In 1998, the Hudson River Park Act officially created this park, reserving extensive portions of the waterfront exclusively for public recreation, and significantly limiting the types and locations of commercial activities. The Act also designated the river itself an estuarine sanctuary, and requires that every dollar made within the park goes right back into the park's construction, maintenance or operations.
Officially, Hudson River Park begins at Battery Place with a bikeway and walkway that continues five miles along the entire length of the park to 59th Street. This is the beginning of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail, which will eventually run all the way to Troy, north of Albany. Most of the park is completed, and now a bike path encircles the entire outer perimeter of Manhattan. Some of New York City's most dramatic views can be had here, in particular shortly after dawn and just before sunset.
We provide highlights below, but encourage you to vist the park's official website, which is exceptional.
Currently, Pier 25 provides a small snack bar and a sand area for beach volleyball. A miniature golf course is open from May to October. The "Yankee," the last surviving original Ellis Island ferry, is docked here.
Pier 26 is the home of the Downtown Boathouse, where members can store small craft like canoes and kayaks, and the public can borrow them or launch their own boats for free. The River Project, an ecological education and research center, is also located here.
See also the Friends of Hudson River Park.
Hudson River Park is located in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan. The western slice of Greenwich Village—although some will tell you it's a separate neighborhood altogether; don't listen to them—the West Village is a somewhat sleepier version of its larger neighborhood, with many tree-lined streets populated by residential buildings and punctuated ever-so-lightly with restaurants and bars. The locals have fought notoriously hard throughout the years to keep raucous bars and clubs from staying open—or even opening at all—to preserve the relative quiet of their neighborhood. The West Village stretches east from the Hudson River to 6th Avenue, and north from Houston Street to West 14th. It's northwestern corner is chewed off by the Meatpacking District, where the very sorts of restaurants and bars West Village residents try to keep out of their 'hood flourish. The majority of Bleecker Street's dining, shopping, and drinking options exist on the West Village's end of the street, with a small shopping mecca surrounding the intersection of 7th Avenue, where many high-end retailers have stores, like Brooks Brothers' Black Fleece, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Burberry, Marc Jacobs, and a whole lot more. There's plenty of history here, and the bars are no exception—Dylan Thomas famously stumbled out of the White Horse Tavern heavy with whiskey on the night he expired at the Hotel Chelsea. For those aiming to avoid the thumping, throbbing nightclubs of the Meatpacking District, jazz can be had at Fat Cat, the legendary Village Vanguard, and smaller, quieter establishments like 55 Bar. If you'd like a more structured day of drinking, the folks at the Literary Pub Crawl put on a fantastic and informative tour. The sophisticated residents of the West Village have led a number of excellent restaurants to open in the neighborhood, from Italian favorite Sant Ambroeus, April Bloomfield's game-changing gastropub The Spotted Pig, Yerba Buena, and Perry St.. Of course, if you're not in the mood for high-end cuisine in mood-inducing settings, there's pizza on offer at John's of Bleecker Street, but you'd be better served by walking a little further east and feasting one our favorite New York slice at Joe's. And if it's a burger you're looking for, the city's first Umami Burger is lurking over on 6th Avenue, while perennial favorite Corner Bistro is on 7th. While the West Village is low on museums, it has two of the best independent cinemas in the city between Film Forum and neighborhood landmark IFC Center.
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