Coney Island Neighborhood Rallies Together to Raise Awareness of Need for Ferry Service

by Denise Marie

PRESS RELEASE:

CONEY ISLAND, October 3rd, 2018 – This morning, Coney Island businesses, residents, community leaders, a representative from State Senator Diane Savino’s office, and Community Board 13 held a press conference calling on the City to commit to studying their community for ferry service and to raise awareness of EDC’s open portal to submit Coney Island as a location to study.  Currently, Coney Island residents, businesses and visitors have the longest average commute to Manhattan out of any outer-borough location that is not currently served by ferry service.

With the NYC Ferry passing in the background, the press conference held on the Boardwalk united the voices of many Coney Islanders in bringing the City’s attention to the area and the needs of the community with over 50,000 residents, hundreds of businesses, and more housing development on the way.

The community urges local residents and all New Yorkers to submit Coney Island to the open portal at the below link before it closes on October 15th to make sure the City knows how critical a study for Coney Island ferry service is:  https://www.nycedc.com/resources/studies/2018-ferry-feasibility-study or www.allianceforconeyisland.org/ferry-service.

“This morning’s rally illustrated the demands of the Coney Island community and the critical need for transit alternatives for our growing neighborhood.  Our residents have long commutes on a daily basis in addition to the many new residents that will arrive in the coming years. It is essential that City Hall and EDC acknowledge the demand and need in Coney Island and officially commit to studying the area for ferry service,” said Alexandra Silversmith, Executive Director of the Alliance for Coney Island.

“Ferry service to Coney Island will allow the City of New York to realize the full potential of the public-private partnerships that underlie the economic growth in the area—and meet its responsibility to the residents of the area who deserve reliable transportation alternatives,” said Jon Dohlin, Chairperson of the Alliance for Coney Island and Vice President and Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

“Coney Island is in need of ferry service and better transit access.  We are a growing community and need to better service our local residents, neighborhood and visitors. ,” said Eddie Mark, District Manager of Community Board 13.

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

Staten Island Ferry | A True New York City Bargain!

by Denise Marie

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.

Click to book your New York CityPass

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 Denise Marie

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.

Click to book your New York CityPass

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.