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ISLAND HOP

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"The Other Islands of New York," a documentary based on the 1996 book by Park Slope authors Sharon Seitz and Stuart Miller, airs Aug. 13 at 8 pm on WNET, channel 13. Four of New York City’s five boroughs are on islands but there are more than 30 others in the city’s waters. This new documentary includes interviews with Seitz and Miller about the islands’ obscure, fascinating and occasionally infamous histories, residents (Mae West, Boss Tweed and "Grandpa" Al Lewis, among them) and wildlife.

The hour-long documentary is poorly edited and in dire need of more footage of the islands as they look today, but it’s guaranteed to pique your interest - and maybe even inspire you to hit the waters for a closer look. For instance, Broad Channel (pictured) in Jamaica Bay was formerly called "Little Cuba" in its heyday, referring to its speakeasies and summer lifestyle that mirrored Havana in the 1920s - making it a popular destination for well-to-do New Yorkers during Prohibition.

Now you can take Cross Bay Boulevard - or the A train - there to enjoy the picturesque houses on stilts and the scent of bayberries.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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