Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Staten Island Ferry - Part I

In trying to get to one destination on a particular day (18th), the train by passed my station... it was then I realised that its route was still disrupted due to repairs from Super Storm Sandy.
But no worries. The last stop for this train was Whitehall Street-South Ferry.....the Staten Island Ferry. I had planned on visiting the following day, but hey, that day was as good as any.
I got off the train, walked out of the subway station and straight into the Staten Island Ferry terminal. Easy peasy.

The Staten Island Ferry is a free passenger service that runs between lower Manhattan (Whitehall) and Staten Island. About 22 million passengers are transported every year which equates to roughly 60,000 passengers every day. 
It operates every day, 365 days a year for 24 hours a day.

Outside the Whitehall Ferry Terminal looked fairly quiet, but upon entering, the place was "littered" with visitors like myself as well as those who live and work on the island waiting for the arrival of the 12.30pm ferry.

A ton of visitors awaiting the ferry to Staten Island
The Whitehall terminal is a beautiful transit hub with a 75 foot high entry hall, and panoramic views of downtown Manhattan and the harbour.
Cafes and eateries are tucked away every where you look, and you can purchase any kind of snack while you await the ferry.
I had myself a hot chocolate, for even though it was a sunny day, the wind was blowing quite briskly.

Security Patrol was evident
Aboard the deck of the Staten Island Ferry
Battery Maritime Building undergoing renovations
Pulling away from the dock, my camera knew it had to be ready for the shots that were coming up.

Taking the ferry is a good way of capturing photos of the wonderful views of the harbour, the downtown skyline of both Jersey City and Manhattan, as well as loads of other famous sights.
The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the USA.  It spans the East River and connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn....yes, the same East River where the mob dumped bodies back in the day.
If you are a true lover of Seinfeld like me, you will remember the episode where Kramer was swimming in the East River to exercise.
Another view of The Brooklyn Bridge

Jersey City skyline

The wake from an inbound ferry
I LOVE sailing, and whenever I'm on any kind of sailing vessel, Rod Stewart's "I am sailing" is always playing in the background of my mind.

Another ferry packed with visitors headed back to Manhattan.

The Verrazano Narrows Bridge connecting Staten Island to Brooklyn. 

The Verrazano Narrows Bridge is a double-decked suspension bridge with 6 lanes above and 6 lanes below. The bridge is the gateway to New York Harbour, and all cruise liners and container ships must pass underneath.  Even the RMS Queen Mary 2 was designed with a flatter funnel to pass under this bridge.

The Verrazano Narrows Bridge is named after Giovanni da Verrazano who was the  first European explorer to sail into New York Harbour.

Some more interesting facts about this bridge I must mention are that....the bridge is affected by weather more than any other bridge in NYCity because of its size and its isolated location close to the open ocean. It closes occasionally due to strong wind and snow storms.
Also because of thermal expansion of the steel cables, the bridge roadway is 12 feet lower in summer than in winter.  Twelve feet, that's a big difference.

Since 1976, the bridge has been the start of the New York City marathon.
It has been dubbed New York's "most dangerous bridge" due to its deterioration by weather related issues and also to the vehicular wear and tear of the more than
170, 000 people who cross it every day.
Due to numerous suicide attempts from the bridge, a sign has been erected that reads "Life is Worth Living", as well as a suicide hotline number. See this recent news article here.
More of its history here.

The East River
A waterway with lots of boat traffic.

The ferry trip is 5 miles long and takes about 25 minutes, and before you know it, you've arrived on Staten Island.

Docking at the St. George Terminal on Staten island

Staten Island
I didn't do any exploring, since I wanted to take the same ferry back when it was returning.
I did take some lovely skyline photos of downtown Manhattan from the outdoor deck of the terminal.

Lower Manhattan with its Wall Street skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building and the new One World Trade Center.

Heading back to Manhattan.

A few more photos, and it was time to re-board the ferry.

You may read more here.


  1. That is one journey I would really love to take.

  2. I know you would have enjoyed it, being a kindred boat lover like myself.
    You can take the ferry as many times as you want since it's all free. Next time I'll have to do some exploring on Staten Island itself.


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