Monday, August 10, 2009

Water Taxi Beach: Sand, But No Swimming

Sand. Skeeball. Drinks. Did I mention sand?

That's all it took to convince me and a group of coworkers to visit Water Taxi Beach at the South Street Seaport on Friday.

It's an easy walk from work, but I'd never been. But a beach on the banks of the East River was intriguing, although you can't actually swim there-- even if you'd want to. In fact, a fence separates all beach-goers from the river (leading one co-worker to speculate that kids visiting Water Taxi Beach would grow up without the slightest idea that -- gasp! -- beaches are actually for swimming!).

To paraphrase another co-worker, Water Taxi Beach is little more than a few truckloads of Home Depot sand spread thin. It couldn't have been more than a few inches before you'd hit concrete. But that didn't stop the kids from making sandcastles or me from flopping off my sandals and digging my feet in the sand.

The beach is practically in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, with good views of the Manhattan Bridge and, even further out, the Williamsburg Bridge. Manhattan lies on one side of the river, Brooklyn on the other. As an almost-full moon rose above the bridges, the night seemed almost magical-- if it weren't for the bright blue and orange neon palm trees lining the beach.

Despite the sights, the $5 cover and poor selection of adequate drinks means this isn't a destination I'd choose every weekend. But I'd willingly return and stake out another picnic table. And maybe next time I'll actually play skeeball.

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