Water Taxi Beach

Coordinates: 40°44′32″N 73°57′41″W / 40.742207°N 73.961302°W / 40.742207; -73.961302
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Artificial tree for artificial beach

Water Taxi Beach was an artificial temporary beach operated from 2005 to 2010 on a wharf on the East River in the Hunters Point section of Long Island City, in the New York City borough of Queens. It was operated by the New York Water Taxi Company and was open to the public for free during the summer months. The beach was also rented for private parties. In concept, Water Taxi Beach is similar to Paris Beach in Paris, France.[1] The beach was operated by Harry Hawk and Tony Rosciglione and partners who ran the beach owned by NY Water Taxi, now Harbor Experience Companies. It was part of a public-private partnership with the Port Authority of NY and NJ.[2]

The restaurant Harry's at Water Taxi Beach served barbecue-type foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, beer, wine, and tropical drinks. There was also a full catering menu. In May 2008, Harry's won first place in a contest to determine which restaurant had the best burger in the boroughs.[3]

The beach concept was created in 2005 as an experiment in community and economic development by New York Water Taxi to attract Manhattanites to Long Island City and to make weekend ferries serving the new residential high-rises near the beach financially viable. The success of the beach has led New York Water Taxi to propose a similar project in Red Hook, Brooklyn.[4]

Since 2007, Water Taxi Beach has been one of the main sites of the annual NYC Food Film Festival.[5]

In March 2008, additional sand was added to the property, expanding its size and making room for three new beach volleyball courts.

In 2005, the company started planning service to Governors Island[6] in 2005, started service on June 2, 2008,[7] and opened a Water Taxi beach there[8] on July 10, 2009. A beach was also opened at the South Street Seaport on Memorial Day Weekend, 2009.

New sand arriving on March 19, 2008

Property ownership[edit]

Water Taxi Beach was built and located on property owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. In 2009, the property was sold to New York City and is now under the control of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The land is located next to the Queens West development and is also slated to be redeveloped with residential housing and a waterfront park.[9] Accordingly, the beach closed for construction works related to the development of Hunters Point South, after the 2010 season.[10]


  1. ^ Wyatt, Caroline (July 21, 2004). ""Paris Beach" opens along Seine]". BBC News. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
  2. ^ Cline, Francis (August 11, 2005). ""Imagination on The Waterfront" in Queens". NY Times. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  3. ^ Merwin, Hugh (May 21, 2008). ""Burger Battle" in Queens". Gothamist. Archived from the original on May 30, 2009. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
  4. ^ "Tiny beach proves a surprising hit" (Broadsheet journal). Crain's New York Business. September 17, 2007.
  5. ^ Fabricant, Florence (June 9, 2009). "Dining Calendar". New York Times. New York, NY. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
  6. ^ McGeehan, Patrick (August 15, 2005). "Beyond Lady Liberty; Luring Visitors to New York Harbor's Lesser-Known Attractions". New York Times. New York, NY. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
  7. ^ Berberich, Elizabeth (2007-05-30). "First Ever New York Water Taxi Service From Brooklyn To Governors Island Announced By The Governors Island Reservation And Education Corporation". New York, NY: Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation. Archived from the original on August 8, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
  8. ^ Sekula, Anna (February 27, 2009). "New York Water Taxi Announces Second Makeshift Beach". Harbor Experience Companies. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
  9. ^ "Mayor Bloomberg Announces City's $100 Million Acquisition of the 30-Acre Hunter's Point South Parcel" (Press release). New York City Economic Development Corporation. June 25, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2010.
  10. ^ "Water Taxi Beach Long Island City". watertaxibeach.com. Archived from the original on November 17, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2011.

40°44′32″N 73°57′41″W / 40.742207°N 73.961302°W / 40.742207; -73.961302