From Staten Island to Manhattan on the ferry takes about fifteen minutes.
Crossing the harbor will take you past quite a few of the sights that New
York City is famous for. Starting with the longest suspension bridge in
the United States (as of 2001), the Verrazano Narrows. This bridge connects
Staten Island on the right with Brooklyn (Long Island) on the left.
The most famous sight in the harbor is undoubtedly the Statue of Liberty, seen
here with one of the Staten Island ferries crossing in the foreground. It was
created by the French sculptor Bartholdi with help from Gustave Eiffel (of tower
fame) and was given to the United States as a gift from France in 1886. The statue
can normally be visited although it was closed during our visit due to the
terrorist attacks on New York City some six weeks earlier.
It's always a little chilly in New York in October, particularly on a ferry
cruising across the harbor. You might notice that in this picture. Incidentally,
the actual name of the statue itself is "Liberty Enlightening the World."
This is Ellis Island, a little shaky perhaps due to ferry motion. Between
1892 and 1924 the vast majority of immigrants to the United States went through
this complex (22 million in all). Ellis Island's buildings are remarkably well
kept - if you look at old photos of the island they are basically sepia-toned
versions of today's photographs.
Behind Liberty Island and Ellis Island, the west shore of New York Harbor
is New Jersey. On the east side is Brooklyn (shown here) and a nearly infinite
number of docks and warehouses, at least along the waterfront.
Brooklyn and Manhattan are separated by the East River. In lower Manhattan
they are connected by a slew of bridges and a couple of tunnels for good measure.
In the foreground is the Brooklyn Bridge which first opened in 1883 for a toll
of 1 cent.
The skyline of lower Manhattan with the ferry terminal visible at the lower
right corner of the picture. The lower section of Manhattan is primarily the
financial district. The trees along the shoreline make up Battery Park.
These pictures were all taken about six weeks after the twin towers of the
World Trade Center were destroyed. Without overly dwelling on it the cranes
in this and the next picture mark the site of those buildings and are part
of the clean up effort.