Staten Island Ferry | A True New York City Bargain!

by NYJ Team

The Staten Island Ferry is one of New York City’s true bargains. The free ferry ride connects lower Manhattan with Staten Island and offers incredible views of the skyscrapers in lower Manhattan as well as Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

History

Ferry service between lower Manhattan and Staten Island began in the early 1700’s. The original service was operated by sail-powered craft. Steam-powered ferries were not added until 1817. After several accidents, the city of New York acquired the ferry service in 1901, but kept the steam-powered ferries in service until the mid-1980’s. The ferry fare, five cents for years, increased to 25 cents in the 1980’s. After much debate, however, the fare was discontinued completely in 1997.

Staten Island Ferry Facts

• The Staten Island Ferry transports over 20 million passengers each year, an average of 70,000 per day.
• The Ferry service has been featured in a number of popular movies and TV programs, including “Working Girl” with Melanie Griffith, an “I Love Lucy” episode, and “The Secret of My Success” with Michael J. Fox.
• The Staten Island Ferry boats make approximately 33,000 trips each year.
• The original ferries were painted white, but were changed to orange for better visibility in the rain and fog.
• Old ferryboats have found new life in and around New York City – one is a restaurant in New Jersey and two are used as prisoner dormitories at Riker’s Island.

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Taking the Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry departs from Whitehall Street, near Battery Park in Lower Manhattan and arrives at the St. Georges Ferry Terminal at Richmond Terrace on Staten Island. The 5.2-mile journey is free and takes approximately 25 minutes each way. Bicycles are permitted on the lower deck at no charge, but vehicles are no longer permitted on the ferry. The Staten Island Ferry schedule operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Frequency varies with the time of day, but rarely do you have to wait more than 15 minutes for a ferry.

Parking facilities are available on Staten Island at the St. Georges Ferry Terminal. On the Manhattan side, the ferry docks near subway and bus transportation.

Visiting Staten Island

Staten Island, arguably the least well known of the five New York City boroughs, has a wealth of museums and historic sites to interest visitors arriving on the ferry. Right across from St. Georges Terminal is the Staten Island Museum. This comprehensive museum, founded in 1881, has a permanent collection including a large body of Italian Renaissance paintings; a section on the art and culture of the Lenape tribe, the first inhabitants of Staten Island; and an exhibit on the history of the Staten Island Ferry, among other things. Temporary exhibits, such as a recent display of historic baseball cards, augment the permanent collection.

Another highlight of Staten Island is Historic Richmond Town. This 100-acre living museum features 15 restored 18th and 19th century residential and commercial buildings as well as a museum, filled with objects from the island’s colorful past. Richmond Town was the site of one of the original Dutch settlements in the area and later became a British stronghold prior to the Revolutionary War. Historic Richmond Town is reached by a bus that leaves directly from the ferry terminal. Admission is modest and discounts are offered for students and seniors.

Taking the Staten Island Ferry is a delight for visitors and residents alike. The views of the city and the Statue of Liberty are some of the best in the world – and it’s all for free.

Location: 1 Whitehall Street at South Street

Click to visit Staten Island Ferry website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Socrates Sculpture Park | A Unique Open-Air Gallery

by NYJ Team

Unlike the MET, you are encouraged to touch the art at the Socrates Sculpture Park. Located in Long Island City, this outdoor sculpture gallery features an expanse of green space scattered with large-scale art installations.

The Socrates Sculpture Park was an abandoned landfill until the late eighties when it was transformed by a group of community members and artists into the unique open-air gallery it is today. The park also offers many free public programs including outdoor movie nights and art classes.

With its spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline across the East River, the Socrates Sculpture Park is also a great place to simply walk your dog or stroll with your family along the waterfront.

Art at the Socrates Sculpture Park

The installations at the Socrates Sculpture Park change frequently so no two visits are alike. Typically the park features a collection of contemporary large-scale art and multi-media exhibits. These one-of-a-kind pieces are often interactive, offering visitors a different way to experience art and creating a more accessible environment than at a traditional art gallery.

The Socrates Sculpture Park features an outdoor studio and resident artists who receive grants to develop and display their work onsite, allowing visitors to see sculptures in different phases of development.

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Special Events and Activities

The Socrates Sculpture Park is known not only for its eclectic collection of artwork but also for the broad range of free events and activities available throughout the summer season.

The park’s popular outdoor cinema series showcases international films throughout the summer. Moviegoers can spread out a blanket on the grass as the sun sets and enjoy a movie from a different country each week.

Socrates Sculpture Park also presents a schedule of free concerts, plays and performances such as Shakespeare in the Park. There are also art workshops for both kids and adults offered free of charge as well as fun activities such as free kayaking excursions and the free “Kite Flight” where kids learn to build their own kite from recycled materials, and then fly it in the park.

Free Fitness Programs

Yoga and Tai Chi lovers will appreciate the free classes offered at the Socrates Sculpture Park, especially as the classes are held by the park’s picturesque waterfront. The beautiful views of Roosevelt Island and Manhattan’s Upper East Side provide a peaceful, Zen-like setting for relaxation and meditation.

In addition to free yoga and Tai Chi classes, you can also take part in free Pilates classes and Capoeira classes, the Afro-Brazilian martial art which integrates self-defense and dance movements. The fitness classes at Socrates Sculpture Park are suitable for all levels of experience.

Markets in the Park

Each summer Socrates Sculpture Park is home to a Greenmarket Farmers Market where local farmers gather to sell their farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. The park also features a Makers Market where artisans offer handmade items including jewelry, furniture and ceramics.

Visiting the Socrates Sculpture Park in New York

The Socrates Sculpture Park is located in Long Island City, Queens, New York at the intersection of Broadway and Vernon Boulevard across from the Noguchi Museum.

The park is open year round and admission is free. For hours of operation or more information on the programs, classes and current exhibition schedule call 718-956-1819 or visit Socrates Sculpture Park official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with official website.

Wall Street & the New York Stock Exchange

by NYJ Team

Wall Street, a narrow street in lower Manhattan between Broadway and the East River, was the first permanent home of the New York Stock Exchange, as well as the one-time headquarters for all of the major banks and brokerage houses in the United States. Although, all of the brokerages have moved elsewhere – to other quarters in New York’s financial district, New Jersey, and Connecticut – the term, “Wall Street” is still synonymous with the US financial markets.

History

Wall Street got its name in the 17th century, when it was the northern boundary of the original Dutch “New Amsterdam” settlement on Manhattan. There actually was, at one time, a wall on Wall Street. Wall Street and the surrounding New York financial district grew up around the New York Stock Exchange. At one time, virtually all of the US banks and brokerages were based in this small area. At the height of the “Gilded Age” in the late 19th and early 20th century, the area was known as the “House of Morgan”, referring to JP Morgan, the country’s largest bank and financier.

The attack on the World Trade Center in September 2001, has had the effect of speeding the exodus of companies from the concentrated financial district. Banks and brokerage headquarters can now be found all throughout suburban New York City.

New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange, located at 11 Wall Street, is the largest stock exchange in the world. Its global capitalization is roughly 20 trillion dollars. The NYSE traces its history back to an event 1792, when 24 brokers and bankers signed the “Buttonwood Agreement”, named for a buttonwood tree that stood at the end of Wall Street. This agreement set into motion the creation of the system of buying and selling stocks that became the NYSE. Unlike the high-tech NASDAQ marketplace, at Times Square, the NYSE today operates much as it did 100 years ago, in an auction format with buyers and sellers’ agents meeting and deciding on a price right on the exchange’s trading floor.

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Visiting Wall Street and the NYSE

Wall Street and the New York Financial District make a nice New York walking tour. The area is easily accessible from all parts of the city via subway, bus, and taxi.

Also within the financial district, at the corner of Wall St. and Nassau St., is Federal Hall National Memorial, the home of the first United States capital and the site of George Washington’s Presidential inauguration. Continuing along Wall Street to the East River, you come to South Street Seaport, a favorite of residents and visitors alike. This historic area was once the site of the Fulton fish market where the New York fishing fleet returned from their day in the harbor and sold their wares. Today, it is a combination shopping mall, museum, and entertainment complex, with spectacular views and a fleet of historic sailing ships.

Also not far from the financial district, at the tip of Manhattan, is Battery Park, a 32-acre waterfront, mixed-use park, which offers spectacular views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty in the distance.

A visit to Wall Street and the New York financial district is an interesting diversion from New York museums and shopping. The area’s imposing facades and rich history, capped with the spectacular views from the tip of Manhattan made a trip to Wall Street a must for any New York sightseeing trip.

Location: at 11 Wall Street, New York City, New York
Phone: 212-656-3000

Click to visit New York Stock Exchange official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with official website.