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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Life on the Water, in Riverside Park

Boat Basin, Upper West Side
Photo by myself of the Boat Basin in Riverside Park, on the Upper West Side, around 79th Street and West End Avenue.

Believe it or not, you can live in a houseboat year-round off Manhattan. The Boat Basin is one of a few places where you can moor your boat, on the Hudson River. On the opposite shore lies New Jersey.

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I've read a little about the houseboat culture that exists in places like Seattle. These are close knit communities where residents share a sense of place and belonging. This is a huge contrast with New York life, where you can live in the apartment next to someone for years and never speak.

Why would New Yorkers not know their neighbors, you ask?

It's a strange thing, but many prefer the safety of anonymity. We fear getting too close, and setting someone off. What if the neighbor is a freak show, just waiting to develop an unhealthy attachment to someone? Then our hard-earned privacy in the big city would be lost forever.

If only we all lived on houseboats!

Related posts: Docked Along the West Side, A New York Frame of Mind and The View from the Promenade.

6 comments:

valeria said...

It would be an iteresting option, wouldn't it?
It looks like such a nice place and the city is near.
Are you thinking about becoming a boatowner?

ZenYenta said...

You're making me so nostalgic. Sometimes when there was nothing else to do on a nice day my parents would take us down there to look at the boats and there were some people living on houseboats there even back then. I thought that sounded so cool.

Of course, I only live 50 miles away so nothing's really stopping me from going back in person, but whenever we're in the city there never seems to be a lot of extra time for meandering.

spandrel studios said...

Boats always make me think "vacation," so maybe the getaway aspect is appealing to those who live on a boat full-time?

Lily Hydrangea said...

I had no idea people were living on houseboats here, very interesting.
I wonder if anyone lives on a houseboat in the waters surrounding LI? I'll have to investigate.

tam said...

I think NYC would be a great place to live. We don't speak to our neighbors much either. We'll wave hi but that's about it.

Brad and I could live on a houseboat, easily. Amazing photo!

• Eliane • said...

Hey, you're in my hood! I am quite fascinated by the big one that has a spiral staircase. They have a "terrace" upstair and usually they have a few nice flower pots up there. For a houseboat, it has some nice "architectural" elements. I really wished it would participate in Open House NY. I would love to visit and see how it is. Must be like a 2BR, no?