn leaves or are hoping to get a tour, these are some great ways to experience the changing of the leaves in and around New York City.

Fall Foliage Brunch Cruise Aboard Classic Harbor Line Yacht

Enjoy a three-course brunch on the Yacht Kingston or Manhattan while traveling up the Hudson River on this 2.75 hour cruise to experience the changing leaves of autumn. Ticket price includes brunch, as well as coffee, tea, juice and one Bloody Mary, Mimosa, beer, wine, or champagne. Cash bar is available for additional drinks. Note: The smaller, simpler Yacht Kingston is a less expensive, and will have a simpler menu and no Bloody Marys.

Price: $72 (Kingston)/$98 (Manhattan)
Schedule: Saturdays and Sundays, mid-October through mid-November
Departs: 10:15 a.m. (Kingston)/ 10 a.m. (Manhattan)
Details and tickets: Fall Foliage Cruise on Yacht Manhattan


Classic schooner equipped with modern propulsion redundancy

(Read the full article.)

Classic-Schooner article



Sail Days in New York City

Autumn in New York is glorious enough to have had a song written about it (bit.ly/1ymZTSL), and it looks pretty good from the water, too, by luxury yacht or swanky schooner via Classic Harbor Line (sail-nyc.com).

CHL offers a wide variety of excursions, including:

• an American Institute of Architects’ accredited tour that explores the many bridges of Manhattan;
• the classic New York skyline and Statue of Liberty sail that takes in the sparkling new World Trade Center tower;
• an über-relaxing champagne sunset cruise through the Hudson and East rivers (skyline included at no extra cost);
• and during October, a riotously colorful fall foliage jaunt into the Hudson Valley.

Private charters are available. It’s a peachy way to do the Big Apple.


NYC fall bucket list: Where to make the most of the season

There’s just something about autumn. Crisp weather, changing leaves, cozy sweaters and festive foods add excitement to the air.

Every new season in New York City brings plenty of new things to do, places to be and people to see, and fall is no exception. We mapped out the must-dos, so you can start prioritizing and head into winter with zero regrets.

Gaze at fall foliage

Concrete jungle, so what? You don’t have to trek upstate or to Long Island to revel in the colors of fall. Hop on board a Classic Harbor Line vessel for a foliage-filled tour of the Upper West Side, Hudson River Valley and Palisades Park, enjoying brunch while you get your seasonal photos in.

Tickets can be purchased at zerve.com/SailNYC.


There Is Still Great NYC Weather! You Must Take Classic Harbor Line Sail!!!

There is still a solid month left of summer and still time to take a mini cruise and enjoy the historic and dramatic NYC waterfront!!

You do NOT want to miss this enjoyable adventure with perfect boating weather on one of these signature cruises this SEPTEMBER:
AIA Around Manhattan Architecture Tours
Wine Tasting
Schooner Sailing
Morimoto Sunset Sushi & Sake. This was my favorite! See pictures here. Yes! I took those gorgeous photos. Non-professional!

Classic Harbor Line is hosting many special Architecture Boat Tours for ArchTober including new featured guide cruises for a sneak preview of Fresh Kills Park in Staten Island and first ever Queens waterfront Boat Tour with Guest Guide Queens Boro President Melinda Katz.

Also in October, Classic Harbor Line is partnering with Swedish Camera Maker www.hasselbladusa.com to offer the best photos of the FALL FOLIAGE Cruises up the Hudson River.

Classic Week Races Weekend October 11th-13th you can get the chance to ride on a racing schooner in NYC Harbor www.nyharborsailing.com

Visit for tickets www.sail-nyc.com


Parenting: Where to Go 8/29/14

NY1 VIDEO: NY1 parenting correspondent Shelley Goldberg recommends some places to go with parenting news you can use. Click to view the video.

Statue of Liberty Cruise: Classic Harbor Line
Special Discount, Now – October
Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers, Manhattan
Tickets: Adults $42, Kids $24 (50 percent off with code “KIDS12”)


New York City Sights: Tour Manhattan from the Hudson

In a previous post on NYC Sights, I recommended the Staten Island Ferry for incredible views of Lower Manhattan, One World Trade, the Statue of Liberty, and the entire Manhattan skyline for free. Now, with some strategizing (getting to the ferry terminal early before the line forms, asserting your spot on the Statue side of the ship, and making an efficient loop to get back on the same ferry), this is an excellent way to view the harbor and the Manhattan skyline.

However, if you want to avoid the masses and spend a longer, carefree, quality amount of time on the water, you have other options.

This past Saturday, I tried one of those options, namely a day sail on Classic Harbor Line’s Schooner America 2.0. When I researched boating opportunities for NYC, Classic Harbor’s harbor cruises had great reviews and the sailboat I wanted. Motorboat cruises are very ordinary ways to cruise the harbor, but a sailboat offers both the views of the harbor and the excitement of the crew fixing the sails and navigating to shut off the motor and truly sail. My partner-in-crime for this adventure and I both want to learn how to sail (considerably smaller sailboats), so that was another reason for a sail.

Another highlight- the boat was not crowded, which was a refreshing change of pace from Manhattan as well as more touristy trips. This cruise is for visitors or New Yorkers- it’s a nice way to get out on the water, not a tour. The cruise was quiet, not narrated, included beer and soda, and offered wine and champagne as well. The guests on our cruise had various purposes for being there as well: a date, a ladies’ day out, a double date, a quiet bachelor party sailing before their evening festivities, families, photography enthusiasts, and individual explorers.

The crew is friendly and takes care of the ship while regularly making sure you have something to drink and taking pictures when asked. The ship itself is beautiful and the newest addition to the Classic Harbor Line ships. The trip heads out from Chelsea Piers down the Hudson River, into the harbor, past the Statue of Liberty, lingers by Lower Manhattan, and makes its way back to Chelsea Piers.

I highly recommend sailing the America 2.0 this summer. Try the late afternoon (4:30-6:30) or sunset cruise to maximize your views of Manhattan in the daylight and not get too hot before the sailboat leaves the dock for the harbor breezes. I hope to sail again and bring family or friends soon. Check out the photos from my cruise below.

Note: if you are not familiar with Chelsea Piers, like me, you will find the Classic Harbor Line check-in outside behind the Pier, not inside it.


8 Cruises Around New York With Classic Harbor Line

As our warm-weather days are winding down, let us not forget that there is still time to plan a summer adventure with your friends and family. The Classic Harbor Line of New York offers guests a variety of experiences–none of which involve the stress of dealing with airlines and hotels. The cruises are great for any family, couple, or friend group looking for luxury the way it’s supposed to be–hassle free! Take a peek at some of the exciting packages and spend the day or night on the waters of New York City.

1. The Architecture Cruise. This option provides guests with the opportunity to experience New York through the eyes of AIANY (American Institute of Architects New York) members, who guide the tour and introduce Lower Manhattan’s greatest skyscrapers, as well as the key features alongside the East River. Learn about New York City and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and champagne with your party as you cruise on a Gatsby-style yacht. For two hours and forty-five minutes, you will pass under eighteen of Manhattan’s bridges and circumnavigate the island. This cruise is ideal for any party, any size, and is regarded by many as one of the best experiences that Classic Harbor Line has to offer. Also note that due to popular demand for this type of cruise, Classic Harbor Line is also offering various time slots made available to all!

2. Schooner Sailing. The Schooner America 2.0 is the pioneer in relaxing daytime cruises. Built in 2011, it caters to the customer looking to truly kick back on the seas and embrace the breeze of New York’s Harbor. On the Schooner, you can experience true boating and get to know the harbor in an entirely new way. This option accommodates any size group from 6 to 60, and includes a narrated presentation of the island of Manhattan.

3. Sunset Jazz. Enjoy some evening jazz and a complimentary drink on this cruise when you depart from the Chelsea piers on a Sunday afternoon. This cruise is the perfect option for a romantic date, featuring the talents of the cruise’s very own trio “The Sound Waves” playing works of Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington. Admire the views with your party all the way from Battery Park to Brooklyn in this one and a half hour cruise.

4. Chef Morimoto Sunset Sushi & Sake. The famous Morimoto from the Food Network’s Iron Chef can be found on Classic Harbor Line’s Sunset Sushi & Sake cruise. This option is adaptable to guests, as you can choose the ways in which you would like your food served. Request an open saki bar if you wish, or fine cuisine served buffet-style. These cruises can be scheduled privately, however there is a selection of pre-scheduled Morimoto cruises if you would like to purchase tickets at a predetermined date.

5. Brunch. This option includes a delectable ensemble of meal choices for each guest to enjoy. What could be better than brunch on a leisurely weekend? Brunch with a breathtaking view of Downtown Manhattan, of course. The menu offers a variety of brunch favorites, from Belgium Waffles to Salmon Platters. And be sure to save room for some Italian cookies and fresh fruits for dessert! This type of cruise is the perfect way to spend a day catching up with loved ones and rekindling your inner foodie.

6. Wine Tasting. There are multiple Wine-Tasting options at Classic Harbor Line, NY. Each wine featured on the cruise is carefully selected and served to each guest, alongside the finest artisan and farmside cheeses. And if you have no time left during the summer to schedule one of these wine-tasting cruises, they are also offered during the holidays, an ideal way to celebrate the season in style.

7.Full Moon. The Full Moon Cruise Option provides an opportunity to sail beneath the stars. You’ll sail by Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, among other city icons. There’s nothing like New York past sunset; guests will watch the city come alive. Complimentary wine, beer, and champagne will be provided to those who choose to attend the Full Moon Cruise, created with elegance and sophistication in mind.

8. Full Day Bear Mountain. This nine-hour long event begins with an open breakfast buffet and travels north throughout the Palisades and the lower Hudson River Valley. After the boat docks at Bear Mountain, guests enjoy three hours of outdoor activities. This cruise is perfect for families and friends who enjoy hiking and exploring. If you wish, you can also visit the museum or zoo alongside the beautiful Hessian Lake!

If you’ve got a free day to spare and you’re looking for something to do with friends and family, then browse through the selection of cruises offered by Classic Harbor Line! There is bound to be one that fits your taste, time constraints, and craving for luxury. Don’t let the last month of summer fly by; these cruises are the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle of the city…but not too far away!



NYC cruises with a twist: Celebrate summer on a boat

Instead of sitting back and watching summer slip right through your fingertips, it’s time to grab it by the horns.

And where’s the best place to do that? On a boat, obviously.

Leave the Circle Line for the tourists, because these cruises are anything but ordinary. You’ll indulge in fresh local grub, enjoy some off-kilter entertainment, and maybe even learn a thing or two.

Yelling, “I’m on a boat!” never felt this good.

Sample sushi and sake

Whether you’re trying to impress your date or just get your fill of fresh seafood out on the water, the Morimoto Sunset Sushi Cruise serves up sushi from NYC’s Iron Chef Morimoto along with an assortment of crisp sake.

While you nosh, enjoy unparalleled views of the skyline, Ellis Island and more aboard the Classic Harbor Line’s newest and largest vessel, the America 2.0.

Book it: $124, at zerve.com/sailnyc




Classic Harbor Line Provides Classy Cruises Around Manhattan

Want to avoid the hassle of big-name cruises? Westchester Magazine staffers took to the water and found a classic yacht & sailboat tour around the NYC harbor.

Sure, everyone knows about the Circle Line tours—but do we really want to join that circus? I, for one, much prefer the idea zipping around New York harbor in a classic yacht or sailboat, while sipping a glass of Champagne.  And that’s just the type of experience you can expect with Classic Harbor Line, which operates out of Pier 62 at West 22nd street. The company offers a variety of themed cruises (as well as private charters), with sunset sails the most popular, along with the critically acclaimed AIA-NY Around NYC Architecture Tour, Morimoto Sushi & Sake Sail, and full day trips to Bear Mountain and back.

I set sail on a perfect Sunday afternoon on the 105-foot Eco Schooner America 2.0 with my three daughters and a few of their friends. The entire experience—chatting with the crew and other passengers, enjoying the breezes and expansive skyline views was fabulous. No matter how many times you visit the city, seeing it by boat is the best way to fall in love with New York all over again. I know I did.

“It was brilliant,” agrees my daughter Lauren Giles, visiting from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “The last time I was that close to the Statue of Liberty I was actually on the island. Seeing her so clearly on such a beautiful day was practically magical.”

Lauren Steffens, visiting from Columbia, Missouri, loved seeing the city from a new vantage point. “It gave me a new appreciation for NYC’s shining architecture and magnificent waterfront,” she says.

“It felt like a comfortable living room on the water,” says Westchester Magazine Creative Director Aiko Masazumi, who took the sunset tour with her husband and son on the Manhattan, an 80-foot 1920s-style yacht. “Unlike Circle Line or World Yacht, it was a small and cozy boat. The crew members were paying attention to all the passengers, taking care of the food, drinks, and entertainment, including a magic show for the kids on board. We enjoyed the beautiful view of the Statue of Liberty, the gorgeous sunset, and the warm breeze on the perfect summer night. If I was lucky enough to throw a party on the boat, I would definitely call them up!”

Art Intern Alexandra Tutelian was also on the Manhattan. “I was unaware of all the beautiful architecture surrounding New York City until I went on the boat cruise,” she says. “The staff was extremely accommodating, checking up on the passengers often, which I found really nice. I would absolutely go again.” Indeed, that was the sentiment echoed by all the attendees. And it’s easy to go again—just a quick trip down the West Side Highway and into another world.

Insider tip: Park at one of the garages between 10th and 12th Avenues rather than the insanely high priced one at Chelsea Piers. Download a coupon for even greater savings.


The Waves Are Just a Cab Ride Away: Your Guide to Sailing in New York City

What residents know, but visitors often forget, is that New York’s Financial District hosts a wealth of ways to get out onto the frothy waters that surround the island of Manhattan. Downtown workers can leave the office, walk to the docks, trade the briefcase for a cocktail, and climb aboard.

Now, unless you own your own boat, nobody’s going to let you captain a ship without any help. (No matter how many Lasers or FJs you sailed at summer camp, these boats are $50,000+ pieces of delicate machinery.) Instead, each charter boat has at least one sailor aboard who will actually raise the mainsail, lower the boom, unfurl the spinnaker, and act out any other lingo you might have picked up from Captains Courageous. You and your friends get to sit back, enjoy the view, and do your best not to get any of the East River in your mouth.

Starting on the smaller side of the spectrum, you can charter a 34.5′ boat from Gotham Sailing. It holds up to six passengers, with the standard, four-hour charter going for $399.

In the same price range, you can charter a Tayana 37 from Narwhal Yacht Charters. Their Tayana, a brand whose vintage-inspired wood and metal finishes (and ease of use) has earned a cult following, is available for four-hour cruises — just contact the captain, Eric Puleio, for charter rates.

Atlantic Yachting, which sails from 79th Street boat basin, has two boats for charter — a 43′ and a 42′ sloop. Each boat, staffed with two crew members, can hold a maximum of six passengers. The charter times vary from two to four-hour sails.

Now, before you rush out to the piers, it’s important to remember that sailboats in this size-range will inevitably rise and fall with every wave; if you’re hoping for a languorous cruise with martinis and board games, you should probably opt for something larger.

Which brings us to the Atlantic Sail and Charter, which mans a stunning, 62.5′ long wooden sailboat from 1921, which holds up to 25 passengers. It’s as classic as they come — built for the founder of Citibank, it’s got a mahogany hull and enough teak to reforest Burma.

And then there’s the Classic Harbor Line, which offers a 105 foot, three-mast schooner that can hold up to 75 guests. Weekday evenings cost $1,375 per hour, with a two-hour minimum.

The beauty of all of these options is that they require minimal commitment: you’re not joining a yacht club or buying a boat — at most, you’re taking a cab.


Summer suppers: Great waterfront dining

We want you to get out to eat this summer — literally — so we’re featuring the best spots to soak up the sun or the stars with food, drinks and friends wherever you’re traveling. This week’s great places in the great outdoors: waterfront dining destinations! From a chic, airy oceanfront patio in Malibu to a cruise alongside Washington, D.C. on the Potomac, here are the hot spots for summer suppers on the water, or nearby but dry.

Classic Harbor Line

A 1920s-style “commuter” yacht, the Yacht Manhattan is the most luxurious of the Classic Harbor Line’s cruises in the waters of New York City. The 80-foot yacht carries guests around the island, with views of most of the major sites of the Upper New York Harbor. All of the cruises feature complimentary food and beverages served in the solarium. The Yacht Manhattan also offers many special event cruises featuring food and wine, such as the Mother’s Day Brunch or the Wine Tasting series.

(USA Today Travel)


8 Easy Ways You Can Get on the Water in New York City

NEW YORK CITY — If you want to get on the water this summer, you can hear live rock ‘n’ roll or even see whales.

New York Harbor is big enough to offer varied but simple ways to get onto a boat and have fun. Here’s a list:

Classic Harbor Line
Where: Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers, near 11th Avenue and 21st Street.
When: Trips take place nearly every day on each vessel. Those interested should check the company’s calendar here.
Cost: Varies depending on trip. The cheapest voyage is $46 for a two-hour daytime sail past the Statue of Liberty aboard the Adirondack. But there’s also a $124 Morimoto sushi-and-sake tasting aboard the America 2.0.

Several companies, including Classic Harbor Line, offer an historical alternative to the regular diesel-fueled ferries that run sightseeing tours. Classic Harbor sightseeing cruises, dining trips and fireworks viewings are available on two schooners through the summer, the 80-foot Adirondack and the 105-foot America 2.0.




Make waves this summer on 5 fun-filled urban river cruises

For many folks, summer often means escaping to the beach. But city-folk — and travelers — can take in a dose of water-filled fun this summer without ever leaving town. How? By experiencing one of the numerous river cruises in key cities nationwide.

From a sunset-sail in New York to a culture-filled excursion in Chicago, here are five city river cruises to consider right now.

Classic Harbor Line (New York)

This weekend marks City of Water Day — a fun and event-filled happening to honor the importance of the New York-New Jersey Harbor. And to celebrate, Classic Harbor Line is giving away free sailing trips on its elegant Schooner America 2.0 vessel.

Every day, three envelopes (each with two tickets) are being hidden near the Schooner’s Chelsea mooring with clues tweeted via @ClassicHarbor. Look for them in iconic Chelsea spots such as the High Line, Chelsea Market and Chelsea Piers.

The winning cruises feature top-shelf booze and sightseeing across lower Manhattan from this elegant vessel.

Standard cruises start at $52 for two hours.



A Mind-Expanding Cruise of Manhattan’s Architecture

On our intimate 3-hour cruise we saw stunning new architecture that is changing the skyline.

As a veteran New Yorker who has written several guidebooks about the city, I thought I knew every detail about the island, but after taking a three-hour cruise around Manhattan that focused on the city’s architectural wonders, I’ve gained a whole new perspective. Standing on city sidewalks, you are too close to see the detail of buildings or the full impact of their height, nor do you have the distance to see how each blends into the city’s dazzling mosaic. From the river, with an architectural expert aboard to guide you, all of this becomes wonderfully clear.

Anyone can share this enlightening experience by signing up for a Classic Harbor Line Around Manhattan cruise with a guide provided by the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Unlike the crowded Circle Line cruises, Classic Harbor Line ships sail from Chelsea Piers several times a week carrying a maximum of 56 passengers, a captain, two cheerful crew members and a knowledgeable guide. This is an intimate, enjoyable and mind-expanding excursion. From the decks or generous cabin windows of the Manhattan, an 80-foot vessel built in 2006 to resemble a 1920s motor yacht, everyone can see buildings easily and also follow the course with an illustrated souvenir folder that contains a map and 156 thumbnail photos of the sites in store. 

Blessed with a sunny day in July, my friend and I enjoyed the breezes as we sat on deck benches with a glass of champagne in hand and viewed the changing shoreline, not only in Manhattan, but in the boroughs across the rivers where parks and shiny new neighborhoods are rising. During the 35-mile circumnavigation, our excellent guide, John Kriskiewicz, professor of Architecture and City Planning at Parsons and FIT, told us about the buildings we were passing, as well as the historic bridges that connect the city (all 18 of them) and some of the hidden infrastructure that keeps the city running. 

We had hardly set out from Chelsea Piers when two great buildings provided an example of my widened view. Frank Gehry’s IAC headquarters and Jean Noevel’s 100 Eleventh Avenue are a block apart and can’t be seen together from land. But from the river we could compare how two talented architects created entirely different façades using glass. Gehry’s curving lines look for all the world like billowing sails while Noevel has designed an intriguing mosaic of rectangular boxes at unexpected angles, almost like a puzzle. 

Traveling south on the Hudson, we sailed by the burgeoning skyline and viewed the High Line’s modern marvels, including the Standard Hotel that actually straddles the walkway, and Richard Meir’s triple Perry Street Towers in Greenwich Village. It was a thrill to round the tip of Manhattan and see how the Freedom Tower has altered the skyline above its neighbors. Before we were done, I had discovered several buildings that were new to me—the striking stair-step façade of the Mercedes House, Frank Gehry’s undulating tower at 8 Spruce Street, now the city’s tallest residential building, and architect Rafael Vinoly’s 1,398 foot condo tower on Park Avenue that will steal that title when it’s completed in 2015. 

Kayakers enjoying the river and bikers in the parkland above the highway were welcome reminders of how well the Hudson has been cleaned up and utilized. 

We learned lots of interesting tidbits as we sailed. I didn’t know that Pier 59 at Chelsea Piers was to have been the final destination of the Titanic, or that the city’s oldest bridge, the 1848 High Bridge between upper Manhattan and the Bronx, was originally designed to resemble a Roman aqueduct as it brought water into the city. And who would have suspected that the handsome towers on the Normandy Apartments on Riverside Drive were built to hide the wooden water towers that supply many of the city’s buildings? 

Cameras clicked madly as we came up close to the Statue of Liberty. “You’d have to stand in line for hours for another boat that comes this close,” John reminded us.

Heading north on the East River, we sailed beneath the city’s mighty bridges—the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and Robert Kennedy (previously the Triboro) with a chance to see the differences in construction that aren’t as obvious from land. The changing fortunes of city neighborhoods were unmistakable as the Manhattan traveled past the action on the Brooklyn waterfront, where rotting piers are being transformed into parkland, and luxury towers are rising in once-gritty North Williamsburg. More cranes and construction marked the recent popularity of Long Island City, and as we cruised past the South Bronx, the new towers being built were evidence that this is the latest hot spot for artists and the residential development that is following them.

As the East River turned into the Harlem River, the water narrowed and we came upon a string of bridges leading to the Bronx—many of them foot bridges like the 135th Street Bridge that once led from Yankee Stadium to the Polo Grounds. The 1895 Macombs Dam Bridge will be familiar to those who have seen it in an Edward Hopper painting. 

As we approached the end of the island, Manhattan’s topography changed dramatically from the flat mid-town that I know. Here we were passing cliffs, the 500 million-year-old bedrock known as Manhattan Schist and the dense greenery of Inwood Hill Park, the last vestiges of Manhattan’s primeval forest.

We saw some of the infrastructure sites almost unnoticed most of the time, like the handsome building decorated with sails near Dyckman Street that is actually an electrical transformer station. After passing through the Spuyten Duyvil, one of the several swing bridges that rotate 90 degrees on a turn-table to let ships pass by, we rounded the top of Manhattan and turned south again, the Hudson stretching ahead seeming as wide as an ocean. 

I was awed by the dramatic sight of the 28 green acres of Riverbank State Park on the Hudson, built atop what our guide described as the “Versailles of Waste Treatment Plants.” I had been in that park, completely unaware of what was underneath.

Knowing that John Kriskiewicz is always the guide for specialized Saturday cruises devoted entirely to bridges, tunnels and infrastructure, I signed on for another of his colorful narrations. Even though it turned out to be a rainy Saturday in late July when we sailed, I found it quite enlightening; even staying inside the cabin turned out to be a cozy experience with more opportunity to enjoy the gracious drinks, fruit and cheese and cakes provided.  I had been too busy snapping photos on deck to take full advantage of snacks the first time around. (When the weather is poor, passengers are limited to 44 to insure that everyone has an indoor seat.) 

Whichever cruise you choose, I guarantee you’ll have a delightful afternoon and come back to shore knowing a lot more about New York City.


12 ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in NYC

Happy birthday, America! It’s time to get your red, white and blue on, rain or shine.

Here’s your guide to explosive events going on this weekend – indoors and out!

We’re sailing

Why crowd in with the masses when you can catch the fireworks from a luxurious vessel?

Hop aboard a 1920s-style Classic Harbor Line yacht and enjoy festivities from the comfort of an open-air deck complete with booze and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets range from $276 to $376 at sail-nyc.com.

(NY Post)

Celebrate the summer solstice with city sunset events

Saturday’s summer solstice gives us the longest day of the year. Make the most of the time when day turns to dusk with these sunset events throughout the city.

Sunset sail with the Classic Harbor Line, Pier 62 at 22nd Street and the Hudson River

Ever sit at your desk and daydream you were sailing off into the sunset? Dream no more: Classic Harbor Line charters cruises that sail around Manhattan, complete with booze and snacks.

Choose from two schooners — the 105-foot America 2.0 or the 80-foot Adirondack — to simply enjoy a cool breeze off the water while watching the sun fade behind the cityscape. Or, for the more active, sign up for an evening wine tasting or sample sushi and sake prepared fresh by Iron Chef Morimoto.

When: Through November, various departure times

Info: Costs vary by cruise and food and drink offerings, $52 to $124. 212-627-1825, sail-nyc.com

(NY Post)



Circumnavigate Manhattan on a Roaring 20s Architectural Boat Cruise with AIA

As we sailed north, along Manhattan’s iconic skyline, the tall, taller and tallest of its architecture, soon blurred into a forested landscape and rocky terrain, reminiscent of the Manhattan that Henry Hudson discovered four hundred years ago. The transition was quite evident as the Untapped Cities crew took to the waters aboard the classic harbor line yacht Manhattan inspired by the famous (and infamous) commuter yachts of the roaring twenties. The three hour spectacle- called the Around Manhattan Architectural tour sponsored by the New York chapter of American Institute of Architects, offers some stunning insights into the past, present and future of the ever evolving city and its waterfront.

Our cruise set sail from Chelsea Piers, which in itself represents the dramatic story of New York’s waterfront. A marvel of its time, Chelsea Piers housed the grandest of ships from around the world, served as a takeoff point for soldiers departing for battle, and then as a cargo terminal. Gradually, like much of the waterfront, it became a neglected Manhattan relic until the 1990s, when it began its climb back to importance as a major recreational hot spot on the Hudson.

The juxtaposition of architectural styles was distinctly evident as we launched into the 32-mile voyage along New York’s sixth borough, intercepting more than 150 architectural icons that stand out in the dense urban forest. Our tour narrator, Scott Cook, cruised through different eras of architecture that characterize the story of New York– from remnants of a glorious industrial past, to the glamorous “starchitecture” sprinkled among large swaths of the “anonymous” architecture that populate the city.

Sailing along the ‘BIG U,’ a multitude of glassy, reflective buildings punctuate the skyline towering above the Gothic skyscrapers that once raced for supremacy in the heaven-climbing contest. Our eyes wandered from the pyramidal roof of 40 Wall Street aka the “Crown jewel of Wall Street” to the Gothic spire of 70 Pine street and the gorgeously ornamented, Neo Gothic Architecture of the Woolworth building. At times, bulky rectanguloids disrupted this magisterial skyline, but it’s the new World Trade Center complex that dominates the skyline. Towering up to 1776 ft, One WTC and its modest counterpart, Four WTC, reflect some dramatic views of lower Manhattan and the clouds they cut through.

Across the waters, in stark contrast to the wall of skyscrapers, Ellis Island lays in tranquility. Designed in the French Renaissance style, the red brick immigration center was once the official gateway to America for 17 million immigrants, many of whom probably contributed to the vertical expansion of the city.

Passing under the triumvirate of Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Williamsburg Bridges, there was a sudden burst of overwhelming excitement with the cliffs and canyons of lower Manhattan on one side and rustic brick facades and smoke stacks on the other, like the Domino Sugar Refinery. Once a symbol of the booming manufacturing hub, most of these industrial relics will soon be re-fabricated to suit the needs of the 21st century economy.

Heading up North, the skyline plunges into a sprawling wall of red bricks as the superblocks take over the waterfront–one of the many permanent marks left on Manhattan’s face by Robert Moses. But not for too long, as the elegant spires of the Chrysler, Empire State Building and the chamfered Citicorp Building stretch high up in the sky forming the crown jewels of the world’s most iconic skyline. Our cruise map once again got inundated with points of interest as we whisked passed the United Nations building, built on land that was once slaughter houses (and donated to the UN by the Rockefellers.).

On the opposite banks, the East River caressed the foundations of Four Freedoms Park, adorning the southern tip of Roosevelt Island. Decrepit ruins of the 19th century small pox hospital (the only ruins in NYC with Landmark status) formed a picturesque backdrop to the monumental granite blocks.

Continuing north through the narrow tidal straight of the Harlem River, lush green swaths of woodlands soon take over the steep topography of northern Manhattan. From Highbridge Park and Harlem River Park to the New York Restoration Project’s celebrated Swindler’s Cove, this portion of the tour gave us glimpses of the undulating terrain and dramatic natural landscape that once blanketed Manhattan.

Oh, and did you know there are 21 bridges connecting Manhattan to adjacent islands and mainland America? We cruised under all of these historic engineering marvels, many of them spanning across the Harlem River. At the northernmost tip, one of them also swings open and the narrow strip of water swells into the mighty Hudson, as the cliffs of the Palisades stand fixed in time and stark contrast to the iconic architectural landscape of Manhattan.

Passing under the grand George Washington Bridge and the Little Red Lighthouse at its feet, the banks of Hudson River get speckled with gems such as Riverside Church, modeled after the 13th-century Gothic cathedral in Chartres, France to Grant’s Tomb and the Cloisters.

On the upper west side, the iconic New York water tanks give a distinct identity to an otherwise flat skyline but within a matter of few blocks the starchitecture rises up through the city, painting castles in sky. The final sight on the cruise, a new residential tower, 200 Eleventh Avenue, takes luxury to an altogether new level, as an 8000 pound freight elevator whisks ‘your’ luxurious cars right into the apartment. They call it the sky garage! Down below, some 50,000 New Yorkers spend the night in homeless shelters.

New York is an urban mosaic in the making, and the multiple layers that built the city can so easily be overlooked while exploring it on solid ground, but aboard the Manhattan, layer after layer of New York’s story is revealed through architecture. Summer, of course, is a great reason to get off the grid and take on the currents. The ArchTour is a great way way to experience New York’s celebrated waterways, with some hors d’oeuvres, a glass of Champagne and the cool wind in your hair.




City Sailing Scavenger Hunt

CHELSEA—Want to win a day trip sailing around New York City? Read on: In honor of City of Water Day, Classic Harbor Line will be giving away two free sailing tickets every day between July 5 and July 12. At noon, @ClassicHarbor will tweet clues about the Chelsea location of three hidden envelopes containing tickets. To redeem, finders must tweet a photo of themselves with the envelope. A summer scavenger hunt in the city? At least the reward is a schooner trip on the water. [CurbedWire inbox; official]


WWII Boat Cruise Shows Off City’s Harbor History for Fleet Week

CHELSEA — A historical boat cruise will let New Yorkers get up a close look at the city’s maritime past during the World War II.

For both Fleet Week and Memorial Day, Classic Harbor Lines and Turnstile Tours will let passengers sail from Chelsea Piers past the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Brooklyn Army Terminal, and learn the history of the harbor during WWII.

The two-and-a-half hour Fleet Week boat tour explores the military history of New York Harbor, where 3.2 million soldiers and 37 million tons of supplies set sail for the European front. The tours, which run from Thursday to Sunday in cooperation with the nonprofit Brooklyn Navy Yard Center, will let cruisers see the sights from the deck of the yacht Kingston.

“We’ve gained so much knowledge about this particular historic period and about the harbor, we thought it would be great to bring all of this together,” said Turnstile Tours vice president Andrew Gustafson, who will be leading the excursions. 

Nearly every stretch of waterfront around the city was used industrially or commercially to support the war effort, Gustafson said, and the tour will visit many of the remnants. The Brooklyn Navy Yard alone built four different aircraft carriers — each the size of the Intrepid.

“It’s also a great opportunity for people to see some modern naval vessels visiting the city for Fleet Week,” Gustafson said.

The tour also includes recorded oral histories of the men and women who worked on the waterfront during the war.

Tickets for the tours are $68, and include a drink from the bar and light hors d’oeuvres. World War II veterans sail for free.



New York architecture: touring the city from the sea

Take a step off the island and onto New York’s AIA Around Manhattan Architecture tour boat to experience the landscape of the city from the river.

It’s hard to appreciate the architecture in New York City when you’re trapped inside a building all day. We might get annoyed with tourists for getting in the way when they take landscape shots, but they just might be onto something. It’s easier to understand the creativity and structure of a skyscraper when you take a step back; you can do this by getting out of Manhattan and hopping onto a yacht with the AIANY Around Manhattan Architecture Tour.

The tour points out some of New York’s most spectacular buildings while orating its history.  For instance, how many people have noticed the bizarre hot pink building that brightens up the West Village? Julian Schnabel is the designer of this whimsical building, known at the Palazzo Chupi.

And what about the twisted glass building with frosted tips in Chelsea? Frank Gehry designed this Hudson riverfront construction to look like sails blowing in the wind. The stylish wave building is home to the InterActiveCorp’s headquarters.

The tour also gave insight to buildings in progress and future renovation, like the plan to redevelop the Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg. As of now, the location is scheduled to include a larger, redesigned building with added office space, park space and affordable housing.

You can get a view of Manhattan’s waterfront buildings from just about any boat tour or cruise, but if you’d like to hear about the architectural background of the skyline and sip on a complimentary cocktail, the AIA Around Manhattan Architecture tour runs off the Classic Harbor Line at Chelsea Piers.


2014 Boat Tours

Yesterday evening I hitched a ride on the AIANY/Classic Harbor Line cruise as they were celebrating their fifth year of offering architectural boat tours. In addition to the Around Manhattan Architecture Tour that I wrote about previously, the AIANY and Classic Harbor Line are holding other tours:

Lower Manhattan Tour
Around Manhattan Bridge and Infrastructure Tour
Featured Guide Series (Adam Yarinsky on June 15, Signe Nielsen on June 22, Eric Sanderson in the fall, with more TBA)

More information can be found via the Classic Harbor Line link above and on the AIANY website.

Below are some photos from the tour yesterday, which made its way from the boat’s slip at Chelsea Piers, south down the Hudson River and around the tip of Manhattan, up the East River to Roosevelt Island, and then back again in a large U-shaped sweep of the island.

Many of the tours depart around 5pm in the evening, meaning that the city is seen in the daylight and as the sun goes down. Seeing the city bathed in the orange glow of the sunset made it easier to brave the strong and chilly winds yesterday. In past tours the boat heads out to the Statue of Liberty first, but yesterday that waited until near the end. Therefore the congestion of Lower Manhattan (above) was particularly palpable as the boat motored by relatively close to shore.

It must be said that being on a boat tour means sensing the sky (above) so much more than one typically does while navigating about the city.

It also means that juxtapositions of one building or structure against another happens frequently…and quickly. Witness the 1-2-3 of the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bride, and Statue of Liberty below; it was there one moment (thanks to a tip of the tour guide) but gone a few moments later.

The same can be said of the Brooklyn Bridge fitting (almost in my photo below) between 8 Spruce Street and 4WTC as the sun sets in the same spot.

Yesterday’s cruise was different than the others I had been on before (one of which I served as a featured tour guide) due to being in the bay when the sun went down.

This made for some great picture postcard views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan. Too bad I didn’t bring a good camera instead of just my phone.

(A Daily Dose of Architecture)


4 Things To Do in New York City’s Neighborhoods This Week

A great way to get a better understanding of the architecture and design of our metropolis is to take a guided New York City tour led by the American Institute of Architects. The “AIANY Around Manhattan Architecture Tour“ circumnavigates the island of Manhattan by boat, offering a view of the “starchitecture” of the West Side, the skyscrapers of the Financial District and the icons of the East River. Observe it all from the yacht’s climate-controlled back deck observatory, or from the open bow. Tours take place at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Chelsea Piers (Pier 62), West 22nd and Hudson River, Chelsea. Tickets are $76.



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Architecture Cruise Spotlights Post-Sandy Planning on the High Seas

Architecture Cruise Spotlights Post-Sandy Planning on the High Seas

CHELSEA — New York’s waterfront is under pressure — and a local cruise company wants you to see it firsthand.

Classic Harbor Line has once again teamed up with the American Institute of Architects for their Around Manhattan Boat tours, which highlight the island’s unique architecture.

But after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the tour will focus on more than just beautiful buildings by looking at the competing demands on the city’s waterfront only months after much of it flooded during the superstorm.

“Pressure Along The Edge: The Future of NYC’s Waterfront,” is a nautical speaker series featuring experts on the city’s coastlines, charting the impact of rising sea levels on real estate, infrastructure, and business along the water post-Sandy.

“It’s always been one of the major themes of our tour — how City Planning is attempting to address rising sea levels, how to allow development but mitigate against storm surge, and how to also encourage more ecologically driven planning,” said Arthur Platt, an architect and guide on the boat tours.

The cruises run on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, as well as Friday mornings throughout the spring and summer, offering both the regular architecture tour and the Sandy-focused Featured Guide series on a 1920s-style luxury yacht.

At nearly three hours, the tour covers roughly 32 miles and launches from Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers.

The series will include talks and tours by Catherine Seavitt, landscape architect and associate professor at CUNY, and Kate Ascher, author of “The Works: Anatomy of a City.”

The tours will also highlight examples of ecologically driven design that are already in place, such as Brooklyn Bridge Park and Swindler’s Cove, along with more sustainable ways to protect the city’s ports and seaside industry.

“Even though that industry and port activity is removed from what most tourists see, New York is the third-largest container port in America,” Platt said.

“We’ll talk about that — how shipping and the wealth in the area has to address both the changing climate and the economy.”

Tickets for the cruise are available online for $78 and include complimentary beer, wine, champagne and light snacks. 

On the Waterfront: Touring Manhattan By Yacht

On the Waterfront: Touring Manhattan By Yacht

The 2013 ASJA Conference is scheduled for April 25 – 27 in New York City. Between now and then, The ASJA Monthly will run pieces by New York City denizens on places and attractions to visit while in the Big Apple.

Manhattan’s jagged cityscape gleams as the sleek yacht I’ve boarded glides away from its mooring at Chelsea Piers on the Hudson River. I am on an architectural boat tour of New York Harbor and for the next three hours we’ll sail around 32 miles of New York City looking at buildings and highlights seen from the Harbor. There are speakers everywhere so we can hear the guide no matter where we choose to sit or stand, bow or stern, interior or exterior. This “AIA Around Manhattan Architecture Boat Tours on Classic Harbor Line” is led by an AIA (American Institute of Architects) guide Arthur Platt who says, “Geographically, New York Harbor is one of the greatest natural harbors in the world, a result of the last great ice age that blasted open a natural channel entrance that flows under the Verrazano Bridge.”

We have come to observe the ever-changing NYC skyscape from a sleek mahogany-trimmed Classic Harbor Yacht designed like a 1920s “commuter” yacht with two John Deere engines totaling 1000 horsepower. The speed is a welcome relief from the last time I circumnavigated New York Harbor on an Outward Bound pulling boat. Though the six-passenger boat had a sail, there was almost no wind, and it took us ten hours of rowing to complete the voyage.

On the Yacht Manhattan, we speed south in Chelsea, and are soon peering up at Jean Nouvel’s glittering Lego-like condo. Each window is a different size and shape, all in various shades of blue. A block later we study Frank Gehry’s IAC headquarters, a curvaceous hunk of glass whose edges stick out like a pleated skirt. We sail past the Standard Hotel, an 18-story slab that straddles the High Line. My boyfriend Jamie and I wink at each other. It is said that when the Standard opened, a few of the guests made love with their shades open in full view of the people strolling the High Line below. Of course, the guide says nothing of this.

Along the edge of the Hudson at West Cove Park, mothers push strollers, people cast fishing lines into the water, and bicyclists zip by. I bike from my apartment in midtown east south, then head up to the George Washington Bridge, but because I’m constantly on the lookout for walkers, cyclists, and red lights, I mostly miss the view. Jamie squeezes my hand as we pass the new Freedom Tower which dwarfs everything else. I’ve visited Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty many times before, but they never fail to excite me. We head to DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and the Brooklyn Bridge Park where the restored Jane’s Carousel is housed in an all-glass Jean-Nouvel-designed pavilion.

Roosevelt Island is now home to the new FDR Four Freedoms Park, and huge granite slabs that rip-wrap the southern tip of the island glitter in the sunlight. We cruise beneath the 59th St Bridge just as an aerial tram glides across the East River. The 59th St Bridge, formally known as the Ed Koch Queensborough Bridge, is just one of 18 bridges that connect NYC to New Jersey and the other boroughs. We pass beneath NY’s oldest standing bridge, the High Bridge in Harlem, now being restored and which will reopen in 2014 as a pedestrian walkway and park. At the Cloisters, built on the former CJK Billings Estate, we learn that this captain of industry loved yachts and fast horses, and spent so much time at the Harlem River Speedway that he built a 25,000-square-foot lodge and stables—now Fort Tryon Park.

One of the most unexpected sights is Swindler’s Cove in Inwood with its colorful Victorian boathouse. Years ago, I went on a “Manhattan Bushwhack” adventure, a hike which included walking through the Inwood woods, then strewn with garbage and debris and homeless people. Then Bette Midler created the New York Restoration Project, and now this former eyesore is a serene waterfront park complete with vegetable and flowering gardens, winding paths, an observation bridge, and the restored boathouse.

But what’s this? Stuck in the muck off the Harlem River is the yacht of Louis C.K., who obviously was not thinking about the tide when he decided to drop anchor here. Even our guide is shocked by the beached boat and says, “It’s going to be hours before the tide changes.” Our attention turns to the other bank of the river and the huge blue varsity “C” on a rock face above the train tracks, originally created in 1952 by a Columbia University coxswain. Today, the Columbia crew maintains the “C.”

The Spuyten Duyvil Bridge is less than six feet above the water, and we wait for it to swing open 90 degrees on its turntable so we can leave the Harlem River and continue south on the Hudson. Just before we get to the George Washington Bridge, our guide points out a building that seems to have the face of a carved pumpkin, so it’s not surprising it’s called The Pumpkin House. And then we sail beneath the GW Bridge and look out fondly at the little Red Lighthouse, star of the children’s book, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge.

Boats and yachts bob lazily in the water at the 79th Street Boat Basin. On the river pathway is an endless parade of runners, cyclists, strollers and dog walkers. We sail by gigantic Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, now home to the Space Shuttle Enterprise. I’m hoping to catch a glimpse, but unfortunately, the Shuttle is covered by a large white bubble. No matter because there are two gigantic cruise ships docked nearby which make even the Intrepid seem small.

The guide points out a building, 200 11th Avenue at 24th Street, and tells us that some of the residences come complete with a “sky garage,” an actual parking garage on the same floor as the apartment. “Drive your car into a special elevator, push the button, and ride up to your floor where you can park next to your living room.” With NYC parking space at a premium, it makes perfect sense.

Back at Pier 62, I feel less like a jaded New Yorker who has seen it all. There’s always a way to have a fresh look at Manhattan—you need only change your vantage point.

Directions: From Grand Central Station take the downtown #1 train. Get off at 23rd St and 8th Avenue. Either walk to the river or get a transfer and take the M23 crosstown bus at 8th Avenue and 23rd St. directly to Chelsea Piers.

Manhattan, Elusive by Land, Comes Into Focus by Sea

Manhattan, Elusive by Land, Comes Into Focus by Sea

Manhattan has one of the most recognizable faces in the world. Yet it can be strangely elusive, even Garboesque. The buildings are too tall and too close together to see in their entirety from the ground, so New Yorkers who want to get a good look at the skyline have to go to the movies, visit a prime viewing spot like the Brooklyn Heights Promenade or look out an airplane window.  The New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects came up with a high-minded solution to the problem a couple of years ago: a round-the-island architectural cruise with running commentary provided by experts.

On most cruises young docents provide the oral annotation, but every few weeks a guest expert takes the mike. For this Sunday’s Around Manhattan cruise, the organization has booked John Hill, the author of “Guide to Contemporary New York City Architecture” and the Daily Dose of Architecture blog.

The cruises set sail from Chelsea Piers; 2 hours and 45 minutes later, after a 32-mile journey past 156 sites indicated by tiny photographs on a handy brochure, the Classic Harbor Line yacht returns and disgorges its information-stuffed passengers.

It’s an eye-opening experience. I have lived in New York for more than 30 years. I have crossed the harbor on the Staten Island Ferry more than once and crossed the big-name bridges hundreds of times. But great swaths of the city remain as unknown to me as Patagonia. The architecture cruise helped fix that.

The tour got off to a fast start with a parade of flashy new buildings on the lower west side, led by Jean Nouvel’s condominium at 100 11th Avenue, at 19th Street in Chelsea, with its puzzlelike facade, and the clustered, wavy towers of Frank Gehry’s IAC headquarters at 18th Street and 11th Avenue. A few blocks south, the Standard hotel, which looks for all the world like an open book, completed a dazzling sequence of up-to-the minute buildings.

There were plenty of architectural supernovas to come, but my two docents, Julie Ann Engh and Scott Cook, working as a tag team, took a broader view of their mission. Moving fluidly from present to past and back again, they worked up plenty of excitement about the Holland Tunnel ventilator shafts; the Erie Lackawanna Railroad and Ferry Terminal in Hoboken, N.J.; and the gorgeously restored exterior of the Battery Maritime Building, departure point for the Governors Island ferry. Cass Gilbert was identified as the architect not only of the Woolworth Building but also of the former Austin, Nichols Warehouse on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Snazzy skyscrapers, in other words, were not the main point.

The city’s perpetual transformation can be confusing to follow on land, but out on the river it comes into focus, especially the evolving system of parks and green spaces along the banks, a monumental change in the urban environment that sometimes seems to proceed by stealth.

Governors Island, derelict until just a few years ago, pulses with life. Enough cyclists for the Tour de France whiz around its landscaped paths, and the grounds bristle with large-scale metal sculptures by Mark di Suvero.

The tour takes in Pier 15, a new pedestrian walkway just south of the South Street Seaport; the even newer WNYC Transmitter Park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which opened at the end of August and takes its name from the WNYC transmitter that once stood there; and the newest project of all, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, which is scheduled to open at the end of October. Four Freedoms ranks high on the list of the city’s most delayed projects. When Louis Kahn died of a heart attack while walking through Pennsylvania Station in 1974, the final plans for the park were found in his briefcase. Now, a mere four decades later, the triangular four-and-a-half-acre park is almost ready for its first visitors. Michael Kimmelman reviewed the project in The New York Times on Thursday.

So, yes, it is exciting to see Mr. Gehry’s sinuous silver residential tower on Spruce Street, or Tsao & McKown’s William Beaver House, otherwise known as the Post-it building for the scattering of bright yellow panels on its facade, or Enrique Norten’s Mercedes House, with its dizzying staircase exterior. But the cruise is a fisheye lens that takes in just about everything.

That includes the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn. Ms. Engh, a big fan of adaptive reuse, zeroed in on a potential whopper, a sprawling refinery that has attracted ambitious plans to transform it into a residential complex.

There are bridges. Many bridges. The ship passes underneath the famous ones, but I was seeing, for the first time, gems like the High Bridge in Harlem, the oldest in the city. It is now being transformed into a pedestrian walkway.

Upriver at Inwood, the University Heights Bridge flashes its best, least visible feature, a filigree railing along the sidewalk on the south side, and at the westernmost point of Harlem Creek the improbable Spuyten Duyvil Bridge astounds. One of several swing bridges that rotate 90 degrees on a turntable to let ships pass, it stands a mere five feet above the surface of the water. On the day of my cruise, an old man slowly approached the bridge in what must have been the last canoe left at the used-canoe dealership. Caressing the river’s surface with a kayak paddle, he looked as if the top of his head might just clear the bridge.

The cruise embarrassed me mile after mile. Like the greenest outlander, I gaped, surprised by sights that should have been long familiar. Grant’s Tomb appeared off the port side, new to me. I knew the thing existed, honest, but only as the subject of the old joke, not as an architectural fact. Now here it was. Ditto for the weird, cantilevered Pumpkin House in Washington Heights, so called because the pattern of its windows suggests a jack-o’-lantern face, and the pseudomedieval walls below the Castle Village apartment towers.

The cruise ends when the ship eases back into dock at Pier 62. But in a way, it doesn’t. I kept ticking off points of interest that demanded further exploration and set forth on solid ground to see what I could see. First was Swindler Cove Park in Inwood, a former dumping ground that the singer Bette Midler attacked like a neatnik scrubbing a stubborn stain in the sink. Fed up with the sight of trash in Fort Tryon and Fort Washington Parks, and the discarded tires and debris along the riverbank, Ms. Midler organized the New York Restoration Project, which has cleaned up the mess and created a seductive waterfront green space with wandering paths, a teaching garden with boxed beds of flowers and vegetables, and a steel observation bridge that spans Swindler Cove, a tiny patch of wetland.

At high tide kayakers can take a soft left off the Harlem River and enter the park at Sherman Creek. Just a few hundred feet downriver, the green and yellow Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse, designed by Robert A. M. Stern, runs a busy program of sculling and sweep rowing. Row New York, which leases the boathouse, recruits students from local high schools, trains them and sends them forth to compete with other teams all over the Northeast.

Pier 15 sneaked into town this summer unobserved by me. It turned out to be yet another big plus sign along the waterfront, a little like a section of the High Line airlifted to the East River. There are walkways on two levels, the upper level divided by a wide grass median strip and landscaped areas. Double-wide loungers, Adirondack-style, make the far end of the pier a pocket paradise for jangled city dwellers.

After nearly three hours of close observation, fatigue does set in. But the organizers saved the best for last. In the final moments, 200 11th Avenue, at 24th Street, came into view, with its curvaceous stainless-steel facade and “sky garages.” The concept could have come straight out of a Bruce McCall fantasy cover for The New Yorker. Fourteen of the residential units come with their own attached parking spaces, like a spare bedroom for the BMW. After a late dinner, you can press the elevator button, take your car upstairs and tuck it in for the night.

New York truly is a world of wonders.


The American Institute of Architects’ Around Manhattan Official NYC Architectural Tour is on most Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays, at 2 p.m., Pier 62, at West 22nd Street; sail-nyc.com; $75. This Sunday John Hill, architect and author, leads it, and on Oct. 7 Gina Pollara, executive director of Four Freedoms Park, and Bill Woods, former director of waterfront and open-space planning at the New York City Department of City Planning, share the mike.

A night out wine tasting on the Hudson

A Night Out – Wine Tasting on the Hudson

We were recently invited out onto the mighty Hudson for a wine and cheese tasting sunset cruise hosted by Classic Harbor Line New York.  There’s nothing quite like escaping the hot sticky streets of New York to the open air.  Summer can be very wonderful in this city, you just have to know how to make it so.

Wine tasting aboard the Yacht Manhattan

We met the Yacht Manhattan on Pier 62 of Chelsea Piers, and we were off.  The pairing of the evening was Sparking Wines of the World and Cheeses That Love Them, created by Miss Wendy Crispell.  How delightful, and absolutely perfect for a late summer evening.

We started off with a welcome glass of Brotherhood Winery Blanc de Blanc from New York to warm up our palates.  Already charging North on the Hudson, we were on our way.  The sunset was upon us, the sky pink and purple, and Manhattan’s skyline lighting up accordingly.

Then the cheese arrived.

Cheese platter

Our first pairing featured the Szigeti Gruner Veltliner Brut, from Austria and a creamy Valancay goat cheese from Loire Valley.  We were instructed to first taste the wine – crisp and almost citrusy with a touch of almond in the nose, then taste the cheese – creamy with a slightly sour kick, and then taste them together.  The combinations were delightful, the clean flavors of the wine cut through the creaminess of the cheese, highlighting the citrus notes in each.

Szigeti Gruner Veltliner BrutStatue of Liberty on the Hudson Valancay goat cheese from Loire Valley

The second pairing was St Hiliare Blanquette Limoux from Languedoc, France, and La Tur, a sheep/goat/cow cheese from Piedmont, Italy.  The wine was dry, yet creamy, with sweet flavors of citrus and apple, compared to the creamy, almost ice cream like La Tur.  This was one of my favorite pairings of the evening, creamy, decadent, and delicious.

The third set of the evening featured Marques Gelida Exclusive Cava Reserve, a blend of Macabeo, X-arello, Parellado, and Chardonay, from Penendes, Spain, served with Gallego, a cow’s milk cheese from Galecia, Spain.  Followed by a pairing of  Jean Bourdy Cremant du Jura, a sparkling Chardonnay from Jura, France served with Delice D’ Bourgogne, another cow’s milk cheese from Burgundy, France.  This cheese was another one of my favorites, probably because it is a Triple Cream, 75% butterfat, making it “unapologetically rich”, with a little bit of funkiness due to the mold rind which gives it the flavors of almost a mushroom.  It paired very nicely with the Jean Bourdy, which was a bit citrusy, mineraly, and a touch nutty.  

Statue of Liberty on the Hudson

At this point patrons were out on the ship’s deck, watching the final bits of the sunset, taking photos, and staring mouths agape at the magnificent Lady Liberty.  She’s a lovely one.  The city was sparkly off in the distance, and the salty air complimented by our glass of sparkling Chardonnay.  We were not exactly in a hurry to get back on shore.

The last pairing was the most surprising of the evening; a pour of Cleto Chiarli, Grasparossa di Castelvetro Lambrusco from Emilia Romangna, Italy, with Capra Sarda, a sheep’s milk cheese from Sardinia, and a nice piece of dark chocolate.  Yes, you read that correctly, chocolate.  The flavor combinations were exquisite.  It was almost as though the dark chocolate made the fruitiness of the wine more evident, and when paired with the cheese, it becomes irresistibly creamy.  This pairing was so decadent, so surprising, and something we would love to try for a desert course at home.

Cheese & Chocolate

It was a fabulous night to say the least.  All of the pairings were delicious and interesting to say the least, and they were all supplemented with information about the history of the wines, technique of making, and flavor notes by our hostess, Wendy Crispell.   Be warned, you’ll be spoiled in a second, imagining your daily commute on this fabulous 1920’s era yacht – greeted each night by a glass of sparkling wine, off to your mansion up the Hudson. 

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Harbor Schooner sets sail on summers final stretch

Harbor Schooner Sets Sail On Summer’s Final Stretch

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As the end of August approaches, it can seem like a blink of the eye between July 4th and Labor Day. But there’s a nice way to keep the summer sailing along with a patriotic flair, on board a 105-foot schooner that’s built along the lines of the racing yacht that is the namesake of the America’s Cup.

Harbor schooner sets sail

“The original schooner America was built in Brooklyn actually, on the east side, in 1851, commissioned by the New York Yacht Club,” explains Classic Harbor Line General Manager Sarah Greer.

What’s known as America 2.0 is now sailing New York Harbor through October. It is the fifth boat operated by Classic Harbor Line that was built in Albany by the Scarano brothers.

“A lot of local products, cherry from the area, even the boat builder’s back yard actually. Tons of hardware, the sails, the mast all fabricated by U.S. manufacturers,” notes Greer.

Regular New York sailings on America 2.0 are scheduled through October. Everything from a $55 two hour day sail to an $80 sunset sail, up to $135 for a sushi and sake cruise.

Enter code Val15 to get $15 off any America 2.0 cruise through the end of the year either on New York Harbor or when it relocates to Key West for the winter.

Flair Magazine

Segeln vor New York

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Shearwater Manhatten

Shearwater Manhatten

Who wants to see Manhattan, it has to leave. And from where you can see an island probably better than from the water? You do not have to be to sign on with one of the container ships that push their way through the New York Harbor to Red Hook. Many visitors take a tour boats that chug the Statue of Liberty or the southern tip of Manhattan around, or they boarded the (free!) Staten Ferry Iceland. However, this will all much more elegant: a sailboat.

America's Cup

The America 2.0 is a replica of the “America’s Cup” -Gewinners of 1851st

And so I now stand on wooden planks and see the lights of the city sparkle. If already, because already, “City Lights Rope”, the provider Manhattan By Sail is a way to sail after sunset at the Shearwater. The actual sailing done a nice three-man crew, which also serves drinks. “Of course we also have alcoholic beverages on board – we are sailors,” say (and of course remain even sober). Before our group, you have people sailed into the sunset.

New York Skyline

Elegant you can not see the New York skyline.

Its seaworthiness has provided long ago to prove the boat: the late 70s, early 80s, it even sailed once around the world. But the three-masted schooner is much older: 1929 Shearwater was baptized, the time of the great Gatsby when sailing was a simultaneously elegant and adventurous pleasure of the rich. The wooden boat was made of oak timbered shortly before the Great Depression by hand and is the only movable monument of New York. And so chic this all sounds: One and a half hours night sailing on the yacht costs nowadays just 45 dollars.

Work has only the crew - guests can approve of Shearwater a glass of wine.

Work has only the crew – guests can approve of Shearwater a glass of wine.

A wind indicator does not need our Department. “I feel the wind,” said the captain to me. He needs to hear him roar in both ears, then he knows the wind direction. Just before the Statue of Liberty, he turns to again and again. Through the darkness a long barge full of stones and gravel slides amazingly fast towards us. He must decide whether to turn to her to go out of the way. At the guests goes unscathed – almost: “Main Crossing,” he exclaims before turning, so guests sit under the mainsail and get not about standing the tree in front of the head.

New York Skyline

In good wind you can sail with the Shearwater also under the Brooklyn Bridge.

On the way we see three other big sailboats. Manhattan by Sail has the Clipper, and other operators offer relaxing tours. So you can see the America 2.0 boarded at about Classic Harbor Line: The boat is designed with environmentally friendly aspects replica of America, the 1851 America’s Cup won. And who wants to keep even the pods or the control in hand, also comes at his expense: The Manhattan Sailing School offers weekend courses where you learn everything you need on the Hudson and the East River can. Including the commands. On the Shearwater one only hears what calls out to the helmsman of the crew. He radioed to other boats. When the big boats it makes no sense to call across the water. While the small dinghy in regattas “Starboard!” Shout when someone is going to disregard the rights of way, the big horns per se. “Five times means danger,” says our captain. But we do not get to hear.

Statue of Liberty

Große Freiheit New York: Who passes by the Statue of Liberty under sail, is photographed by many tourists.

NYC best spots for fireworks

NYC’s best spots for watching the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks

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The 2012 Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks are just around the corner. The 36th annual summertime staple will include 40,000 fireworks set off from six barges in the Hudson River between 18th and 43rd Streets, beginning at 9 p.m.

This pyrotechnic spectacular is not to be missed, though the coveted hot spots for watching along the West Side Highway fill up quickly with crowds. Metro has you covered for some of the city’s other best views of the fireworks, for both big spenders and the budget-conscious.

Go cruising

Get up close and personal with the fireworks on a river cruise. Step aboard one of Classic Harbor Line’s impressive yachts and enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as you watch the show in style. It’s a pricey endeavor, but the cruises last nearly three hours and offer incredible views from below the show.

July 4th Fireworks

Rock the boat this July 4th

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Where to Watch the 4th of July Fireworks

Where to Watch the 4th of July Fireworks

NEW YORK — Forty-thousand fireworks will explode over the Hudson River this Fourth of July, drawing tens of thousands of patriotic spectators to Manhattan’s West Side.

The “Ignite the Night”-themed Macy’s display, kicking off at 9 p.m. next Wednesday, will feature performances by pop superstar Katy Perry and award-winning country artist Kennny Chesney, synchronized with the colorful raining sparks.

 “We have put together a show like no other, filled with incredible high-flying effects, choreographed to a soaring, patriotic and exuberant score that will cap off a magnificent day of celebration for millions,” Amy Kule, executive producer of the fireworks, said in a statement.

Those who want a front-row seat to the 25-minute pyrotechnics should head to the West Side between 18th and 43rd streets, staking out a spot as early as 5 p.m.

Backpacks, lawn chairs and other large objects are prohibited, but it would be a good idea to pack some water, because temperatures are expected to climb into the high 80s that afternoon.

DNAinfo.com New York put together a guide of all the best places to catch the show.


Hudson River Park will offer exclusive VIP viewing of the fireworks on the tip of Pier 84, at West 44th Street and the Hudson River, for those who are willing to shell out.

The VIP section, which boasts an unobstructed view of the display over the Hudson River, has 500 tickets on sale for $200 apiece. The luxury viewing party includes grilled food, a full bar featuring red, white and blue patriotic cocktails and a live brass quintet performance.

The party is kid-friendly and will also include balloon sculptors and face-painters. Tickets cost $100 for children ages 5 to 12, while children under 5 get in for free.

Those who don’t want to pay can stake out a spot on the eastern portion of Pier 84, which will be open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Space on the pier will likely go fast, as most of the rest of Hudson River Park will be closed during the fireworks. 


At 2 p.m. on the Fourth, the city will shut down traffic on 12th Avenue as well as the northbound lanes of the West Side Highway between 22nd and 59th streets to make way for a giant block party. 

The public can access the viewing area on 11th Avenue at the following cross-streets: 24th Street, 26th-27th Streets, 29th Street, 33rd-34th Streets, 40th Street, 42nd Street, 44th Street, 50th Street, 52nd Street, 54th Street and 56th-57th Streets.


Views of the fireworks will be limited north of 59th Street, but Riverside Park, along the Hudson River between 59th and 70th streets, may offer partial views of the show.

Early birds will have the best chance of getting a spot, because the Parks Department will stop letting people in at 4 p.m., according to the blog Mommy Poppins.


The Sky Room at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, 330 W. 40th St., will offer panoramic views of the fireworks from the 33rd and 34th floors. 

The club boasts the highest rooftop bar in the city, with 360-degree views, including windows looking out over the Hudson River. Tickets are $100 per person and include an open bar from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.


The World Yacht and Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises are co-hosting a Fourth of July extravaganza at Pier 83, West 43rd Street and the Hudson River. The $89 tickets include grilled food, cold beverages, music and carnival games for kids, along with stunning views of the fireworks.

The activities start at 4 p.m.


The Golf Club, the bowling club 300 New York and Chelsea Brewing Company are among the places at Chelsea Piers, West 23rd Street and the Hudson River, that will offer an up-close look at the Fourth of July fireworks.

Tickets to the Golf Club party are $100 for adults and $25 for children. Picnics are permitted, but not alcohol.

300 New York will offer a place to bowl and a view of the fireworks for $40 a person. The ticket provides each guest with two hours of bowling.

Beer fans can enjoy some suds with their fireworks at the Chelsea Brewing Company. For $175 a person, ticket-buyers can enjoy a free brewery tour, an open bar and a buffet dinner.

Jason’s barbecue joint in Chelsea Piers also offers a great view of the fireworks. Tickets are $40 per person and include a buffet with burgers, hot dogs, grilled baby back ribs, corn on the cob, baked beans and more.

Those who want to get out on the water to see the fireworks, along with the Statue of Liberty and New York’s skyline, can hop aboard a 2 1/2-hour Classic Harbor Line cruise. Tickets are $300 and include an open bar with beer, soda and Champagne, along with a spread of fruit, cheese and dessert. The yacht leaves Chelsea Piers at 8:15 p.m.

Since the West Side Highway will be closed to foot traffic starting at 4 p.m., anyone going to Chelsea Piers will need an authorized security pass to cross 10th Avenue. Security passes can be obtained by pre-booking tickets to any of the Chelsea Piers events.

NYC 4th Best: Schooners, Rooftops, Barbeques, Booze

NYC 4th Best: Schooners, Rooftops, Barbeques, Booze

After a long day in the sun, the best way to see the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks is to hop on a small boat with friends and share a couple of pops while you watch the pyrotechnics.

Taking its first Independence Day voyage, the Schooner America 2.0 is the newest addition to Classic Harbor Line’s fleet.


The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display seen from a Classic Harbor Line vessel. The newest edition to their fleet is a replica of the yacht that won the first America’s Cup Race in 1851. Source: Classic Harbor Line via Bloomberg

Munch on hors d’oeuvres as you sample unlimited local craft beers, like Fire Island Lighthouse Ale, and wines from the Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley.

The 105-foot vessel is a replica of the yacht that won the first America’s Cup Race in 1851. Cutting-edge technology makes this version fast and light with minimal impact on the environment.

The cruise leaves from Pier 62 and lasts just under three hours. Schooner America is $425 per person; prices for other boats in the fleet range from $275 to $375 per person.

Information: +1-212-627-1825; https://www.sail-nyc.com.

New York City’s waterfront is booming

New York City’s waterfront is booming

Think of the waterfront as New York City’s sixth borough.

At least the city’s government is − dubbing it so for the amount of planning and energy going in to revamping the Big Apple’s waterfront, said Arthur Platt, an architect and one of the guides on Classic Harbor Line Cruise’s Architectural Tour.

The tour, which lasts about three hours, is given three times a week and circles the island. It gives a sense of how quickly the city’s waterfront is changing — and helps give a new perspective on the city.

“I feel like it’s a very interesting way to catch up with all the development in different neighborhoods in a very short time,” said Meta Brunzema, an architect and founding director of the Friends of Hudson River Park, who served as a guest tour guide.

About 50 years out of the deindustrialization of the waterfront, changes have occurred at a slower pace than on land — but they are gaining steam, Brunzema said. Large lots occupied by sanitation or railyards have made spaces harder to develop, but very desirable.

“Ferry services want the space, people want it, and ecologists want to protect it,” she said. “What we really see is constant conflict resolution at work. It is very much a zone in transition at all times.”

The Daily News went on the tour. Here are our favorite shots from a city’s waterfront in transition:

Starchitecture in far West Chelsea: Shown in top image. Big names in architecture have glitzed up this section of the waterfront on the far West Side. At the far left, luxury condominium 100 11th Ave. is seen, created by French architect Jean Nouvel. Nouvel used different-size panes of glass at varying angles to pick up the light differently and create the multicolored glass effect. Moving right is the IAC Headquarters, designed by Frank Gehry. The bent glass resembles sails on a ship. In the background, the Empire State Building stands tall.

Statue of Liberty: The pedestal is closed to visitors through the end of 2012, but people can still come to Liberty Island. The New York City icon is best seen from the water.

Pier 57: After a wooden version of Pier 57 burned to the ground, it was reconstructed in the early 1950s as a state-of-the-art pier atop concrete caissons rather than wood pilings, said Brunzema. The building was designed in a 1930s Art Deco style and has served as a dock for ocean liners, a bus depot and even as a holding pen for people arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention. Now, plans are in the works for developer Youngwoo & Associates to turn it into a complex with space for markets, restaurants and other businesses.

Click here to view it on the Daily News Website!

Boys of Summer

Boys of Summer Photo Shoot

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