May 20, 2009

Every voyage is a journey


I can remember riding Famous Ferry as a kid, standing on the back of the boat with my siblings. We’d gotten pinwheels and they blew crazily in the wind. We were all pretty young, and Urban Sophisticate Sister wasn’t even born yet.

Forty years later, my parents and I returned to the ferry, just to ride it over and back, getting a view of the harbor and the city in the mist. My mother said when she was a kid, the trip cost a nickel. Now it’s free.

The breeze was cold, but we stood at the back to be warmed by the sun as it came out from behind the clouds. My father, holding his newly acquired cell phone, was calling my brother. “Hey, guess where I am? Nope. Here’s a hint: I’m staring at the Statue of Liberty.”

On the ferry

Those are my parents in the photo, of course.


Silver Creek Mom said...

One day I hope the go to the city like no other..and see what you have seen and be in the huge museum. Maybe you can be my tour guide.


S. Spooner said...

Reminds me of the Millay poem, Recuerdo:
"We were very tired, we were very merry
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon..."

My grandparents first date was on that same ferry, 68 years ago.

jo(e) said...

Silver Creek Mom: We'd have so much fun!

Spooner: Oh, I like that.

My favourite Staten Island Ferry poem is by Audre Lorde. That's where I got the title of the post.

dance said...

I was going to mention the ferry when you posted about the tram. I have the fondest memories of that ferry from visiting Big City Like No Other during a massive heat wave a few years back. Although, that day, we decided we were too cheap to go to the Statue of Liberty and then a couple years later it was closed, so....but I guess it's open again.

Sarah Sometimes said...

a comment to your commenter, S. Spooner: My parents' first date was on the ferry, probably also about 68 years ago! And my mother loved that poem, always used to recite it. The beginning of it, the part about the ferry, is part of a big display at the ferry terminal.

And to you, love the photo and the post!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Wow: a ferry that's free? I fear that I would ride it every day, just because it was free.

ccw said...

Wonderful memories! I love the picture.

patrick said...

My mother grew up in the Bronx, so we made occasional trips back east to visit my grandfather in Manhattan and my mother's friends on Staten Island. I recall only one trip in which we took the ferry and that was in August of 1971. Hair was still on a run and George Harrison, Ravi Shankar, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton et al were in town for The Concert For Bangla Desh.

The World Trade Center was still under construction (one tower was complete, the other about four-fifths) and I recall thinking at the time (I would have been almost 16) that those towers didn't belong there. An odd thought, I suppose, for a kid, but to me, at the time, they ruined the city's skyline. I didn't like that the Empire State Building's "superiority" had been eclipsed.