Sailing across New York

P1250313.JPGRidiculously tall new skyscrapers tower over New York’s Central Park, where model sailboats take a more modest scale.

IMG_7955MY DAUGHTER HAS ALWAYS LOVED SAILING but little did she know it could be so much fun on a pond in New York’s Central Park — when the boat is radio-controlled and not much bigger than a skateboard.

I could hardly tear Lillian away from the controls as our half-hour rental wound down.

We weren’t sure we’d be able to sail at all; the pond was wind-free as we arrived shortly before the rental operation’s 11 a.m. opening. But at 10:55, a ripple broke the mirror-like calm that reflected some of the ridiculously tall and skinny skyscrapers that are now being constructed in Manhattan. We took the controls of Sailboat 800 (we renamed it the Rosabella, after a favorite sea chantey) and enjoyed piloting the boat all over the pond.

P1250378.JPGA classic yacht carries sightseers past the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

Later in the day we watched a lifesize sailboat — carrying tourists — skimming a bigger body of water as it passed the Statue of Liberty and nearby Ellis Island. From Battery Park at the south tip of Manhattan, we enjoyed the spectacle of tour boats weaving in and out among these iconic landmarks of American immigration. Barbara recalled that her grandmother from Hungary came through Ellis Island as a young woman of 19, determined to make a life here.

No walls kept her out. It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but her family made a good life here, thanks to a nation that at that time took that statue’s symbolism to heart. 1-anchor


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