Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 100- August 20

By Al

Today we decided to take the Staten Island ferry.  Just because it was there.  It is free.  It is a pleasant ride over to the Island that takes you near the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  It is a good way to see the harbor between Staten Island, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.  We didn't have a plan for what to do when we got to Staten Island.  Once we got there, we decided to ride a bus around the island.  There was a gentleman at the bus stop that gave us some very helpful advice.  It was an interesting trip.  We got to one bus transfer 15 minutes before the next bus.  It did not come.  We don't know why.  Anyway, the next bus was in another half hour.  So, the 45 minutes we sat waiting for the bus was a down side of the trip.  However, we got to talk to Amy and to read .  We always carry  books with us.

Staten Island was very different from other parts of New York that we have seen.  it reminded me of the Area of St. Paul between Lake Phalen and White Bear Ave.  Kind of mid 1940-50 houses, with intersections with businesses.  The houses were pretty firmly middle class.  It was a nice change, but it did not feel like New York City.  Of course, Staten Island is huge and we only saw a small portion.  So, who know what else lurks out there.

The ferry trip to Staten Island gives some good view of the harbor and New Jersey and Manhattan.  It was night when we came back.  This is the time to take the ferry.  The views of Manhattan are almost as good as the ones you get from the Brooklyn Bridge.

A Staten Island Ferry.

Unloading.  It is just passengers.  Cars have to drive through Brooklyn and over the Varrazano Narrows bridge.

Residential Staten Island.  Very different from Manhattan.

View at dusk from Staten Island.  New Jersey is on the left.  Manhattan is on the right.  Statute of Liberty is in the middle.


Varrazano Narrows bridge.

New Jersey on left, Manhattan on right.

Manhattan from the ferry as it approaches the dock.

Sally's Day

I wanted to see Staten Island because it was the one borough I had not visited.  New York City incorporated the five boroughs into the City in 1898- this surprised me, as I had assumed the city had existed for many years before that. I had heard of the Staten Island ferry many times- wonderful views, a free site in NY, etc. 

We walked through Battery Park to get to the ferry, and bought NYC caps to take with us to Japan. (If you ever want to buy a NYC cap, the best price I have seen is a vendor at the near end of Battery Park).

We had fun giving a commentary on the city and sites to a woman and her daughter from Toronto- made me feel very New Yorker. 

I felt like Scotty had beamed me up to West Saint Paul when we got to Staten Island.

As Al said, the best part of the trip was coming back to Manhattan after dark (an experience we would have missed if we had not had to wait so long for city buses on SI).  The Statue of Liberty is lit up at night.  The ferry passengers carried people from many countries.  As we came upon the Statue,  I heard three or four languages be spoken around me.  It brought to mind our ancestors arrival- coming into the harbor, seeing that flame in her hand-wow.  Left me speechless.  Unlike those immigrants, we had full stomachs, clean clothing, and no vermin from three months at sea.

And then there was the Brooklyn Bridge.  It is spectacular at night. 


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