By Bohemia Agent Michaela Morton
I’m not on principle a bucket list kind of gal. But NYC is on principle a bucket list kind of city, a place where aspiration hits dizzying altitudes and everybody’s bench-pressing benchmarks. So on the weekends, I like to skip upward mobility and get down to earth – or in this case, down to the water with the Inwood Canoe Club, Manhattan’s oldest continuously operating boathouse (when you talk about roots, we’re talking 1902).
On Sunday, my housemates and I geared up for neighborhood adventures in our corner of Upper Manhattan. Fueled at Café Buunni, we hopped the A from 181st to Dyckman and headed west to the river. La Marina is hosting a 14-day fitness challenge, so pumping bass drowned out lapping waves as we headed down to the Inwood Canoe Club, where a $4 insurance charge at the Sunday Open House buys you a life jacket, kayak, paddle & instructions for a half-hour jaunt up and down the Hudson.
There’s a sense of ease out there, even when you’re battling strong waters. Things fall away. You strike up a new rhythm, a slow pull against the current or a quick skip downstream. You bless Rockefeller, buying up all that land to keep the views pristine. The George Washington Bridge is light and large on the horizon, but the traffic is dim – the Tappan Zee Bridge is a mist up north. It’s all part of your neighborhood – this is where you live! Kids are out here with their parents, pushing each other around, and there are devotees oaring smoothly and newcomers like me lashing the water and jostling each other. We don’t have to be especially strong or graceful or even barely competent. We’re having a grand old time.
Inevitably, I crash my kayak and start apologizing to the woman I bumped.
“No sorry on the water,” she says. “We’re all good.”
To check "have more fun" and "stop saying sorry" off your bucket list (and to get more info on Sunday Open Houses on the Hudson), check outwww.inwoodcanoenyc.org.
Photo courtesy of Inwood Canoe Club.