Staten Island's only icon is its link to Manhattan.
Ride the Staten Island Ferry to see the famous skyline and Statue of Liberty from Upper New York Bay. It's free and runs about every 30 minutes. Ride on the front or back of the ship for the best views.
Statue of Liberty and Staten Island Ferry. The view from Beard Street Pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Staten Island Ferry and the Brooklyn skyline at sunset.
Staten Island's only icon is its link to Manhattan.
SI Yankees stadium is a smaller icon.
There's also the landfill, and maybe Historic Richmondtown.
Verrazano Narrows: 1/2 icon.
How about Carrere & Hastings' Borough Hall? Or Cass House by Frank Lloyd Wright?
The borough has many assets, but only one and a half icon.
And that half icon is its link to Brooklyn.
Greenbelt - largest NYC park
Todt Hill - highest point on eastern seaboard south of Maine.
But these are assets. We need to find half-an-icon.
Pelham Bay Park is the city's largest (Parks FAQs).
Here you go, 100% in Richmond County:
Society of St. Paul Seminary (Roman Catholic), 2187 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, designed by Silverman & Cika, 1969 (http://www.thecityreview.com/aia.html)
It has the potential, all it needs is publicity.
There's also that Chinese tea garden that they featured on a recent episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
September 19, 2003
To Staten Island, via Wisconsin
By N. R. KLEINFIELD
In Wisconsin Thursday, finishing touches were put on the Guy V. Molinari. Rides on the new ferry are still a year away.
During peak hours on weekdays, it is a 15-minute wait for one of the Staten Island ferries to heave into the terminal. Even during the sparsely traveled witching hours — 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning — a ferry chugs along every hour.
But for a new ferry to show up in the city, you need patience. Decades of patience.
The wait is over.
It looks like a giant orange block. It weighs about 3,000 tons. It carries 4,400 passengers. It costs $40 million (and that's the low bid). It is the new Staten Island Ferry.
When you contemplate New York's icons — the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Yankee Stadium — somewhere in there you have to squeeze the Staten Island Ferry, enabler of that captivating and absolutely free 25-minute ride between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan.
And so when a new ferry comes along, it matters. The last time the city bought one was in 1986. The last time it bought a boat of this size was nearly 40 years ago. Anybody you ask in city government, and especially the 65,000 people who ride the ferry every weekday, would have to agree: it's about time.
The big boat is not actually here. It is in Wisconsin. You probably won't be able to ride it until next September. But if you are dying to see it and can get to Wisconsin tomorrow, the ferry will be launched into the water and christened at a shipyard in Marinette, about an hour north of Green Bay, where it was built.
"For us, this is very exciting," said Iris Weinshall, the commissioner of the city Department of Transportation, which operates the ferry. "Ferries are very expensive. You don't buy one every year."
One of the lesser-known prerogatives of being mayor of New York is you get to name new Staten Island ferries, assuming that you are in office in one of those decades that the city buys one. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg chose to call this one the Guy V. Molinari, after the former Staten Island borough president.
The mayor will be in Wisconsin tomorrow for the launching, as will Mr. Molinari. His daughter, Susan Molinari, the former congresswoman, will serve as the boat's "sponsor" and will get to crack a bottle of Champagne across the bow. The city insisted it be a New York brand. A brief problem. Dennis McCloskey, the president of the Manitowoc Marine Group, whose Marinette Marine division built the boat, said he tried 10 liquor stores in Wisconsin without success. Finally, someone from the New York Transportation Department furnished a bottle.
Building the big ferry was an 18-month job. Originally, the boat was supposed to get to New York this year, but the shipyard went on strike for 44 days last winter, and there went the schedule.
After its launching, finishing touches still remain. The smokestacks must be added, the insides painted, the seats installed — and, it needs to be tested. The outside has been painted that inimitable Staten Island orange that glows in the fog.
The shipyard figures to begin the trip to New York in late May, as it must wait for the St. Lawrence Seaway to reopen after the ice clears. The ferry will pass through the Great Lakes onto the St. Lawrence Seaway and then down the Atlantic Coast to the Hudson River. If all things go well, the trip will take three weeks.
Once the ferry arrives, the United States Coast Guard, which runs the harbor, has to inspect it. The crew has to undergo a month or so of training. The city hopes to put the new ferry into regular service after Labor Day.
In appearance, the boat is not radically different from the one that it is replacing. It does have an extra, fifth hurricane deck, so passengers can ride at the same level as the captain. It can carry 900 more passengers than the old boat, and has about twice as much outdoor space, because commuters said that they like being outdoors. The new boat can also carry 30 cars, 10 fewer than its predecessor. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, cars have been banned from the ferries, though the Transportation Department hopes one day they will return.
The Molinari ferry has more efficient, improved engines that should require less maintenance. Instead of four engines that must run together, it has three engines, only two of which are necessary for operation. It travels at the same service speed of 18.2 miles an hour. One new feature is exhibit space for art shows. The intention is to display nautical scenes relevant to Staten Island.
There are two other identical boats on order, one expected to be delivered late next fall and the other in the spring or summer of 2005. They have yet to be named, though the city has gotten a lot of letters from people hoping one of them will be named in memory of Sept. 11.
The ferry fleet consists of seven boats, of three designs. The new ferry and its sister boats will replace the three Kennedy-class boats, which began operating in 1965, when the population of Staten Island was about half of what it is now and a ferry could be built for $4 million. Not long after the Guy V. Molinari enters service, the city will retire one of the Kennedy boats, the American Legion. The two others, the John F. Kennedy and the Gov. Herbert H. Lehman, will cease operating after the companion ferries arrive.
Like all surplus city property, the American Legion will be turned over to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, which will probably auction it off. There is not tremendous demand for 40-year-old ferries that carry 3,500 people and 40 cars, but there is some. A few years ago, businessmen from somewhere in the South called the Transportation Department wondering if it had a spare ferry lying around it could convert into a restaurant. Who knows? They might still need it.
A few former ferries became prison dormitories for Rikers Island. Another one has been seen in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and one has been sighted near Woodbridge, N.J.
The launching of this ferry has been much anticipated in Marinette and neighboring towns. Mr. McCloskey said, "Take a seven-story building and think about launching it into the water." It only requires about 20 seconds to drop it sideways into the Menominee River, but as Mr. McCloskey put it, "It's 20 seconds that you'll never forget."
There will be a mighty big splash. Something like a thousand onlookers are expected.
"People like to see that splash," Mr. McCloskey said.
Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company