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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