I don't get into NYC much these days. I live too far to make casual trips, so when I do, I try to make a day of it. So, yesterday I took a ferry ride from my town of Atlantic Highlands to visit my friends who still work in the city. Now, I live three blocks from the ferry berth. It takes a mere 35 minutes to get to Manhattan. This almost makes up for the fact that it costs $37 for a round trip (off-peak) ticket. It's a great ride. The scenery is spectacular! You zoom by Sandy Hook, get a glance of Coney Island. Staten Island looks appealing, believe it or not when you pass under the Verazanno Bridge. The ferry then passes by Governor's Island and the Statue of Liberty is close enough to get a good view. It stops at Pier 11, but I take the ferry to 34th street.
I was planning on meeting up with five of my friends. One of them, Joe called me to let me know he was busty. That was okay because I told Inkboy to invite him at the last minute. Korn called out for being too busy.
So, now we were down to four of us with Sean being late. These are friends I made back in the late 80's when me went to the School Of Visual Arts. It's hard for me to go into Manhattan and not recall what it was like back in the 80's when NYC was a more edgy, fun place to be.
It's expensive there of course but there was a time that we could have afforded to live there making the 80's equivalence of what we make now. During the Rudy years, for example Times Square became "Disneyfied" but still retains its overkill of lights and sound. Downtown is now a place only for the lawyers, Wall Street jerks, and elderly dowagers in rent controlled splendor. It's depressing, it's no longer my city.
Still, I enjoyed my lunch at Virgil's with Inkboy, Sean and Martin, the company at least. My sandwich was not good, but the beer was great. I shoulda gone with the pulled pork. We updated our lives, didn't dwell too much on the past. A good thing.
Inkboy and I finished up and went to SVA to check up on the old haunting grounds. It was an eye opener. The place is a lot cleaner and fixed up from the days we went there. In some ways that's sad. I loved the freedom, the grafitti, the cigarette butts on the ground. We hung out in the cafeteria looking at the people who currently go there. I wondered if these guys do any of the same things we did. do they go to the any divey night clubs? Do they go to the thrift stores? The girls are still cute, though.
Anyway, I left Inkboy behind and walked all the way down to South Street Seaport. First, I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. In all the time I lived in NYC, I had never walked across the bridge. I thought "Why the Hell Not?". I then had a $7 dollar bottle of Brooklyn Beer while checking out two of the man-made waterfalls under the Brooklyn Bridge. I love drinking beer at Pier 17 drinking beer. I did it before with an old girlfriend and it was the best time I had with her in NYC. I then went on the Seastreak ferry back to Atlantic Highlands.
The trip back was a little colder. The sunset was beautiful with the Statue of Liberty in the foreground. Still, the trip was marred a little by the Wall Street douche bags smoking cigars, a cliche of the 90's. The seats indoors are sooo comfortable. This would be an ideal way to travel with the one you love. I recommend it to those in the northern shore area.
It was a good day.