A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

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Day 65: Transported, by Ferry

August 31st · 2 Comments

I have gathered only a couple regrets during my first 65 days in New York, and one is that no one informed me sooner what a majestic trip can be found on the Staten Island Ferry.

Its municipal-orange bulk squatted at the edge of Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan, obscured from view by the terminal building and, once inside the terminal, by the teeming mass of other passengers (60,000 each weekday, 20 million a year). We stampeded on unhindered by security shakedowns or fare gates.

Once I was past the indoor lounge and up onto the deck, the experience was all peace. The boat pushed off from its nest of creosote-soaked pilings and in moments the sordid gritty city experience of pavement and subway had been shoved away and replaced with a gleaming skyline, emerging from New York Harbor like a castle from a moat.

Bring anything you want to drink, ride all day if you want, gawk at the Statue of Liberty. The fare, which started in 1897 at five cents and by 1990 had risen to 50 cents was, in 1997, lowered to no cents. Best ride in New York, and it’s free. I am not going to ask too many questions in case someone at City Hall wises up.

Tags: Getaways · Sights & Scenes · Why I Love This Town

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sulley // Sep 1, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Frugal Wayfarer David Ferris Finds Fancy Ferry Ride for Free.

  • 2 Bev // Sep 7, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Yes, on one of my 13 trips there, we were tipped off to the free ride and told to time it so that we were riding back towards Manhattan at dusk. Nothing could be finer…

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