Sunday, January 25, 2009

island hopping

Not wanting my fatigue or the late afternoon hour to get in the way of my usual weekend exploration, I decided that it was time I ventured out to Staten Island. It is the only borough I have never visited and it operates a free ferry. When I arrived in lower Manhattan as the sun was setting, I thought, "This plan is really coming together: a free sunset cruise on the Bay and a return cruise after dark!" Thoughts of a glittering lower Manhattan danced in my head as the gates were open and we, the tired, cold and huddled masses, boarded our ferry.

Being a spontaneous, late in the day sort of thing, I hadn't beefed up on what's what or what's to do in Staten Island. Short of having seen Madonna's Papa Don't Preach video a hundred or so times and having heard that Staten Island is the most suburban of the five boroughs, I really didn't know what to expect. After disembarking the ferry, Nick and I walked up and down a few quaint, but lonesome streets, eventually stopping by a local bar where a bunch of 20-somethings were blowing up inflatable palm trees and wrapping buckets in bamboo-print material to make festive stands for tiki torches.

At this point, chilled and completely caught up on our 90s popular rock, we headed back to the ferry. And while I didn't see Madonna in her Italians Do It Better t-shirt, I did watch some French rapper shooting a video on the outer deck as we passed Ms. Liberty clutching her glowing torch.

It was a good day.

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