Thursday, September 1, 2016

[MANHATTAN] The Staten Island Sail-By

The Staten Island Ferry is... Hold your breath... FREE!!! Those going to Liberty and Ellis Island aren’t. Tickets start at USD 18 depending on the package you require. You can buy one that gives you access to the pedestal, the crown, the Immigration Museum. Take your pick. Being the cheapo that I am, I decided to just do a sail-by. I mean, I will still see the statue from the Staten Island Ferry, right? That’s correct, but don’t expect a close-up. You get what you pay for, or what you DIDN’T pay for, cheapskate.

My second day started with the obligatory fried rice lunch at China Pavilion. Hungry Asian needs his rice, hmmkay? Don’t be judgmental. I love rice like millennial adolescents are crazy for One Direction. The ferry station is at the southern tip of Manhattan, which meant that travel time on the 4 train was reduced to just 20 minutes. The heavens suddenly cried while I was taking a stroll at Battery Park so I had to loiter at the steps of the Ritz-Carlton for some shade, because I multiply when I get wet. Yes, I’m half gremlin. Got a problem with that?

When I surfaced from the subway, what welcomed me was the view of that museum dedicated to American Indians or something. Admission is free but I wasn’t feeling either cultural or historical so I decided to skip it. I’m sorry, Pocahontas, but I’m due to stalk Lady Liberty today. There’s always next time. Battery Park is not bad at all but I guess what makes it stand out from NYC’s many parks is its collection of war memorials, because America loves wars. ‘MERICA!

When the rain stopped I stayed around for a bit and had the feeling that the rather modern building staring at me from afar was the new memorial replacement for the Twin Towers. Later at home, Google confirmed that, indeed, it was. I suppose the Twin Towers would have been in the vicinity then if the tragedy never happened. It’s sad to think how fucked up the world we live in really is. We’re such a destructive species and we have this tendency of hating each other. We’re more of a virus, really.

But I didn’t have those thoughts when I was there. I guess I was just too preoccupied with sightseeing that such side comments regarding politics were simply absent. There is also a display of globes near the pier. I don’t know if they are there all year round but they did look legit and nice to look at. An old Caucasian then bumped into me and won’t stop staring at me as he walked away as if he wanted an apology. Hey douchebag, who was walking and who was stationary? He then got hit by a big yellow school bus. Nah, just kidding. Jerk.

I’ve heard that going to either Liberty or Ellis Island requires you to go through thorough inspection, airport-style. I can’t really blame them because of what Magneto did. You just can’t risk another impromptu mutant plague thingy, you know. Now poor Rogue has to deal with those awful highlights. That wasn’t my destination anyway. Staten Island’s ferry station is a couple more cartwheels away. It has free WiFi, lots of benches, and several food stalls to choose from. Ferries leave every 30 minutes.

I decided to chill for half an hour munching on my Auntie Anne’s before hopping on the next ferry. It rained SO hard when we got on I thought the trip was going to be canceled. I can’t remember quite well but the ferry has several decks, around three or more and you can choose where you want to go. The journey takes less than 30 minutes and there are plenty of camwhores lurking around, so make sure you plan your Liberty sail-by selfie appropriately. As I was taking the return trip anyway, I wasn’t worried.

I think you can still get a good photo of the statue if your camera has good zooming capabilities. As for me, I had to be contented with an okay panoramic view. The return trip had much promise and we got way closer, but still too far away for a decent selfie. I guess next time I’ll just have to spend on that Statue of Liberty trip so I can get closer to her. She hasn’t issued me a restraining order yet so I think I’m still on the safe side. Going back also gives you good panoramic views of Manhattan and Brooklyn! And the bridge!

A short stroll of Lower Manhattan followed thanks to the rain finally stopping. The plan was to cross Brooklyn Bridge and walk all the way down to Court Street because I had an 8 PM ticket for A Tale of Love and Darkness at Cobble Hill. Exhausted, I decided that Brooklyn Bridge, just like Broadway, will just have to wait until I come back. I then hopped on the 4 train and killed the remaining time at Starbucks. And New York ended with Natalie Portman acting in Hebrew on the big screen. Not bad, New York. Not bad. :)

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