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.
Above the Financial District and encroaching on shrinking Little Italy and the Lower East Side is New York City’s expanding Chinatown--rapidly increasing in both size and population. Chinatown is a wonderful place to meander about. Everyone in your group will notice different things. On a recent visit with my family, my husband noticed that the streets bend, and the buildings bend with them. My older daughter noticed fish and dehydrated things in markets that she wanted to take home and examine under her microscope. And my little one marveled at lots of colorful kitsch: Hello Kitty and others. You can begin your exploration online here or on foot at the intersection of Mott and Canal.