As the snow-white prow of the ship slices through the slate-gray waters of Sheepshead Bay, waves lap up and kiss the green lettering on the side reading Sea Queen VII. Helmed by seasoned skipper Captain Steve, the 85-foot vessel is on one of its family-oriented fishing expeditions. Captain Steve and his knowledgeable crew ensure the ship's safe passage as passengers focus on casting their lines from the wide beam or basking in the fresh air breezing across the sun deck. The mouthwatering aromas of pizza and grilled burgers flood the ship's galley, beckoning guests to take a break from fishing for a casual bite to eat. Accommodating all schedules and fishing preferences, Captain Steve takes passengers out on morning and afternoon trips as well as late night excursions to reel in nocturnal fish and insomniac merpeople.
A seasoned watersports enthusiast from Fort Lauderdale, J.M. Kostallas tranfers his wealth of aquatic knowledge to beachgoers along the temperate waters of Long Island. The certified lifeguard and safety instructor leads all inaugural paddleboarding lessons, which emphasize form, balance, and the art of seagull intimidation in a supportive environment with only a few students at a time. Students can put their newfound skills to use in an eco-tour of the surrounding area or give paddleboard yoga a try. Kostal Paddle leads yoga sessions in the open water and at a Jewish Community Center pool.
From the water, the fireworks seem close, as though you could open your mouth and catch the glittering cascades of light on your tongue. The humid night of July 4 envelops the Pink Lady as she bobs gracefully in the Hudson River, her passengers oohing and ahhing at the display unfolding in the starless sky above. Freedom Cruises’s seasoned captains and crews pilot yachts along fluvial highways during scenic cruises on holidays and sightseeing journeys throughout the week. The company’s roster of aquatic sojourns—including the comprehensive three-hour New York Harbor Sightseeing Cruise—enables guests to take in the city’s most iconic buildings from a unique perspective without holding a helicopter pilot’s collection of sunglasses the whole time. Yachts hosting the weekend Brunch on the Bay cruises leave the sounds of live DJs and popping champagne corks in their wake as they float past Coney Island, and groups of revelers can rent out the Pink Lady for private parties celebrating all manner of milestone.
Must See Central Park matches sightseers up with a bike or tour-guide-driven pedicab and sends them off to explore Central Park's 843 acres, laced with 47 miles of paths. Alone or with a guide well versed in the park's rich history, visitors traverse gentle hills, gawk at skyscrapers, sniff the flowers of the Shakespeare Garden, and grab a snack from one of many options highlighted on complimentary maps. Special tours delve into particular corners of history: the Movie Tour, for instance, highlights the hundreds of scenes that have been filmed in Central Park since 1908, when it served as the site for more than 20 pictures in the popular horse-walking genre alone.
Twelve Lee green-clay tennis courts host vigorous volleys at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club, a year-round indoor facility. Players can hone their forehands and backhands despite winter's cold and summer's heat in a climate-controlled facility lit by a lighting system that produces no shadows, glares, or vision-affecting laser shows. Tennis pros help players work toward more accurate volleys or more punishing serves, and the exercise warm-up room at the mid-court lounge facilitates sweat production with a treadmill, exercise bikes, and free weights.
Lawyers often earn nicknames based on their tenacity in court, but Michael Bergman more likely got his from cramming a lifejacket into his briefcase. Known as “Kayak Mike,” the attorney has kayaked for more than 20 years, training at the Philadelphia Canoe Club—one of the country’s oldest clubs—and organizing one of Long Island’s largest kayaking clubs with more than 500 members. He combines this experience and his entrepreneurial spirit through Long Beach Kayak & Adventure. He and his team of guides lead kayak tours along the shores of Long Beach and Island Park to destinations such as Coyote Restaurant & Waterfront Lounge and Paddy McGee’s Fish House & Bar, where paddlers enjoy perks from VIP seating to food and drink specials. On each trip, they adhere to a set of safety guidelines, such as don’t eat the lifejackets. They also rent kayaks by the hour or by the day.