NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC
Wed Nov 1 18:58:28 EST 2006

Yup. And better yet, that's my hourly rate on the schooner Adirondack, which is the same sort of semi-skilled service industry work as the DTBH volunteers do to earn their storage. 

That, plus the little problem of the boats, and therefore the money, going away in the wintertime, is why I have a day job crunching numbers in a cubicle. Do what you love, the money will follow, they say...well, it has, just not enough to live on in the style to which I have accustomed myself. More than pays for my kayak storage & a few classes, though, and I love sailing that boat...

Anyways - I was trying to make a serious point & I think it got lost because I like to use 900 words where 9 will do (which is why I started that Frogma thing in the first place). Let me try to get this out clearly.

1. The overall projected storage in the Hudson River Park has dropped precipitously here in the 2nd half of 2007 (by close to 200 if you combine the permit problems that could potentially remove 140-some-odd various paddlecraft that have been stored at the barge & assume that the boathouse that they now say they don't have funds for at Pier 26 would've been another 50-space boathouse)
2. The stated causes for the drops might be serious obstacles, but they look more like they might just possibly be subject to revision if the agencies responsible can just be persuaded to be a little more flexible (hey, a person can dream, right?). 
3. Jim W's comments about simplifying the boathouse, rather than just cutting it because they don't have the funds to build to the same standards as they planned, seems like one possible immediate workaround. Jim's talking grassroots community-built literally, I'm expanding to say maybe just cut the facility down to the minimum need, either way it's taking the approach of reducing the initial cost, not just scratching the project entirely becaus there aren't funds for the originally planned heated, plumbed, electrified, architecturally-designed prettiness shown in the renditions. 

snark break...all Hudson River Park paddlers have seen what a dock looks like when a non-marine type architect gets through designing it, right? nyuk nyuk nyuk...

4. OK, and the REAL point I was trying to make - it just seems like at this point it would be way more productive to pull together to at least TRY to get those lost slots reinstated in some form than to start bickering over who gets what's left. Good things have happened in the past when we put our interboathouse rivalries aside to respond to a threat, and I really think that's the way to go now. 

Realistically, kayaking for most of us NYC dwellers is primarily dependent upon having waterfront storage with water access. Quibbles over how HRP boating programs should be run & paid for seems like a luxury that can be deferred until the future supply of that very basic need is not under quite such an imminent threat. 

Does that make more sense? 

-----Original Message-----
>From: Erik Baard <>
>Sent: Nov 1, 2006 5:08 PM
>Subject: Re: NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC
>I think Bonnie was rounding up the minimum wage ($7.15), and her point 
>was that even at that small value, the labor hours contributed by many 
>volunteers easily exceed the monetary  value of straight-payment 
>storage options, which fall between $300 and $700 per season in the 
>metro area. And by the way, people (families) are actually forced to 
>make ends meet on minimum wage in NYC; it isn't purely theoretical. All 
>the more reason the public free paddling programs are key to equity.
>As for no-hassle public access to the water, it would be great and we 
>should strive for it. But for many urban agencies that will constitute 
>a cultural change, and those come slowly.
>Erik Baard
>On Nov 1, 2006, at 4:53 PM, David Gottlieb wrote:
>> Bonnie,
>>  Perhaps an hour is worth $10 to you, but to live in NYC and environs, 
>> one needs much more than $10 per hour. $10 an hour after taxes won?t 
>> even cover rent or mortgage in our area for a month.
>>  That aside, what NYC needs, are public boat ramps where I can bring 
>> my kayak unimpeded like I can elsewhere along the Hudson. I live 
>> outside the city in Rockland County where there are a number of access 
>> points, not enough. But at these places, no one ever questions me when 
>> I put my kayak in. I have the right to kayak if I wish ? alone or with 
>> others, unimpeded.... It is wonderful!!!!
>>  David
>>  On 11/1/06 11:13 AM, "" 
>> <> wrote:
>>> Problem with the bike rack analogy is that our "bikes" need permanent 
>>> storage. Bike racks (and dog runs, and basketball courts, and all 
>>> that type of public space dedicated to specific uses) end up getting 
>>> used by a whole lot of different people. For me to keep my kayaks in 
>>> the park requires that one specific kayak-sized chunk of real estate 
>>> be devoted exclusively to my personal use. That's a privilege (one 
>>> I'm willing to pay for rather handsomely, as are the DTBH folks - 
>>> only difference being that I pay for mine in cash, they pay for 
>>> theirs in hours, & in fact if you assume that an hour is worth $10, 
>>> they pay quite a bit more than I do) & I don't lose sight of that 
>>> when I'm thinking about the storage problems in the Park.
>>>  Actually that's one of the arguments that's been made in trying to 
>>> convince the Powers that Be to let us keep paddling out of the barge 
>>> - barge stores a whole lotta private boats while actually increasing 
>>> public space in the park, not decreasing it.
>>>  Beyond that -
>>>  Seems like we're all ("we" being both the capitalist & socialist 
>>> models of boathouse operation in the Hudson River Park) in the same 
>>> boat right now.
>>>  Easy to get all sectarian when our overall turf is threatened. Say, 
>>> "We deserve this storage more than they do, and here's why".  Think 
>>> that's a little shortsighted, though. We see our internal divisions 
>>> so clearly, but the people who are making the decisions that affect 
>>> us don't.
>>>  This is sort of like back when the Human-Powered Boating Group had 
>>> been pulled together - to paraphrase Jim W., we were being presented 
>>> as a problem to which a certain person was presenting himself as the 
>>> solution. If we'd sat there & said "Well, we at Pier 63 encourage 
>>> training & blah blah blah, but those folks down at the downtown 
>>> boathouse, well, there's folks down there  might be a problem" (and 
>>> vice-versa), the whole "Let's quiz all the motor vessels in the 
>>> harbor, powerboats on up, for their specific annoying-kayak stories" 
>>> might not have been dismissed quite as easily as it was when we 
>>> pulled together, presented a united front to the various harbour 
>>> regulatory agencies that came to that meeting.
>>>  There's been some of that going on already - Nancy's post comes from 
>>> someone who's in an interesting position, given that she's on the 
>>> Advisory Council due to her HRWA role, and active as a DTBH 
>>> volunteer, and also a regular at Pier 63 with New York Kayak Polo. 
>>> She got the barge on the agenda at the late August Advisory Council 
>>> meeting (where in fact Jim W. made an argument in favor of trying to 
>>> let Pier 63 stay open for a while longer, using the long period when 
>>> the DTBH was shut off the water by their pier closure while nothing 
>>> was done as a parallel - unfortunately the Trust didn't bite, there's 
>>> the whole basketball city nightmare tenant thing complicating matter, 
>>> but Jim did speak up for us & I know at least a couple of people I 
>>> talked to really noticed that); I think that meeting did a LOT to 
>>> show the Trust & the Council that there's a lot more paddling, in a 
>>> lot of different styles, going on in the park than they realized -
>>>  Think this failure to fund the boathouse at Pier 26 is just another 
>>> reflection of this failure to understand the size & breadth of the 
>>> park-based paddling community, and speaking for myself, I think it's 
>>> probably more productive to respond as a member of that community, 
>>> not as a Pier 63 person.
>>>  Bad time for infighting.
>>>  Just thinking out loud...
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>  From: "Gordon, Peter"
>>>>  Sent: Oct 31, 2006 11:27 AM
>>>>  To: Nancy Brous ,
>>>>  Cc:
>>>>  Subject: Re: NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC
>>>> I think that Nancy's points are well taken and we all applaud the 
>>>> public kayaking program that DTBH runs. I'm sure Mike didn't mean to 
>>>> sound pejorative about the people who run it.  But, most people who 
>>>> are kayakers don't really want to limit themselves to queuing up on 
>>>> a Saturday to paddle around in a tub.  Most of us want something a 
>>>> bit sleeker and given the risks of closed cockpit kayaks, they are 
>>>> unlikely to be made available to the general public, so private 
>>>> kayaks are necessary.  Obviously there are options for storing 
>>>> kayaks in the city, but storage often ends up being more expensive 
>>>> than the kayak itself over a couple of years.  I know we New Yorkers 
>>>> are expected to shell out for everything, but many people cannot 
>>>> afford to pay out quite as much cash as is required by the storage 
>>>> facilities available.  I think Mike's point is that since most of us 
>>>> don't have storage space in our homes, and many don't have cars, the 
>>>> situation is a bit different from other parts of the country where 
>>>> these issues don't arise, and a reasonably priced boat storage 
>>>> facility within the city would be a great help for people who are or 
>>>> want to be kayakers.  Perhaps the analogy should be that the city 
>>>> does provide bike racks where bikes can be stored -- and many would 
>>>> argue that there should be more.  I don't think that we should feel 
>>>> bad because people's private bikes are chained up on public 
>>>> property.   Perhaps a kayak is more like a bike than a car.
>>>> Peter Gordon
>>>> From: on behalf of Nancy Brous
>>>> Sent: Tue 10/31/2006 10:44 AM
>>>> To:
>>>> Cc:
>>>> Subject: Re: NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC
>>>>  mike, as i tried to point out, the dtbh was the sole respodent to 
>>>> the very public rfp put out by hudson river park for the boathouse 
>>>> they operate at pier 96 at 56th street.  i'm not sure how you see 
>>>> this as translating to a monopoly.
>>>>  neither the dtbh nor floating the apple provides private boat 
>>>> storage.  the park dictates what type of activities are acceptable 
>>>> at public boathouses built on public land with public funds, and 
>>>> they insist, for good reason, that these facilities are open to the 
>>>> public for a certain number of hours during certain times of year 
>>>> free or at a very low cost.  so in effect the dtbh does provide 
>>>> public kayak storage--for kayaks to be used by the public, for free.
>>>>  it seems that there is often confusion on this list about public 
>>>> storage versus private storage of kayaks.  private storage is when 
>>>> you, as a kayak owner, rent a spot for your personal kayak (which is 
>>>> not used by the public), sort of like renting a parking spot for 
>>>> your car.  public storage would be storage of kayaks used by the 
>>>> public on public land or in public facilities, much as there are 
>>>> public tennis courts and parks which can be used by the public.  i 
>>>> doubt anyone wonders why they cant park their private cars in 
>>>> central park or build a private storage shed on NYCs public tennis 
>>>> courts or ball fields.  i cant fathom why anyone would expect (or 
>>>> want) a public park to encourage use of its space for private kayak 
>>>> (or any other) storage.
>>>>  that said, hudson river park will consider a response to the rfp 
>>>> for one of the new boathouses which includes private kayak storage 
>>>> as part of a proposal for the operating and programming of the 
>>>> public boathouse, provided that the proposal  satisfies the public 
>>>> use elements as well.  
>>>>  if it is storage rather than monopolies which you are most 
>>>> concerned about, there is currently a group of independent kayakers 
>>>> working to ensure that we maintain adequate private kayak storage in 
>>>> hudson river park, particularly at the pier 63 maritime barge when 
>>>> it relocates to pier 66a next season.  we stand to lose 
>>>> approximately 70 private kayak slots if the DEC permits issued to 
>>>> the barge's owner are not ammended.  
>>>>  ithis effort has been mentioned on this and several other lists. 
>>>>  at at least 2 recent park and community board meetings there was a 
>>>> great showing of paddlers who were willing to take their time to 
>>>> come out in support of such storage and show the strength of the 
>>>> numbers in the paddling community.
>>>>  this loose affiliation of independent kayakers (some who need the 
>>>> storage and some who just support the cause) welcomes anyone with 
>>>> ideas and energy to work for this common goal.
>>>>  a yahoo group called HRPAccess has been set up for anyone 
>>>> interested in helping.
>>>>  there are other groups working toward getting public launches and 
>>>> boathouses set up eventually on the east river in manhattan, in 
>>>> queens, brooklyn, staten island, hoboken, governor's island, on the 
>>>> harlem river, etc.  i'm sure that if you want to become involved in 
>>>> a constructive way you can find more information online or i may be 
>>>> able to help point you in the direction of a few  of these groups.
>>>>  in the interim, as i mentioned, there is NYC parks dept-run kayak 
>>>> storage at the 79th street boat basin, private storage at pier 40 at 
>>>> new york kayak company, and you might want to contact the inwood 
>>>> canoe club as well to see what their policies are.
>>>>  so there is storage on the hudson in nyc now, and if we want to 
>>>> keep it and hopefully add more, we will have to work for it rather 
>>>> than bemoaning its lack and waiting for the kayak storage fairy to 
>>>> pay NYC a visit.
>>>>  On 10/30/06, mike pidel < 
>>>>  <> > wrote:
>>>>> There can be a  problem with when one organization with a different 
>>>>> mission than other local paddlers monopolizes the available 
>>>>> boathouses.
>>>>> D TBH does not offer public storage of kayaks.  Many paddlers want 
>>>>> public storage of kayaks without having to volunteer their lives 
>>>>> away.
>>>>> If there was more public storage of kayaks, there would be a larger 
>>>>> kayaking community. Many new and seasoned paddlers don't further 
>>>>> their involvement with kayaking due to no place to keep a kayak in 
>>>>> Manhattan
>>> **********************************************************************
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