Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ferry Go Round

Staten Island makes up one of the five boroughs of New York City: Manhattan; Brooklyn; Queens; Bronx and Staten Island. Out of all five, Staten Island is the most out of 'touch', therefore a ferry is available to and fro Manhattan and Staten Island.

The Downtown Dock
The Ferry
Part of the novelty of riding this 20 minute ferry is that it is free. What one typically does is go to Staten Island, disembark and gets on the return ferry immediately.

Here is my 40 minute journey:

Arriving at the South Sea Ferry, my directionally challenged self went the complete opposite way to the right way. But I sniffed out the dock- it was in fact blatantly in front of me.

As I pile up with every other Staten Island bound passenger, I observe the passenger demographic in an attempt to pin point the general type of rider. But it was simply an assorted kettle of fish so to speak- commuters; tourists; Staten Island residents etc.
I waited with my nose pressed on the window for the next available ferry while little children were scurrying around itching for their ferry adventure.

Once we were hailed to board, I scrammed through the eager ones and beat them to the best spots. HA. Take note: the best spots are on either side of the ferry where you can go out on deck.

Like A Scene From The 'Love Boat'

Sunset Serenade
I cannot begin to describe to you, the magnitude of the raw, bone-chilling -5' cold. Of course the cold is immediately exaggerated and fortified once you step out on deck; but the dramatic views dispel any conscious feeling of the cold- until you cannot feel your face, as it has been battered and whipped until you're blue! However, the sight of the sun fanning out her strong, elongated arms, spilling her glow onto the crest of the waves is heart filling and provides with much needed warmth.

As the ferry cuts through the undulations of water, the soft sea ripples into wrinkles, yet still seems smooth. The blue veins glisten and shimmer and the orange foam sparkles- the richness of the water surface ebbs and flows, but the scattered clouds drape a few sun rays turning the sky into a subtle frown.

In the moment of enjoying this sublime serenity the wings of the 15 knot breeze graze and scrape my ears; and the spray of frozen mist prompt me to wrap up my photography session and take to the views from inside. Even though I was cold to the bone, the experience of letting the wind cascade through my hair and the solar streaks blind my vision was somewhat a kind of out of body experience- there is no grasp on time or the likes, the magic of mother nature swept me away from reality.
And whilst the forward sights were special in their own right, I went out again to see what we were leaving behind in Manhattan.The sun was sinking across the skyline, dripping light on the sides of iconic architecture, but as we further distance ourselves, the skyscrapers assume postcard dimensions until they become building blocks used for children's Lego.
Majestic Manhattan
Once we docked at Staten Island, and I got a 5 minute brief glimpse of the topos, I returned back to the ferry to experience the views in reverse.  Now the skyline appeared as a chain of jewels with the sun dipping further and further into setting.
I had both the above image of Manhattan in the Northern direction and the image below of Staten Island in the Southern. On both parts of the journey, you glide past the most enduring symbol of the city: Statue of Liberty. We were however, at a distance from Lady Liberty but with a gentle squint you capture the ant-like worshipers surrounding her, with what I would assume to be admiration.
There Is A More Modest Feel To Staten Island
With just but a few miles between these two islands of stark differences, New York City simply confirms the gorgeous diversity it encapsulates.

As we arrive back onto my island of residence, my legs were darted with needles of the Winter cold, but that didn't matter, I just breathed in the air of pollution and beauty.

I Am In Love With New York.


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