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Manhattan is Getting its First Public Beach, but There’s a Catch

Manhattan is getting its first public beach, but that doesn't mean you can swim there....

Manhattan is getting its first public beach in 2023 but there’s a huge catch – you still can’t swim in the Hudson River. 

Situated at Gransevoort Peninsula Park alongside the Hudson River, the beach will offer a sandy shoreline, sports fields, kayaking, and picnic tables. 

Noreen Doyle, CEO of the Hudson River Trust, told The Daily Beast, “We’ve been clear from the get-go that this is not a swimming beach. The Hudson River has made a huge amount of progress in terms of its health since the Clean Water Act was passed in the 1970s, but this is not designed as a swimming beach.” 

If you did swim in it, you might stink like Kramer when he decided to do laps in the river in Seinfeld. Either that or you could get sick. 

Australians may be confused about this. Why go to a beach you can’t swim at? The real reason is to add more greenery and outdoor activity to the city. 

The park will include, “tree-line promenades, swathes of native grass for lounging and even a salt marsh, a feature that’s unique to the Manhattan side of the Hudson, for ‘habitat enhancement.’”

Building this beach is the same company that helped construct the High Line elevated park just a few blocks away, James Corner Field Operations (JCFO). 

Landscape architect and urban designer at JCFO, Karen Tamir, explains, “The reason it’s called the beach goes back to 25 years ago when the park was being planned in concept, even though all the money wasn’t in place for it yet.”

In addition, JCFO designer, Cricket Day, said that “People want a place to lay down and to take their shirt off, and that’s what they’re gonna have here.” 

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