Friday, February 4, 2011

Going Coastal New York City

Coverof the Second Edition
For me, one of the highlights of the 2011 New York Boat Show was meeting Barbara La Rocco, president and founder of Going Coastal, Inc. and author of Going Coastal New York City, the definitive Urban Waterfront Guide for the Big Apple.

When my wife and I moved to new York City three and a half years ago, one of the first local guide books my wife purchased was the first edition of Going Coastal New York City. The only problem with the guide was that, at the time, we did not know enough about our local ecological and political geography to take full advantage of it. We were still learning our way around our immediate neighborhood and how to negotiate the subway system. We had yet to broaden our excursions or explore the larger area, including the coast.

Three and a half years later, including kayaking and sailing on the Hudson and Jamaica Bay as well as kayaking on the East River, we have started to learn our way around the Big Apple. We know, however, that there is a lot more to learn about and explore. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that we had a copy of the First Edition of Going Coastal New York City in our library because it would have been a good resource to help us expand our exploration and learning.
I forget what drew my interest to the Going Coastal booth at the 2011 New York Show, but something about the booth compelled me to take a closer look and strike up a conversation with the person in the booth. That person was Barbara La Rocco. As we talked, I learned that we know many of the same people, especially those associated with the Sebago Canoe Club, of which my wife and I are members. Barbara and I talked about kayaking, sailing, and pump out stations. I also asked her that if I bought a copy of the Second Edition of her book (not realizing that we already had a copy of the First Edition) if she would sign it. She said yes. I did and she did.

Barbara and me
at the 2011 New York Boat Show
I started browsing through this little 281-page guide while riding the subway on the way home and was impressed by its content. I learned that the “Paerdegat” in Paerdegat Basin, where my wife and I usually launch our kayaks, means “horse gate” in Dutch. We have been paddling in Paerdegat Basin for nearly three years and never knew the etymology of the name. Now we know. Thanks, Barb.
Now that I better know my way around New York City, including many of its waterways and coastal areas, I think Going Coastal New York City will be a more valuable guide, telling me things I did not know about places I have already been and directing me to new places to explore and enjoy.
After having purchased the Second Edition, and having discovered the First Edition in our library and comparing the two editions, I think the Second Edition is a vast improvement. The First Edition was printed in only black and white. The second edition is printed in black, blue and white, blue being used primarily to designate water areas on the numerous maps. As a result of the introduction of blue ink and a different font, I find Second Edition more eye appealing and inviting.
The Second Edition of Going Coastal New York City is an invaluable resource for any New Yorker, new or longtime resident, wanting to learn more about the sixth borough, the water around New York. I highly recommend it. With six years between editions, the Second Edition contains enough updated material to justify its purchase even if you already own the First Edition.

1 comment:

Miller said...

Thank you so much for a great post John! So happy you've met Barbara and know of her great work with Going Coastal! We really appreciate that you love her Guidebook and your kudos of the first edition and the updated version.
Do you know there is a Facebook page for Going Coastal, Inc.? We would love for you to be a Fan and spread the word too! Here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/GoingCoastal.org We'll be posting a link back to your post as well so we can share the love! :) Thanks so much John! We value you as such an amazing friend of Going Coastal.