Commuting to Manhattan has been part of my life since I was a child. Growing up in Fresh Meadows, Queens my family and I would go into “the city” to enjoy all it had to offer. Being a first generation Italian-American included entertaining family that would visit from Italy on what seemed to be a regular basis. Off we went to visit all the sites including the Statue of Liberty which would be my very first ferry ride. I was really excited to be on the ferry and was in awe of seeing the statue so close. I didn’t realize then that someday this would become a daily occurrence.
After college, I began commuting to Manhattan from Queens via bus and subway. It didn’t take long for me to realize that riding the bus to the subway was something that would get old pretty quickly. Looking for an alternative that would add something to my commute and not make it a burden I began taking the LIRR. My commutes were shorter and I was able to add more time to my evenings to spend with family and friends. However, I wasn’t destined to benefit from the LIRR for too long as all of that changed when I took a ride over the George Washington Bridge.
After my father’s retirement in 2001, my parents moved to Paramus, New Jersey to be closer to family. On one occasion when I was visiting them I met my future wife and within two years, New Jersey had adopted a new son.
As a resident of Riverdale, New Jersey, I had to learn how to commute to my office located in Battery Park. At first, I was taking the NJ Transit Bus from Wayne into Port Authority. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not a fan of busses. Their timing is dictated by traffic conditions and I have had too many instances where I’ve lost hours in a day sitting on the bus.
Looking for something with a more consistent schedule, I began taking the train into Hoboken. It was like being on the LIRR again and it made me happy. At first, I was using the PATH train to get downtown which was fine, but I kept seeing all these folks heading for the ferry. What was I missing? So, one morning I took the ferry to the World Financial Terminal and learned it was a healthy walk to my office. I was disappointed as I hoped it would be closer. Later that day I was having lunch with my co-worker who would occasionally take the ferry. She informed me that there was a closer terminal to the office and she would show me after work. After a short walk, I was introduced to the Pier 11 terminal and have been taking that route regularly since then.
The ferry rides to and from Pier 11 are the best part of my commute each day. They are even better when I’m able to sit outside as we cross the river. It invigorates me in the morning as the sun shines down and takes away my stress as I journey home. I also get to relive a little bit of my youth each time we pass Lady Liberty.
By day, Tony Carrini is a Publisher at SourceMedia and by night he’s a drummer, Yankees fan and amateur photographer. Twenty-four hours a day he’s a husband and dog-owner. You can view his pictures (many taken while on the ferry) and follow his thoughts under the handle @TonyCarrini for both Instagram and Twitter.