Don’t pay the ferryman… ’cause it’s free.

There’s rain a comin’ this weekend, so today whilst the sun was still shining, we decided to jump on the ferry and do Staten Island.

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The ferry is free – which is awesome, and it also means that ALL the tourists like to jump on and enjoy the 20 minute ride, then jump off and jump on the next one back again.

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The first time I was here that’s what we did.

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The ferry goes right by the Statue of The Lady, so unless you want to get right up close and personal, you don’t really need to pay to go to Ellis Island.

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ML taking it all in on the non crowded side of the boat.

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When the ferry pulled out from the pier, we weren’t sure whether it would turn around or if you drive from both ends, so we just went left…. while everybody else went to the right.

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This is what we could see from the back of the pack…

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So we went back to the other side to enjoy the space… See you in about an hour Manhattan.

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That’s what we would have looked like.

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We were nearly at Staten Island – that’s it on the right and a lady from India who was standing next to us asked me if that was the Brooklyn Bridge.  When I said no, she jumped in with “Is it the Manhattan Bridge?” – I didn’t even know there was a Manhattan Bridge.  This one, that looks a little bit Golden Gatey, is the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, named after Giovanni da Verrazano, who was the first European explorer to sail into New York Harbour in 1524.

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Last time we jumped off and straight onto the next ferry back to Manhattan, but this time I wanted to stop and have a look around.

This was our first view.

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But then we walked into town passing this lovely old building – Borough Hall.  We’d read about a series of murals that we wanted to have a look at and walked up and around the other side of this building in search of them.  ML decided to use the facilities inside while I sat outside and tried to work out where the murals were….. turns out that they were inside this building!

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Here is Giovanni discovering Staten Island in his pantaloons.

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This building is also the Bureau of Marriages.  ML said she saw a woman in a wedding dress up on the 3rd floor, so that’s nice.

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After that there really wasn’t much else to look at and Staten Island is really hilly, so we headed back to the port to wait for the next ferry.

We made sure we got of the port side. for the return…. although if a boat has a wheelhouse at either end, does it really have a port and starboard side?  Anyway, we headed for the side that we’d see The Lady on, but this was a different type of boat, so it had glass windows, which hadn’t been cleaned today….. or any day that we could tell.

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What we did manage to see though was the Coast Guard riding on our flank the whole way across the river.

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With this bloke at the ready with his machine gun, so that creates a feeling of calm.

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Then, there she was, welcoming the huddled masses.

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….and we were back safe and sound in Manhattan, thanks Coast Guard.

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Our next destination was going to be Chelsea Market up on 15th Street, so we decided to walk for a little bit through Battery Park – well it was my decision.  I made ML walk with me, but I know she appreciated it once she saw how how pretty it was.

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We walked past the war memorial and searched for people with our surnames on the memorial walls.

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I found heaps, but ML, not so many = 0… her surname is “Duplex”, not as common as “Brown”!

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More walking through the park…

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Until we saw in the distance people were holding massive snakes, putting them around their necks and taking photos.  We didn’t want any part of that kind of business and took a swift left turn.

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Past some artwork and then…

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back on the pretty path.  This walkway goes all the way up to the Upper East side if you follow it one enough…. in fact just a few more blocks up is where Hugh Jackman lives.  Do you think it would be weird to just hang around outside his building?

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We hit Rector Street which is where the next subway station was and headed back into the thick of it.

Then a couple of blocks over behind the Google building was the Chelsea Market.

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We were both starving by the time we got there and raced into a creperie which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea….. if we had just walked around the corner sooner, we would have come across this little beauty of a place.

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Damn it!

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Maybe next time Chelsea Market.

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