Greeters Hal Kaplan and Helen Spirer teamed up to take us on the East River Ferry from Long Island City to DUMBO, Brooklyn. The ferry, launched in 2011, provides a comfortable, affordable way to travel between waterfront communities throughout New York City.
Hal explained that Long Island City had once been a neighborhood of old railroad yards at the turn of the century. Not so today. Old row houses and soaring new skyscrapers live in mish-mash harmony. Because the area is so close to Manhattan, housing prices are exorbitant.
Before we knew it, our ferry had arrived. It holds 149 passengers compared to the Staten Island Ferry’s 3500.
Tickets must be purchased at the machines prior to boarding or by using your mobile phone. The ticket price has dropped from $4.00 to $2.75, but a word of warning: the ticket machine only grabs crisp dollar bills!
This is a great way to see the NYC skyline. You can go to the top deck and enjoy the sea breeze, or stay inside below and look through windows. All in all, the smooth ride took about 20 minutes.
We landed at Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn Heights where we saw many new stores in old warehouses. Helen led us to DUMBO, short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. As we walked, she pointed out the lush greenery which is home to many birds and which inspired the book Birding at the Bridge: In Search of Every Bird on the Brooklyn Waterfront.
Once in DUMBO – all of which is a historic district– we passed The River Café, the original Yuban Coffee Warehouse and the Watchtower Building, formerly the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The piéce de resistance was the antique Jane’s Carousel, located in the DUMBO section of the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Originally built in 1922, it was lovingly restored by Jane and David Walentas in 2011. It is a sparkling jewel where children ride as horses dance.
With the East River Ferry, visitors and commuters alike enjoy this most civilized method of transportation – and so many Kodak moments everywhere they look.
For more information, visit www.ferry.nyc