The Scenic Route: NYC from the East River Ferry

East
Thursday, June 16, 2011
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All aboard! The East River Ferry service launched on June 13.

We tried the new East River Ferry service this week and found some of the best views of the biggest projects in town. ¬†Though many of the renderings in circulation for developments like Domino Sugar Factory and Hunters Point show views from the river-front perspective, it’s rare that you actually get to see the sites from that angle–until now. We decided to give the ferry service a test-run to check out the viability of getting from an office in downtown Manhattan, such as ours on Murray Street, to Brooklyn and Queens, then completed the loop by heading back the 34th Street terminal.

There are many bus routes to the ferry, but the Downtown Alliance's Downtown Connection is certainly the cheapest---it's free. Just look for the double N (as in "coNNection").

Taking the MTA bus meant a series of transfers and the subway was about five blocks away from the pier, so we opted to take the Downtown Alliance’s Downtown Connection, a free service that loops around the southern tip of the island and drops you right off at Wall Street a block from Pier 11. At the corner of Governeur Lane and Front Street the¬†Korilla BBQ truck beckoned, but the long line of Wall Streeters discouraged us. The boat was waiting when we got there and left the dock in about ten minutes. Within about ten more minutes we were docking at Brooklyn Bridge Park and were on our way to four more stops before landing at 34th Street. There, the ferry service runs a free bus loop to Sixth Avenue which wasn’t there when we arrived, so we hopped on the M34, transferred and was back in the office in an hour and half from our starting point.

Once on board the first new site to see is the Esplanade and SHoP's Maritime Pavilion, which still under construction. This past Tuesday an RFP went out for vendors to operate the building and berthing spaces.

After leaving the Brooklyn Bridge Park stop you get a close up view of the Tobacco Warehouse, which recently slipped from the grasp of the St. Ann's Warehouse theater group.

Also at Brooklyn Bridge Park, you can see the completed Main Street Section in the distance with workers still toiling away at Empire Fulton Ferry section in the foreground at right.

Little activity to be seen right now at Domino, as the behind the scenes financing takes precedence.

St. Anthony of Padua Church still commands the Greenpoint skyline.

Another SHoP project, Hunters Point, is in the very early stages of construction.

The iconic Long Island City gates.

The United Nations Secretariat in the midst of renovations. The ferry's last stop is just south of the site.

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