What type of kayaking do you have experience with or want to do now (playboat, river run, creek, multiday)? Your stats of height and weight help to identify gear choices on the boat side of things. For on the water itself not much has changed - need the boat, paddle, helmet, pfd, skirt, and layering/dry gear appropriate for your area. Most on this board are western paddlers, we do have a few east coast.
I do not have much beta for NYC, when I think of NY kayaking I think of moosefest. Damn it is a month out, prolly a great place to start:
MooseFest Whitewater Festival