A few weekends ago, I spent the afternoon aboard retired fireboat John J. Harvey, moored at NYC’s Pier 66 (right next to a happy-hour favorite, the Frying Pan, and just a block from our office!).
We brought picnic lunches to munch on while we took in the gorgeous views. Although many of us New Yorkers walk by the city’s famous landmarks day after day without a second glance, there’s just something about seeing the skyline from afar that makes you feel like a giddy tourist. The boat chugs down the Hudson River, passing the Empire State Building, 1 World Trade Center, and around to the East River under the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges, where it floats by the Chrysler Building…
On the way back, the crew turned on the boat’s water hoses as we passed 1 World Trade Center for a second time, transforming the vessel into a massive makeshift fountain. Although it was a little too chilly to enjoy the giant arcs of water that weekend, I’ve heard that on hot summer days, kids love to cool off under the spray. The show has a deeper meaning, too—the fireboat was called to action on September 11, 2001, pumping water for 80 hours.
Anyone can hop on for the ride, and the excursions are free. To keep the fireboat running, the crew encourages donations at the end of your trip. Check their calendar for upcoming public rides.
(Top and bottom photos: John J. Harvey, Ltd.)