When I was young, I was adamant that I would never live in New York City. I hated city life; hated the concrete, hated the smell, hated the crowds.

Needless to say, I have since come around to the idea of city life (given the fact that my sole source of income is located in the heart of Manhattan) but there are still times that I’d love to pack up and leave NYC forever. My way of navigating around these fleeting feelings of dissonance include A) living in Hoboken so I can escape during my hours of slumber and B) taking advantage of all the cool things New York has to offer.

Case in point – the yacht owned by the New York Health & Racquet Club (aka my gym).

Typically this yacht ride is $30 per person, but my friend (and co-worker, but more so friend), Alex, and I were able to take advantage of a corporate partnership event and get a free 2 hour ride around Manhattan. And yes, I know what you’re wondering – an open bar WAS included.

The view from the dock… oh hey ESB!

The ship departed from the east side of the island and made its way down the island, giving us up close and personal views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.

From there, the yacht brought us down by Governor’s Island which, despite the popular music festival hosted there, looked like a scene straight out of Shutter Island. Seriously, if that island doesn’t also host an insane asylum festival I will be very surprised. Not pictured because I didn’t want that creepy place in my photos.

The calm before (and after, and during) the storm.

It had been raining on and off since we set sail (does that make sense for a yacht? Or just a sailboat? No one cares? Okay, got it). By the time we headed towards my good friend Lady Liberty, it was sprinkling a good bit more. But at this point I was 2 or 3 beers deep so, naturally, I didn’t mind.

As we made our way closer to Liberty Island, the speakers on the yacht started blasting 90’s jams. And I mean blasting. But again, 2 or 3 beers deep, so not only did I not mind but was VERY into it.

Lady Liberty herself. What up, girl.

After making our way around Ms. Liberty’s isle, we headed back towards Manhattan. The view of the Financial District, and specifically the World Trade Center, was awesome. I’d never been that close to the bottom of the island from that point of view – it was a lot more impressive than the view I get from across the Hudson in Hoboken.

Speaking of the Hudson, the rain started to pick up as we made our way up the west side of the island. Beer number 4 inspired me to throw caution to the wind, put my hair in a pony tail, stop incessantly Snapchatting the entire experience, and be fully present to enjoy the rest of my time on the yacht.

I soon realized that I had more time left than I had expected – it had already been nearly two hours and we were on the opposite side of the island from where we had begun. That meant we had to swing around and get all the way back to the east side.

I considered “falling” overboard and swimming to Hoboken. It looked doable, and I’d probably only grow an extra arm or two due to the Hudson’s radioactivity. I then quickly realized I had my laptop with me and decided against it.

Guess this isn’t the worst view.

All in all, the experience was one I’ll definitely remember for years to come. It’s sometimes easy to forget how lucky we are to be able to live in a place like New York. It’s a place that some people dream their whole lives about being able to visit one day, and a place that some people will never get the chance to visit at all.

For me, New York is basically my backyard. Sure I complain about the crowds, the heat, the smell, the tourists, the smell of the tourists, but let’s be honest – I’d probably complain about anywhere I live!

So I guess if I had to choose a place to live, and to work (and to complain about), I could do a whole lot worse than New York.

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