It is very good news indeed that New York City is now home to a proper boathouse, if not yet a boathouse row. The Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse at Swindler Park is a smartly-designed facility with rowing instruction for the novice and facilities for the budding Olympian. The waters of the Harlem River may seem an inauspicious vantage from which to see Manhattan, but besides some local motorboat traffic the scene is breathtaking. In season (early Spring to late Autumn), crews are out in doubles, quads, and eights from pre-dawn to dusk. If you are a former rower, or looking to learn, you can take a beginner's class or join the Master's group for an annual membership fee. The boathouse is also home to an initiative supporting local youth rowing and houses a few local college crews, so there is always hubbub and activity at the boathouse.
Lower East Side
The East Village is home to immigrant families who have lived in the affordable housing here for generations (paid tribute to in the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and Katz’s Delicatessen, both on Delancey Street). The newly upscale profile of the East Village is headquartered on Rivington Street and embodied by the Rivington Hotel and restaurants like teany. An exploration of the East Village should be done on foot: walk east on First Street at mealtime where you’ll stumble upon Prune. East Village landmarks are Washington Square Park, New York University, and the Strand Bookstore; Tompkins Square Park and Chinatown (visit Pearl River Mart, a Chinese department store) are nearby.