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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

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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

3 Day-Cruises Worth the Trip

New York

On a breezy morning in November, a handsome 1920s-style yacht came to a brief stop in the choppy waters off Lower Manhattan — the perfect opportunity for our group of 15 or so passengers to jump up from our comfortable seats and crisscross 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 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 once put it.

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 also where some of the newest architecture is.”

Such observations — and he offered several — 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: 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 the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Not only was 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 Mr. Kriskiewicz, who also teaches architectural history at Parsons the New School for Design and Yeshiva University, are what made this excursion around Lower Manhattan a genuine learning experience. 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, did 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 that chilly fall day. Our group of tourists and New Yorkers opted to stay inside, listening to Mr. 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, Mr. 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 Avenue in West Chelsea, designed by Annabelle Selldorf’s architectural firm, “you can drive into an elevator and park in your private sky garage.” At South Street Seaport, the tall-masted ships docked there reminded Mr. Kriskiewicz that the word “skyscraper” was once used to describe the masts. It wasn’t until the late 19th century, said Mr. Kriskiewicz, that the term as applied to buildings appeared in print. Making our way back around Lower Manhattan, we again took in the crowd of multigenerational buildings that seemed to jostle right up to the edge of Battery Park, as if vying to get the best view of us. It was an oddly intimate encounter with the ever-evolving metropolis — the kind of encounter best experienced from the water, preferably with the insights of someone like Mr. Kriskiewicz ringing in your ear.

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.

SUZANNE MacNEILLE

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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!

(http://www.downtownmagazinenyc.com/end-summer-sunset/)

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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

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)

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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.

(untappedcities)

 

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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.

(DNAinfo)

New-York-Architecture

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.

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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-Citys-Neighborhoods-This-Week

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.

(DNAinfo)

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.

COVERING THE WATERFRONT

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.

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

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. 

WEST SIDE HIGHWAY

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.

RIVERSIDE PARK SOUTH

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

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.

WORLD YACHT HUDSON RIVER PARTY

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.

CHELSEA PIERS

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.

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!

New York City Cruises

New York City Cruises

It’s summer, which means that along with the overbearing heat, the streets of New York City are teeming with people. While I usually don’t mind bumping shoulders with strangers, sometimes we all need a break from the chaos. Instead of holing up at home or in your hotel room, let me let you in on a little secret: local cruises.

Classic Harbor Line, a local boating company that features sailing, boat tours and private charters, allows for a mini vacation with their special interest day cruises. The vessels depart from downtown Chelsea Piers and sail on the Hudson River.

Classic Harbor Line gives you numerous options. Offerings range from having top scholars speak about the history and future of the NYC waterfront to foodie experiences of past Morimoto sushi & sake fights. Other options include the AIA (American Institute of Architects) NYC Architecture Tours. With this event, you sail down the Hudson as the NYC skyline sprawls around you in a 360 degree panorama. All the while, members of the AIA tell you how it came to be.

There’s a cruise to spark every interest. Check out the Jazz Cruise, the Spanish Wine Pairing, and Flamenco Guitar. These are just some examples, but you can enjoy anything from wine tasting, beer and cheese pairings, brunches, sunset dinners, jazz shows and more.

Beginning on May 23, the new America 2.0 is ready for boarding. It’s an 11-foot eco-friendly schooner and one of the leading boats for Op Sail 2012.

Here’s an idea. With Independence Day around the corner, why not hop onboard? Classic Harbor Line has all it takes for a spectacular Fourth of July evening. You can get aboard the Schooner Adirondack or the Yacht Catskill. You’ll sip champagne and watch the beautiful fireworks display over the NYC skyline, all in the company of Lady Liberty.

www.sail-nyc.com

Annual Lighted Boat Parade Lights Up NY Harbor Tomorrow!

Annual Lighted Boat Parade Lights Up NY Harbor Tomorrow!

Take a break from fighting off the screaming tourist hordes that have descended upon our city for the weekend and revel in the quiet beauty of pretty ships cruising around the harbor tomorrow night at the annual Lighted Boat Parade.

New York Harbor tour boats, work boats, private boaters and charter yachts will gussy up their vessels with twinkling lights and holiday decor (including a very special maritime old St. Nick on the last boat). The lit boats will gather at Pier A, travel up through Brooklyn Bridge Park, then move north along the Brooklyn Waterfront, passing under the Brooklyn Bridge and doing a tight pass along Manhattan’s waterfront at South Street Seaport.

Here’s a map of the best places to catch the ships, and there are tickets available for a seat on the glamorous Adirondack Schooner, which will lead the parade this year. Don’t forget to winterize your Topsiders!

Boat Cruises in NYC

Boat Cruises in NYC – Elle Magazine

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Yachting Around Manhattan: Champagne on a Boat!

Yachting Around Manhattan: Champagne on a Boat!

The mini yachts at the Chelsea Piers Classic Harbor Line hold about 35 people and are reminiscent of an intimate Gatsby party on the Hudson. Champagne is poured into flutes as the Catskill or Beacon yacht circumnavigates the southern tip of Manhattan, and people excitedly take out their cameras when the Statue of Liberty looms nearby. Dusk sets in as a multi-hued panorama. More champagne flows, and soon strings of night lights magically festoon New York City like so many pieces of jewelry. 

If you’re yachting with, for example, a freckled 10-year old boy, you can also have gingerale, water, and sodas; and for adults who prefer beer to champagne, there’s that option as well. Three drinks are included in the cruise, and you’re encouraged to bring your own snacks on board since no food is served. Pick up tickets at the northern end of Chelsea Piers on the water, and line up early if you have a favorite spot on the boat.

You’ll feel grateful to live in the greatest city in the world as you cruise underneath the majestic Brooklyn Bridge in all of its glory at night. This is exactly the type of New York experience you and your loved ones or friends will always remember. Find more details and photos for cruising aboard these NYC yachts click here!

Best Ways to Explore New York City This Summer

Best Ways to Explore New York City This Summer

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D'Elia's Deals in a Dash!

D’Elia’s Deals in a Dash!

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NYC Boat Architecture Tour – New York Times

Spare Times For May 13-19

Around Town

NYC Boat Architecture Tour (Sunday and Tuesday) Architecture buffs with a love of boats can enjoy both, on a tour of Manhattan architecture from a boat cruising around the island, offered by Classic Harbor Line Yachts and the New York City Chapter of the Center for Architecture: Sundays at 2:15pm and Tuesdays at 1:15pm through October.  Pier 62, West 22nd Street and the Hudson River (212)627-1825, www.sail-nyc.com: $75, including a beverage and hors d’oeuvres. 

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Four Great Waterbound Adventures in NYC

Four Great Waterbound Adventures in NYC

In the concrete jungle that is New York, sometimes visitors  — and even New Yorkers themselves — forget that the city is surrounded by water.

There’s the isle of Manhattan, of course; Coney Island (which is really a peninsula); and the hottest  piece of land these days, Governor’s Island, situated right in New York Harbor. On your next foray to the Big Apple, catch the breeze on one of these wonderful water adventures.

Cruise with Classic Harbor Line

Sail around the city on the Yacht Manhattan. A predictable boat trip would be the Staten Island Ferry — free, yes, but hardly glamorous. Water Taxis are adorable, but  only take you a few short hops. And sightseeing tours like those offered the Circle Line and the Beast are notoriously crowded.

For a more exclusive tour, check out Classic Harbor Line, which gives you the choice of cruising around  in an indoor/outdoor motorized yacht, the Yacht Manhattan, or getting all salty dog on the swift-moving schooner Adriondack. The extensive list of tours makes these boats a great option whether you love brunch (which includes complimentary Bloody Mary or Mimosa), sunsets and Champers (Champagne Sunset Cruise), live jazz (Sunday Evening Jazz Cruise), booze and brie (NY State Beer & Cheese Pairing), or architecture (Around Manhattan Official NYC Architecture Tour). Tours start at just $45.

Cruisin’ Together

Cruisin’ Together

Metro - Cruisin' Together (A14)

Hot things to do in NYC for the summer!

Hot things to do in NYC for the summer!

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Modern Classic

Modern Classic

offshore magazine (A27)

Get Out on the Water

Time Out New York