New York City has 30 islands and 520 miles of coastline. Four of the five boroughs float off the Atlantic seaboard. But for most of history, none of it was accessible to locals or visitors. The waterfront was a crime-ridden, dangerous, and industrial place. All that changed in the last 30 years, and finally, a few years ago, we got the NYC Ferry.
All my life, the only way to appreciate the city’s nautical pleasures was the Staten Island Ferry. People don’t want to visit Staten Island, but they ride the ferry there and back for the free boat ride. (I love the Staten Island Ferry; if you take it, listen to Billy Joel’s “Everybody Loves You Now.”)
The NYC Ferry will take you to spots you want to see. For the cost of a subway ticket, you can get from Wall Street in Manhattan to Dumbo in Brooklyn in five minutes. And instead of being stuck underground, you get fantastic views. I live in Brooklyn, and the NYC Ferry makes it easy to explore within the borough. You can see Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Dumbo, and Red Hook without ever using the subway.
During the summer, I take the ferry to the beaches in Rockaway in less than an hour. It’s faster than the subway, and, again, why be in a tunnel when you can be on the water?