2003_11_boatbasin.jpg

Newsday looks at the life of 79th Street marina houseboats owners. Many of the boat owners live there because it's cheaper than living in a Manhattan apartment, even after city docking fees and electricity and whatever the cost of the boat is. Originally, the boat basin was planned by Robert Moses to be a place for recreational boat owners to dock their boats during the season. Interestingly, it was never meant to be a permanent housing solution: Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe tells Newsday, "Over the years, people just started living on their boats. Now there's no room for recreational craft. It was an accident. Before we realized it, we had lost the ability to offer a recreational resource." But there are some downsides, like living far away from the subway and groceries stores. Also, during storms, some boats will dock near the Intrepid, which can shield them from winds.

In You've Got Mail, Tom Hanks moves into his boat at the Boat Basin. Boat life of another era is captured in the Peter Weir film, Master & Commander, which is based the Patrick O'Brian novels, Far Side of the Ocean.