Own This City: New York Water Taxi
- Time Out New York, 08/12/2009

The Water Taxi offers a hop-on, hop-off weekend boat service around the harbor. Check out our guide to the best places to visit at each of the Taxi’s stops. By Audrey Tempelsman

1) West 44th Street at Pier 84
H&H Bagels (639 W 46th St at Twelfth Ave; 212-765-7200, hhbagels.com) might look like a cold, sterile factory, but the bagels are fresh from the oven and are some of New York’s best. After you wipe the cream cheese off your face, board the great gray aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86, W 46th St at the Hudson River; 877-957-7447, intrepidmuseum.org), which celebrates its 66th anniversary on Sunday 16 with NYPD equipment demos, a photography exhibition and an 11am ceremony honoring former crew members.

(2) West 27th Street at Pier 66
If the breezy ferry hasn’t cooled you down, head to Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers (Pier 61, W 23rd St at the Hudson River; 212-336-6100, chelseapiers.com/sr), where skate rentals are free from noon to 3:50pm on Sundays. Eating it on the ice might hurt, but the rink’s reduced admission fee of $10 won’t do your wallet much damage.

(3) Christopher Street at Pier 45
If you’ve wondered what lives in the Hudson River and aren’t afraid to find out, head over to Pier 46 (Hudson River Park; 212-627-2020, hudsonriverpark.org), where Big City Fishing will hand you a rod free of charge (Sat, Sun through Sept 7; Tue–Sun through Aug 31; 10:30am–4:30pm). American eel and sea bass have been known to take their bait, but you’ll have to release whatever you reel in. Actual nourishment can be found nearby at the Rusty Knot (425 West St at 11th St, 212-645-5668), where bargain Busch pints (99¢–$3) and a fabled $4 pretzel dog will give you yet another reason to love Greenwich Village.

(4) World Financial Center
Prepare yourself for battle! The Battery Park Conservancy keeps Ping-Pong, pool and knock-hockey tables in Rockefeller Park (north end of Battery Park City, enter at Chambers St and Riverside Terr; 212-267-9700, bpcparks.org; free). Or borrow paddles, pucks, balls, Frisbees, bats and other sports equipment at the Parkhouse (River Terr between Murray and Warren Sts; photo ID required). Commence whupping ass.

(5) Battery Park
Rent a bike from Bike and Roll (Pier A, Battery Pl and West St; 866-736-8224, bikeandroll.com) and explore Manhattan’s southern tip: For some quirky sightseeing, visit the 18th-century mansion-turned-shrine of Elizabeth Ann Seton (Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, 7 State St at Broadway; 212-269-6865, setonshrine.org), the first American saint. Next, cycle to scenic Stone Street and order a goopy, egg-topped quesadilla from Waterstone Grill (79 Pearl St at Front St; 212-943-1602, waterstonegrill.com), which offers a prix-fixe brunch menu ($10–$15; Sat, Sun 11:30am–4pm). For an extra $10, you’ll get unlimited Bloody Marys, champagne or mimosas.

(6) South Street Seaport
On Sunday 16, experience an eco-cruise of the Harbor Heron Islands with NYC Audubon experts (South Street Seaport, Pier 17; 212-742-1969, nywatertaxi.com; 7–8:30pm, $20–$25, reservations recommended). Hundreds of herons will be tucking in for the night, but your next stop, Water Taxi Beach (north side of Pier 17, Fulton St at South St; 877-974-6998, watertaxibeach.com), will get yours started. Hipsters and fratboys grumble about the cover charge and $12 cocktails, but let’s face it: Drinking and dancing in the sand is still a novelty in New York. Saturdays belong to Liquid Sound Lounge host Jeannie Hopper (8–10pm) and DJ Nicky Siano of Studio 54 (10pm–2am).

(7) Fulton Ferry Landing
On Saturday 15 from 2 to 6pm, Brooklyn boating groups offer free kayaking and community rowing at the Cove in Brooklyn Bridge Park (Main St at Plymouth St, Dumbo, Brooklyn; 718-802-0603, brooklynbridgepark.org). But if ferryhopping has your stomach feeling weak, fortify with a perfectly flaky almond croissant from French bakery Almondine (85 Water St between Main and Dock Sts; 718-797-5026, almondinebakery.com), then sit in the park and watch the boats go by.

(8) East 35th Street
Walk west to the Morgan Library (225 Madison Ave at 36th St; 212-685-0008, themorgan.org) and tour “Creating the Modern Stage,” an exhibition of 20th-century set design, before it closes on Sunday 16. Your next stop is is the café El Parador (325 E 34th St between First and Second Aves; 212-679-6812, elparadorcafe.com), a Murray Hill fixture for 60 years. Locals come for the hearty bouillabaisse veracruzana ($27), a seafood stew with a jalapeño kick.

(9) Hunter’s Point
Sweat out the last of your energy at P.S.1’s Warm Up (22-25 Jackson Ave at 46th Ave, Long Island City, Queens; 718-784-2084, ps1.org; 2pm, $10, through Sept 5), the summer Saturday night dance party that turns the art center into an outdoor club. On Saturday 15, catch DJ Pierre and Phuture 303, two Chicago imports, followed by New York’s House of Stank and drone-rockers Growing.

Water Taxi 101: The Water Taxi Hop-On/Hop-Off service runs on Saturdays and Sundays (11am–8pm; $15–$25). Visit nywatertaxi.com for a schedule of pickup and drop-off times.