Hurricane Williams Hits NYC

Says Drew: “A hurricane hit New York after all.” He refers to Hurricane Williams, which landed at the 79th Street Boat Basin around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11th and began a whirlwind tour of New York City that wreaked its own, unique path of destruction.

We were happy to get a slip at the Boat Basin, a rickety but charming marina run by the Parks Department, and as such a relative bargain. It’s also about four blocks from the Museum of Natural History. Almost the moment we were tied up, the four of us jumped off the boat and sprinted up the hill for a visit.

That pretty much set the tone for the rest of our week. We promised the kids that we would do all fun things, and boy did we. (When traveling with children it’s best to be an unabashed tourist.) Even better, we were able to reconnect with lots of long-time friends along the way.

Drew started keeping a list of our activities early on, which was wise. Take a gander….









  • Breakfast from Zabar’s
  • Provisioned at Fairway Market
  • Bob and family visited the boat
  • Cast off and waved goodbye around 4pm

That looks like everything, right? Actually we never made it to the High Line and Elsa never got to ride Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park (it was closed the day we went), but that’s ok, you have to leave wanting more. (Elsa now wants to move here, and while Soren doesn’t, he says he’d like to visit for a couple of weeks every summer, so we’ll call that a win.)

As you can see we visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on our last day, and sailed past them again when we left on Sunday. I thought, of course, of my dad, who came here by ship from Denmark in 1956 and entered at Ellis Island. He said they rounded into the harbor at dawn, and everyone climbed up on deck and crowded the railings to look at the Statue of Liberty. After weeks at sea and many more months of planning and wondering, it must have been a moving sight.

What would he have thought if he knew we were sailing back out under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge almost 60 years later? It feels like we’ve come full circle. Although this trip is completely frivolous compared to his — he had $50, a job reference and not much else. “I thought this was my chance,” he once told me. I’m so glad he took it.

Anyway, if, like us, you’re left wanting more, here are some photos:


  1. Almost every part of New York was hit by Hurricane Williams! Incredible!

  2. Great fun reading your blog and looking through the photos, New York is certainly one of the great cities of the world and how novel to sail there to visit and find mooring next to Central Park! All well here, looking forward to Halloween on the block, we’ll miss you!

    Gavin, Marion, Grace and Oliver

  3. Lindy Williams

    October 21, 2015 at 10:41

    Great post. How amazing to travel a portion of the same route your father took so many years ago under such different circumstances.

  4. It was so great seeing you all again. Heck, finally -meeting- Elsa. And seeing who Soren is becoming. 10 years is too long to not break bread and clink a glass. Come back soon. Come back for good.

  5. Kids.. thanks for this wonderful NYC blog and photos of so many of the iconic scenes of this fabulous city! So pleased that Elsa and Soren were able to partake of so many memorable places. I am especially touched by your visit to Ellis Island, Linda, after your father’s travels through its portals over 60 years ago. NYC clearly will be a highlight of your year’s adventure, for all of you. Love, love, Mom/Janie/Nana

  6. This is amazing in every way. Hard to do NY any better!!

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