I write this post with a bit of trepidation. Only because, well, it encroaches upon my daily life. But I suppose that is what I do every time I travel. Certainly, when I go home, I expect everyone to stop and entertain me! When I go exploring, I want to go where tourists don’t venture and, as such, interrupt someone‘s daily life.
So, when you are visiting NYC, make the time to take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. It’s free (YAY!) and the entire trip will take you an hour, providing the ferries and weather are cooperating. It offers the best views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and the entire harbor in general.
It departs from the southern most point in Manhattan. You can get there by train, bus, and walking–it’s actually not far from Wall Street and the World Trade Center. Get on (and do all the locals a favor by not lollygagging because they will push and nudge and hurry you if you’re dawdling a bit too much) and pick a side: Jersey (i.e. The Statue) or Brooklyn (i.e. The Bridge), grab a coffee/tea/hotdog/beer and just sit and relax and enjoy.
The ferry offers locals and tourists alike something that is hard to find in the city: time to breathe and just take in the view.
Personally, my favorite time to ride is at the crack of dawn when the sun is breaking over the Brooklyn Bridge and the peace and serenity of a sleepy city envelope you. Night is also pretty spectacular–with the lights of the city, colorful and bright, contrasting with the darkest of being on the water and the outline of the Brooklyn Bridge standing as iconic as every postcard you’ve ever seen. And, of course, there to the west is Lady Liberty governing over the entire harbor, serving as a beacon of hope and a reminder of what New York City truly stands for: a new beginning, a hope for a change of fortune, and a chance to start over and make something of yourself.
Go ride the ferry. Sit there with a beer and relax. ENJOY!