Monday, April 11, 2016

(new year's res) Ride the Staten Island Ferry

You guys. When I added "ride the Staten Island Ferry" to my list of new year's resolutions for 2016, I a.) assumed it'd take me nearly all year to get my butt down to Battery Park to then actually get on the ferry and b.) figured I'd have to make it a solo journey or heavily bribe an unemployed friend to join me. So imagine my pleasantly quizzical surprise when I found myself on the Staten Island ferry on a blustery April day with friends who were more than eager to take the trip.

I was playing tour guide to three friends from college - two of them had never been to New York but didn't really care what we did or where we went as long as it didn't involve a lot of walking (a recent car accident had rendered one friend fairly immobile), and the third had been here a million times already and was over all the "usual" tourist stuff. And after a disappointing stroll down Canal St., we quickly realized that this city is made for walking and there are really not a ton of options that are affordable and provide seated views of something interesting. Oh, and did I mention that it was pouring rain?

I was about to throw in the towel and tell them to just hang out in a restaurant until they needed to catch their bus later that evening (I was not on my tour guide game) when Brian had a stroke of brilliance. "How about the Staten Island ferry?" he said. "Is that doable from here? I've always wanted to set foot on the 5th borough." And I was like, "YES THAT IS NOT JUST DOABLE IT'S THE BEST IDEA EVER!" because it was a quick train ride away from Chinatown, provided seated and covered views of New York, was free, and secretly knocked off another item on both mine and Brian's personal bucket lists. So without too much further ado or complication, we soon found ourselves on our way to that red-headed step child of New York.

We didn't have time to get out and explore the island (Brian and I put that on our "next time in NY" list) but even without a subsequent romp around town, it was still an utterly fantastic ride. Yes, I realize that if I were using the ferry as my daily commute I probably wouldn't be singing this song, let alone devoting an entire post to the trip. But as someone who once took the Ikea boat just to get meatballs with a view, the Staten Island Ferry is a delightful ride with exceptional views of Lady Liberty and lower Manhattan.  Also, standing on the back of the boat and singing "Let the River Run" as we sailed back to Manhattan is now easily in my top 10 favorite New York moments. Because #werkitgirl

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