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The Battery

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, August 21, 2001


The Park to Park swim on Sunday, August 19 was almost 60 swimmers strong. The annual swim, organized by Parks and the Manhattan Island Swim Foundation, is an example of open water swimming, and a tribute to the unique recreational opportunities that island life affords. A one-mile course led swimmers down the Hudson River, with the current, from South Cove Yacht Harbor in Battery Park City to Pier 25.

The swim, part of a series, was also a chance to recognize the improved health of our waterways. A partnership of government and nonprofit agencies has seen to it that 200 species of fish live in or visit the rivers, and that number is on the rise. The Hudson is one of the few North American estuaries with spawning populations of all its native fish, and, as tour guides proudly tell visitors, oysters and blue crabs, lately strangers to the city's waterways, are back and reproducing.

Proceeds from the Park to Park and other swims benefit Parks' Learn to Swim program, which teaches New York City youngsters to swim for free. So far, Manhattan Island Swim Foundation events have raised more than $100,000 for that program.

All of the race participants are avocational swimmers. In their professional lives they are chemists, doctors, lawyers, accountants, and Parkies. Fraidy (Radiator) Aber, Director of Public Programs for the Hudson River Park Trust; Robert (Iceman) Garafola, Deputy Commissioner; Jack (Kirkwood) Linn, Assistant Commissioner for Citywide Services; Katie (Catalan) Langhammer, Director of Central Recreation; and Jonathan (Nautilus) Ells, Recreation Analyst were present to see the swimmers on their way.


Summer 2001 marks the 20th anniversary of Parks' swim programs for seniors and special populations. Since 1981 Citywide Aquatics has offered custom-made classes like water ballet, water exercise, and swim lessons. The classes this season, held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., attracted as many as 200 participants.

The classes have proven to be a great way for seniors and developmentally disabled swimmers to stay in shape, meet new people, and enjoy Astoria Pool to themselves for several hours each week. On Wednesday, August 15, Aquatics held its celebration day of games and contests. Awards were presented to two outstanding senior swimmers and two premier swimmers among the special populations group. The crowd was also treated to an exhibition by the Silver Swans water ballet team.

When the program began in 1981, it held classes just one day a week. In time, its offerings have expanded to three days a week, serving more waterbabies more hours of every summer. The program is administered by John (Neptunis) Hutchins, Director of Citywide Aquatics, and a team of specialists certified through the American Red Cross. Whatever the level of their students, the instructors teach them the essential skills of swimming.

(Tuesday, August 23, 1988)


With attendance up 75% from last year to over 30,000 people, Central Park's SummerStage will close its third and most successful Friday evening "Dance/Performance" series on September 2 with a dance double bill featuring premiere performances by Paul Thompson & Troop Three, and Marta Renzi & the Project Company.

Choreographer Paul Thompson's mix of professional dancers and high school students has been praised by The New York Times as "a marvelous brew of homemade surrealism [and] a breath of fresh air." Thompson, a former member of David Gordon's Pick Up Company, and Troop Three will premiere "Dances For Deposed Dictators. Past and Future," a tragicomic, five-part view of world politics, with music by a noted composer will also perform "Investments," a work-in-progress in which the upwardly mobile (Yuppies) meet the upwardly ascendant (Angels).


"Time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels;
only when the clock stops does time come to life."

William Faulkner (1897-1962)

Directions to The Battery

Know Before You Go

ParkThe Battery

Portions of the Battery are closed for various improvements, including a connection between the Greenways along the Hudson River and the East River. The 12-acre site will feature a meandering bikeway and walkway through lushly planted perennial gardens; a reconstructed Battery Green, the large oval lawn that serves as a public assembly and performance area; restoration and relocation of 10 monuments to the perimeter for better placement and increased visibility; a protected and replanted woodland area; new paths, trees and seating surrounding the park, and upgraded paving, edging, furnishings and lighting.
Anticipated Completion: Summer 2015

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