Look, it would be easy to make fun of City Beach NYC, the proposed floating barge with an artificial beach (and retail space) that would dock alongside Hudson River Park. Really easy. For one thing, the project's Thunderclap page starts off with the dubious claim, "WE NEED A BEACH in New York City during the summer." (Shhhhh, don't tell.) There's also the Thunderclap itself, which appears to be some sort of pre-Kickstarter where you can sign up to have promotional tweets sent from your personal account. And, of course, there's the actual beach, which a) even in the renderings, looks uncomfortably crowded, b) would not be connected to any body of water that you could even consider swimming in, and c) would include a "surf shop" where you can buy a bathing suit to not swim in. But then again, it is a pretty gutsy and imaginative project, so maybe it would be wrong to mock it. Starting now.
The beach is the brainchild of one Blayne Ross and was designed in collaboration with Matt Berman and Andrew Kotchen of workshop/apd and Nathaniel Statnton of Craft Engineering. In order to "emulate a relaxed seaside atmosphere and maximize the footprint of the barge," the surface would rise up to 16 feet at the edges, allowing more space below deck for a history and maritime science lab for kids (in order to qualify partially as a nonprofit, although it will be a for profit enterprise). There would also be a two-restaurant food court on one of the beach. Ross claims in a Reddit thread that the beach could hold 600-700 people, so it will presumably be much bigger than it appears in the renderings. The next step is the Kickstarter, which will launch on June 14, and Ross hopes to have the beach up at running in 2016.
UPDATE: Statement from the Hudson River Park Trust:
The use of any area of Hudson River Park for a floating beach barge would require the prior approval of the Hudson River Park Trust in addition to various regulatory agencies. The waters within the Hudson River Park area are an important ecological resource, and part of our mission is to consider how any and all in-water uses will preserve or enhance this habitat. We have spoken with City Beach NYC and they understand the environmental requirements needed for any proposed projects. Approval of this proposed project has not yet occurred and any future application to us for a floating beach would have to pass this test, among others.
· New York's First Artificial Beach Hopes to Open in 2016 [NYO]
· GET ME TO THE BEACH! [Thunderclap]
· Could Manhattan get a floating beach by 2016? [Reddit]
· Related: Guy Wants to Bring Luxury Campground to Rockaway Beach [Curbed]