Kenny Unser, an obsessive kayaker, has circumnavigated the island of Manhattan 70 times by kayak. It’s a 30-mile voyage through the three waterways that encircle Manhattan like a moat: The Harlem, East, and Hudson rivers. A trip around the island by kayak is called a “Manhattan Lap.” It’s not easy, either. The rivers are all tidally influenced, so picking the right time and conditions is essential for success. Unser leads groups on incredible night paddles around the island, putting in in Harlem, passing sights like Yankee Stadium and the Bronx, the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Bridge, the glittering skyline of Manhattan itself.

But viewed from the seat of a kayak, NYC becomes a whole different world. There are ferocious currents. Barges and ferries and tugboats that must be dodged. The water can be freezing. The weather can be awful. The city, just right there where you could reach a paddle out and touch it, feels like a million miles away. The Manhattan Lap is, after all, an adventure.

Go along with Unser and a small crew in this beautiful little film that gives the Big Apple a whole new perspective.


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