Another Crowdfunding Effort Is Underway to Build Something Beachy in the Hudson River

Image courtesy CityBeach NYC
Swim at your own risk.
"I want a beach in Manhattan soooo badly," a man confides to the camera. He leans forward, hands in his pockets. A cheery tune plunks along in the background.

"Like, this much," the woman next to him adds, stretching her arms as wide as they go.

One by one, a parade of eager, hopeful beach bums flashes across the screen, all voicing their enthusiastic agreement: The city's largest borough needs a beach. STAT.

Clearly, these cheerful, wide-eyed New Yorkers want it. But how close are they to getting it?

Maybe only two years, if all goes according to plan. The video is a fundraising spot for a project called - appropriately enough - CityBeach NYC, a proposal to repurpose an old barge into a floating beach along the Hudson River. The barge would also include some decidedly un-beachy amenities on the lower levels, including retail space, restaurants and a children's science museum.

The brainchild of self-described "creative entrepreneur" Blayne Ross, CityBeach launched its first fundraising campaign earlier this week on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, with the goal of opening to the public by 2016. So far, the campaign has raised just more than $5,000 of the $35,000 target. The entire project will cost an estimated $24 million.

See also: An Upstart New York Architect Dreams Up a Swimming Pool in the East River

Though June marked CityBeach's unofficial public debut, the project has already been brewing for two years, Ross says, ever since an outing in 2010 left him frustrated about the lack of sunbathing space along the edges of New York's rivers.

"I was down on Christopher Street Pier during the summer, and there were probably 1,500 people just in this one spot," he says. "There were beach towels covering every blade of grass."

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Ken Giles
Ken Giles

Except Brooklyn is the city's largest borough.


You guys have some serious factual errors in this piece, big time. Manhattan is neither the largest nor the most populated borough in the city of New York, those honors go to Queens and Brooklyn, respectively. Manhattan is the most densely populated borough because it's actually the SMALLEST in size, not the largest—and Brooklyn has about a million more people. Just goes to show Manhattan's myopic know-nothing view of itself as the center of the universe, and the Voice's declining quality. Do you have fact-checkers anymore?

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