Sunday, August 5, 2007

View from the Ferry

The Verrazano Bridge -Beautiful in every Season

Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

It's been much too long since I last did it. And, honestly the heat and humidity drove me to it. Where? You ask, to the rivers edge and the tip of Manhattan.

Now, with my face lifted to catch the cool breeze off the water as the ferry slowly pulls away from the dock, I am mesmerized by the stoic beauty of the tall buildings that crowd the shoreline along State Street.

On the rare occasions when I take the time to make the trip, I wonder once more, why I don't do this more often. It's only a half-hour ride each way; an hour round-trip. Yet time is always the issue. It is the recurring New York "problem," too many things to do and too little time.

No inside seat for me, I remain on deck the entire voyage, speechless while I suck in the serenity of the almost cloudless azure blue sky and gently rippling waves dappled with sunlight. Never quite prepared, but always anxious for the moment when I cross over to the opposite deck and my eyes are caught, arrested might better describe it, by the sublime beauty and graceful line of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It never fails to take my breath away.

Yes, the Golden Gate, London Bridge, and Brooklyn Bridge are magnificent engineering achievements, but they cannot compare with the Verrazano's compelling elegance.

Standing at the mouth of Upper and Lower New York Bay it overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Its long lilting cables and slender towers painted "battleship gray," make it appear to melt into the skyline and become a natural part of the landscape rather than something man-made.

Experience the Verrazano's majestic beauty and enjoy the waters refreshing cool during this heat spell. The Staten Island Ferry departs almost every half hour every day from Whitehall Terminal. And, I'm surprised most people don't know this. It is free!

Best time to avoid the crowds, early Sunday morning, the ferry's almost empty. Once on Staten Island, don't rush back; There's lots to explore, like the Staten Island Botanical Garden, with its Chinese Scholars Garden, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Alice Austen House and the Garibaldi Meucci Museum.

Next time, my recommendation for after the Ferry.

Jacqueline Cable

Address to remember: Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal.

Directions: From Times Square, MTA 1 to South Ferry, N, R, or W to Whitehall Street. From 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, M1 Bus to South Ferry.

Photo by Joseph Knight

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