31 May 2013


I love staying in the city for holidays.  It's quiet and you don't have to deal with traffic.  Having everybody else leave is the ultimate staycation isn't it?

The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend poured buckets of rain, but Sunday emerged fresh as the morning dew, sunny and clear.  We decided to take a bike ride to Staten Island by way of a boat.  Sam, in his 13 years in New York, has never taken the Staten Island Ferry, so we set out with snacks and sunblock with Roan as copilot.

The one mistake we made was deciding to cross to Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge, which was 5 deep with lumbering tourists.  They ambled into the bike lane, slow to react to my shouts to GET OUT OF THE WAY.  Finally a fellow cyclist with an alarmingly shrill whistle came to our rescue.  
Moving on...
Riding to the terminal we passed the line for the ferry to Governors Island, which I think I have blogged about before.  The line was two hours long. What?  Insane. 

The Staten Island ferry might be the best public transportation this city has to offer.  It's free, leaves every half hour on the dot, and has incredible views.

Manhattan Skyline

Gulls ride the waves

We actually had no plan for what to do when we got there, so we just took a left.  It started off pretty industrial and there was still a lot of damage from Hurricane Sandy.

As we neared the Verrazano Bridge we biked right into a place called Fort Wadsworth.  Wow.

Apparently Fort Wadsworth here was built strategically to protect New York Harbour but by the time it was completed it was basically obsolete. Frankly, I can't believe no one's turned it into a boutique hotel.

We ate lunch and tooled around for a bit before heading back to the ferry.

The ferry is the perfect place for a photographer because there's tons of people watching but since every tourist has a camera so you don't look like a creep.

Roan loved the ferry! Sam, I'm not so sure.


We decided to go back to Brooklyn via the Manhattan Bridge.  No boardwalk, thus no tourists.  Not so scenic but quick.  On the way through Chinatown we hit on one of those spontaneous, fascinating vignettes of urban life that make New York a remarkable place to live. 

The Eastern US Fujian Opera Troupe, complete with live orchestra.

All told, including the ferry ride, we clocked about 13 miles.  We were fried when we got home.  Sofa time was needed.

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