I have to say one of the more special aspects of residing in Brooklyn is living a river away from Manhattan. Crossing the bridges to get to the city is endlessly exhilarating – be it on a leisurely stroll over the Williamsburg bridge on weekends, or a rushed summertime commute by bike on weekdays.
In the winter time it is easy to forget that Manhattan is surrounded by a body of water. You go from a crowded city center to underground subways & hats with puffy jackets restricting any view you may have of water’s edge in the distance – not to mention you avoid nearing the city edges & the cold winds the waters usually bring. I recently discovered the treat of the East River Ferry. The East River Ferry is a lovely addition to the commuting options for New Yorkers, and a special treat for Tourists looking for a quick & easy way to reach hot areas across several boroughs. There are indoor and outdoor areas, both providing excellent views of both sides of the river. The ferry runs from Governor’s Island to Downtown Manhattan, to several stops in Brooklyn, to Queens, and all the way up to Midtown. It is a $4.00 ticket, one-way. Full map here.
For those commuting, it isn’t the best deal. But, for those with time to kill, it is a pretty damn cheap tour of the East River – and breathtaking at that! Not only is it refreshing in a way that doesn’t exist elsewhere in New York, it allows for some wonderful shots of the city skyline.
It also reminds you of how small, how 3-dimensional, and how dense Manhattan really is.
We recently took the East River Ferry with some friends of ours from overseas (these photos are courtesy of them, and have inspired me to write about our trip across the East River). I always look forward to a good excuse to take the Ferry in to the city. It isn’t something I would normally splurge for, but every time I do, I remind myself just how worth it those $4.00 were.
Most people I mention the Ferry to have no idea that it even exists – especially the Manhattan-ites who never venture outside their borough. I highly recommend you brave the ferry and explore!!! You can buy an all-day pass for just $12.00 – an easy way to visit all the points. You can also bring your bike on the ferry for an extra $1.00, so when you disembark you’re free to explore the area by bike.
There are some other great options (both which I recommended from experience!) to explore the waters of Manhattan by the physical powers of buoyancy:
- The Staten Island Ferry – http://www.siferry.com/
- Circle Tours – http://www.circleline42.com/new-york-cruises/home.aspx
Don’t miss it. Take a moment out of your day to enjoy some time afloat. Manhattan is a pretty deep place. Feel a little lighter by floating in the city.