Pier 17 is a popular place to begin your exploration of the Hudson River and East River. Now a shopping mall with restaurants, this former fish market at South Street Seaport on Fulton Street near the Financial District is home to the South Street Seaport Museum and includes a view of the Brooklyn Bridge.
The variety, shapes and colors of the many boats here are an endless fascination: such as the steel-hulled windjammer, Peking, which is part of the South Street Seaport Museum. You'll find the lines of the rigging among its four tall wooden masts particularly eye-catching.
With a vivid, bright-red color, the "lightship" Ambrose is more than 100 years old and used to serve as a floating lighthouse.
A distinctive yellow catamaran, belonging to the New York Water Taxi, provides a smooth and comfortable ride on the river.
Blue NYPD patrol boats rescue stranded boaters and help maintain the safety of these waters.
Need to get to Staten Island? The Staten Island Ferry connects passengers between Manhattan and Staten Island. In less than a half hour, you can complete this five mile journey - which is surprisingly free of charge.
Sailing on these waters has a long tradition.
Henry Hudson, for whom the Hudson River is named, first explored here in 1609.
And sailors today still delight in navigating these waters.
Cruising beneath the various suspension bridges provides some helpful perspective regarding the size and length of the spans, something that is not nearly as appreciated when merely traversing over them by car. The Manhattan Bridge is nearly 7000 feet long and the main span is nearly 1500 feet in length.
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in America.
Spanning the East River, it was completed in 1883 and connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn at a length of 1.1 miles.
But there's more to see than bridges and sailboats. Witnessing the rebuilding of the World Trade Center first-hand is an awesome reminder of the resilience of America...
...and living proof that from great tragedy comes perseverance and new hope.
And with these views fresh in your mind, it just makes seeing the Statue of Liberty all the more meaningful and beautiful.
Visit www.abovetheglow.com for more poetry and photography from David Mark Fowler.
This is Part Three of a three-part series about New York City's Manhattan borough. Part One of this series introduced Manhattan with a look at downtown, Chelsea and Rockefeller Center. Part Two was a tour of Broadway, Times Square and Central Park.