Manhattan is packed full of world-class restaurants, a vast array of shops, a beautiful nature preserve and virtually everything else required to satisfy the modern urbanite – except for a beach. That might seem obvious; it’s an island built up from swampland, cut off from the sea. But that doesn’t mean beach-craving creative thinkers can’t come up with a way to incorporate one into America’s most densely populated city. City Beach NYC is a project seeking to build a floating beach park on a barge in the Hudson River.
Starting with a reclaimed barge, the project would create a two-level destination with shops and restaurants tucked beneath a curving, sand-covered platform overlooking the water. You can’t exactly swim in the Hudson, but the park would have misters for cooling off, as well as a large water feature that mimics the sound of the sea, drowning out the city cacophony.
Changing rooms, a surf shop and a marine science lab would also be incorporated into the 260-foot park. The plan is to permanently moor it on the west side of Manhattan, with the possibility of renting small personal watercraft like kayaks and paddle boards.
The creators of City Beach NYC are currently raising the first round of funding on Indiegogo to hire a team to develop the operational plan; additional milestones will build scaled 3D models, fund the services of architects and engineers, and gain permits. They’re hoping that the people of Manhattan want a beach badly enough to come together and donate. Sure, you could just cross a bridge and go to Coney Island or Brighton or Rockaway, with access to the actual ocean, but a floating beach with views of the city would certainly be a novelty.