The Magical SeaGlass Carousel, Now Open At The Battery
When's the last time you took stroll around The Battery? Unless you work right near there or have been forced to escort out-of-town visitors on a climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty (still the least rewarding, most time-consuming tourist attraction in town, in my opinion) it's probably been a while. But maybe that should change! On a recent trip to check out the after-work-drinks scene of Pier A Harbor House, I was pretty stunned by how great the whole 25-acre park looked, the many gardens lush and lovely, Castle Clinton all majestic, the impressively large Battery Urban Farm overflowing with produce, the new(ish) benches perfect for chilling and gazing out on onto the vast harbor. And now the big news: after more than 10 years and $16 million, The Battery's lovely, one-of-a-kind SeaGlass Carousel is finally open, it's really cool, and it offers a great excuse to pack up the kids this fall and go on an adventure to the southernmost tip of Manhattan.
SeaGlass Carousel: An Amazing 'Underwater' Adventure
The SeaGlass Carousel is designed to feel like a magical aquarium filled with 30 enormous fish–the largest are some 13.5 feet high–each with its own unique LED light show complementing the overall lightning design of the space, all to evoke the bioluminescence of the deep ocean. There are several sorts of angelfish, a pair of butterflyfish, a fighting fish, a lion fish, a triggerfish, a wrasse, a discus, and a magnificent betta. And rather than sitting on top of the swimmers, riders are strapped into their belly, so to speak, adding to the sensation of being a part of the school, darting and yawing, spinning around on the large main "turntable" and also on one of three smaller turntables embedded within. Designed by the George Tsypin Opera Factory, whose other projects included the Olympic Opening Ceremonies at the Sochi Olympics, everything about the ride itself has been constructed to make you feel as if you're swimming with the fishes.
Family Fun at the SeaGlass Carousel
Beyond the innovative design, the SeaGlass Carousel is also a bit of an engineering marvel. Because all of the mechanisms are set beneath the floor, there's no center column–believed to be only such ride of its kind in the world without one–so riders and spectators get an unobstructed view of the entire "show" all at once, further immersing you into the experience. The underground mechanisms are also what allows those three ancillary turntables to do their thing. Each fish has a set of four speakers that play the ride's specially-commissioned remixes of famous classical songs, and the whole oceanic theme is an homage to the first New York Aquarium, which stood here in The Battery from 1896 to 1941, until Robert Moses tore it down to make room for more cars.
More Info on the SeaGlass Carousel
The SeaGlass Carousel is located at the southeast corner of the Battery, near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, and is open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Rides cost $5, and last about three and a half minutes.