I present to you, Manhattan’s newest beach:
Fine, the official title of Manhattan’s newest beach is Gansevoort Peninsula.
And if you thought it was the first beach in Manhattan, well … it’s the first public beach. You see, there’s a small patch of flotsam and debris way up north on the island, near Spuyten Duyvil and the Bronx border. But let’s also not forget this forlorn spot of history, at East 20th Street and the East River.
However, we should be getting back to the main event.
In association with the Hudson River Park Trust, this project was initiated in March 2019. (if you’ve never been to New York City, the Hudson River Park allows one to pretty much cover the entirety of the Hudson River side of Manhattan by foot). It was expected to open in 2022, but unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed things.
Now, you might be asking a few questions. Let me try to anticipate them.
1) What amenities does Manhattan’s newest beach offer?
A smattering of chairs and umbrellas, sand, a small garden path, and some restrooms nearby. It’s also nearby the Whitney Museum of American Art, Chelsea Piers (for sports and events), the Market 57 food hall, and a number of art galleries and boutiques.
2) Is swimming allowed?
Not unless you want to grow another limb.
Besides, on the flip side of the beach, there are plans to bring back oysters to the area. Let them be.
3) What the heck is that metal thing obstructing the Hudson River view?
Glad you asked. That’s “Day’s End,” a work by U.S. artist David Hammons. Basically, it is a contemporary framework of Pier 52, the pier which used to occupy that space. And it came first, so I suppose the beach is obstructing Hammons’ view.
4) Is Manhattan a north-south island?
First of all, this map won’t help you.
Anyway, I threw this question here as a bonus, especially considering the vast background shots afforded by visits to the beach.
No, Manhattan doesn’t run north-south … it’s more of a northeast southwest shape. That’s roughly the directions of the avenues.
As for east-west, if you want to delve further into Manhattan history, once you’ve left your mark on the beach, head southeast to Stuyvesant Street. That’s the closest to east-west as you’re going to get. This particular street divided two farms of the Stuyvesant family, and has been around since 1787.
Manhattan’s newest beach is in a popular neighborhood for residents and tourists alike; of course, I expect this beach to be significantly busier on weekends.
That said, this week might have been it for 2023’s warm NY weather. Which is to say, who’s up for forming a Gansevoort Peninsula polar bear club?