NYCkayaker Expanding the NYC Water Access Universe.

Robert Huszar
Thu Nov 30 11:26:45 EST 2006

Well, if Nancy and Daniel put in their two cents, allow me to throw in a 

Let's start with this:  Eliot Spitzer is the new governor-elect and, 
hopefully, that means that the pork-barrel cronyism of George "Yeah, I'm a 
Paddler" Pataki is finally done.  Let's get real.  We have seen the 
efficiency of the Pataki team:

Pier 26 (The Downtown Boathouse) closed prematurely without a good interim 
plan, because THEY NEEDED TO START CONSTRUCTION.  A year later, there's 
been no construction and HRPT announces there's no money for construction. 
Yeah -- that's planning.  Where did HRPT go to management school, the 

Pier 96 built by "Gee-whiz" designers who valued look over function, and 
completely ignored the input of six years worth of community meetings that 
were fairly well attended by our kayaking community.  Result:  A boat 
house and launch site that no one is really happy with and doesn't serve 
the needs of the community.  But, hey, it looks good and has showers. 
Anyone actually use those showers???

Now Pier 63 is closed.  But never fear, the HRPT has a new boathouse 
that's going to open in the spring -- yeah, just like Pier 23 -- the only 
problem is that it won't accommodate a quarter of the paddlers already 
using the barge.  The HRPT's reaction:  they're shocked!  They had no idea 
there were that many paddlers.  IMAGINE THAT!!!  Sounds like someone 
wasn't doing their planning.  Or maybe, someone had "you know what" 
stuffed in their ears during the last few years of community meetings. Or 
worse, maybe they just ignored all the comments they received at all those 
community meetings.  After all, they are the governor-appointed experts, 
surly they know better what a community needs then the community itself.

Also, consider this, if the Trust moves ahead with  the revamping of pier 
40 -- again without an interim plan -- there will be no river access or 
egress from the Battery to 59th Street. In the old days, before the Park 
was built, you could find multiple -- albeit slightly tricky -- places to 
take out amongst the  deteriorating piers.  Thanks to the modernization 
and transformation of the old waterfront, all the local, "unofficial" exit 
points have been cemented away and replaced with 8 to 10 foot, unscalable 
seawalls. So official access points are now more important then ever.

Solution:  Call, write, fax Eliot Spitzer (contact info below)  and tell 
him you are fed up with bureaucrats who don't do their job and don't 
listen to the community they are suppose to represent. Tell him we want 
this park to be built, and it seems the only way to get it properly built, 
is to remove the current HRPT management. Tell him, we want a 
user-friendly, waterfront-accessible, community park; not some 
bureaucrat's sterile, can't-touch-anything, design competition.

Tell him: Day One -- Everything Changes.

Bob Huszar

The Honorable Eliot Spitzer
120 Broadway
New York City, NY 10271
(212) 416-8000

212-416-8942 (Fax)

On Wed, 29 Nov 2006, wrote:

> great thoughts!
> oddly, NY Kayk Polo has had people join us from all over the world. they google kayak polo in nyc and find us. we've gotten members this way (including 2 new recent transplants from italy and one from beijing by way of london).
> the dtbh also gets lots and lost of tourists from their website--even entire tour groups!
> i think, as you say, this is beyond the HRPT--theyre not much in the marketing business.
> but perhaps some of the other relevant organixations: hrwa, nyo, mkc, nykp, the guild, etc, and some of our individual paddlers who write for such magazines should start some grassroots spreading of the word.
> i've seen a few articles over the years about paddling in manhattan, particularly those about circumnavigations, statue trips, etc.
> if we want to make an impression on the HRPT, NYC Parks, and more importantly, the new waterfront concerns now in the planning phases, lets do a sort of a press kit. we should gather all the articles and news stories and video (check out tim gamble on japanese tv, for instance!) and present our "body of work" to the agencies who are right now considering the prosepct of water access on the east river and in the rest of the NYC area where potential public launch sites are being reviewed for funding/development.
> thats just another 2¢. . .
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> To:
> Sent: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 5:06 PM
> Subject: [pier63holdtrips] Expanding the NYC Water Access Universe.
> Hey guys and gals,
> I've been doing a lot of traveling and work lately so I apologize about being a little mute about all the various kayak access issues with the HRPT.
> However the idea struck me today that why is it that only NYC area paddlers should be concerned with this. To me, at least, NYC would appear to be a "Kayaking Destination."
> If I was a seakayaker in Michigan or surfskier in Kauai or kayak polo player in London, I might like to know that I could get on the water easily when I visit NY. Maybe if I knew that I couldn't get convenient access, I might not book that hotel or go to that restaurant or visit NY at all.
> We, the hundreds of local kayakers, like to think of this river and these waters as our own, but perhaps it really belongs to the tens if not hundreds of thousands of global kayakers of all stripes that want to enjoy the waters of one of the greatest cities in the world.
> If the HRPT understood that the water not just the waterfront of New York could be as much of a tourist destination as the beach is to Miami or the mountains are to Denver, then perhaps they'd adjust their priorities. How many people would be rethinking their vacations if there was a chain-link fence between the sand and the water down at southbeach?
> I think we need to start approaching this latest challenge not so much as a local issue but a global one., ACA, BCU, seakayakermag etc. all should know about this. We should also suggest that the HRPT partner with these and any other pertinent organizations to promote "NYC Aqua-tourism."
> That's my $0.02, anyways.....
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