Posted by: jevcat | January 13, 2012

Dispatch from the Front (of the ferry, that is)

Every workday, I take the half-hour ferry ride from my home in Staten Island to Manhattan for work.  If there is a better way to commute, I don’t know it.  As the season (and weather) change, the view of the city and harbor changes, as well, with small epiphanies always ready to surprise, and I have been known to sometimes ride outside for part or all of the way, just for the joy of it, weather not withstanding.

Yesterday morning’s rain storm was one of those times, with rain and wind but unseasonably warm.  Maybe I was affected by the fact that I had lucked out and gotten the John F. Kennedy, oldest of the ferries still operating, and the classic boat of my childhood – when they still used wood for the benches and there are plenty of outside areas open to passengers.  In any case, when I got off, I sent my Beloved, who is away, the following text, which he thought ought to be shared:

I may have officially crossed the line to certifiable.  When we got to Governor’s Island [about 2/3 of the way across, with the Manhattan skyline looming], I went outside.  The world was built of greys, but as seen with an almost imperceptible blue filter.  Flying clouds and whitecaps and dark as doomsday over Brooklyn.

I confess, if I had known quite how hard it was raining, I would have probably stayed inside, but it was magnificent out there on the bottom front deck of the Kennedy, all glorious force of storm.  If my slacks below the slicker, from mid-thigh down, don’t dry before the exhilaration wears off, it may lose some of its charm, but for now, I am on the bus with some warm tea left in my sippy cup, the sky in the southeast has breaks of pale blue, and life is good.


  1. I was born Staten Island, Pt. Richmond but have lived in Miami since I was 5 years old. We lived at 105 Maple Ave. Was last there in 1976. They were restoring Ft Hamilton.

    • I had forgotten you were from Staten Island, Carl. I’m about a ten-minute drive from Port Richmond, with its array of Mexican food places, Brownie’s Hobby Shop (where my Beloved loves to go), and, in summer, Ralph’s Italian ices!

  2. I’ve always thought it would be loads of fun to commute by ferry. Quite a few people up in the Seattle area do that. Many years ago the ex and I took a ferry to Victoria, British Columbia and that was a blast. At least it was a bright, clear day for that trip.

    • Commuting by ferry is like getting a daily blessing. Since the indoor area is large, well-heated in winter, and dry, I really don’t care about the weather and, in fact, it can be fun to watch the storm hurl itself at the ferry windows. The slips have overhangs, so it’s usually even possible to leave without really getting wet, no matter the weather.

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