The City's Best-Kept Secret at Sea
Summer shares may have ended, but as anyone who's been outside this week can attest, it hardly feels like fall.
Before you relegate yourself to months of brooding at dark bars, have a last hurrah on the Honorable William Wall—just like we did on a recent editorial "team building" exercise. Because great ideas and meaningful work connections happen way more smoothly on the water.The barge is the "floating clubhouse" of the Manhattan Yacht Club, anchored just off Ellis Island—but there's no need to pony up the club's membership fees. The Honorable William Wall is open to the public; you simply have to pay $20 for entry.
Unlike most boats for drinking in the city, this one actually requires leaving the dock—specifically, on a launch boat from North Cove Marina in the Financial District. After a quick 5-minute juant, you're there.
If and when you book your ticket, take a few words of advice from us: Once you've disembarked, don't get distracted by the indoor lounge downstairs. Head straight upstairs to the open-air bar and get your phone ready. The sweeping views of the West Side, Jersey City, Brooklyn and that grand dame Lady Liberty demand to be Instagrammed.
As for all those sailboats you'll see dotting the horizon, they're competing in weekly races, which are quite a sight even if you have no idea how one wins (neither do we) or where the heck the course is (no clue). The barge—named for a former mayor of Williamsburg and ancestor of the current MYC commodore—was originally conceived as a viewing spot for the competition, so expect a smattering of club members, plus sailors post-race. Otherwise, the crowd is typically made up of casual socializers (that would be us) and bankers (it is the Financial District, after all).
Now for why we (and you) really made the trip: open-air drinks with a view. It ain't fancy: The bar itself is pretty standard, with bottled beers, plus well drinks and a few varieties of red and white served in plastic cups. There's no cocktail list, but our crew (and subsequently, the rest of the barge) stuck to Dark and Stormies. If you get hungry, mini pretzels and Goldfish are the only snacks on hand, but you can also pack your own picnic and settle in for the sunset.
Good ol' Willy Wall calls it quits for the season on October 11, and spots on the launch boat are limited, so be sure to reserve ahead of time.
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