New York’s love affair with swimming goes back a long way. In 1882, one-armed swimmer Edward Cone easily took the New York Athletic Club’s championship one-half mile down the Harlem River even though his chief competitor was given a 3.5-minute head start. (They all used a sidestroke). And some historians have it that the city began opening public pools during the Victorian Age to get the naked boys out of the rivers. Swimming in public waters is a bit more genteel today, and thanks to NYC Swim, you can see the city from the water–in it, not on it. Since 1993, they have organized events for more than 10,000 participants, including the Manhattan Island Marathon. This year marks their second annual Governors Island Swim. The two-miler, as it’s called, gives the aquatic-inclined the unique opportunity to swim and enjoy panoramic views of Manhattan.

Sat., Sept. 10, 2:30 p.m., 2011