Friday, May 29, 2009

Staten Island Ferry - Voyage across New York Harbor

The tip of Manhattan as the ferry leaves Whitehall

----A Postcard from New York Encore----

Since we suggested the Staten Island Ferry as a complement to a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in the last Postcard--New York for Kids.


Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

Lift your face to catch the cool breeze off the water as the ferry slowly pulls away from the dock, become 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--too little time.

No inside seat for me, I remain on deck the entire voyage, speechless as 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 sweeping 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 extension of the landscape rather than something man-made.

Experience the Verrazano's majestic beauty and enjoy the waters refreshing cool. 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.

Jacqueline Cable
For Postcards from New York


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Address to remember: Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal.

Directions: From Times Square, MTA 1 to South Ferry, N, R, or W to Whitehall Street.

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  • Photos by Joseph Knight

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