FIFTY DIRHAMS A DAY
New York! The Big Apple. Some might even say, the “really expensive apple.” For many, living in New York City can be a dream come true. At the same time, however, not everyone can afford it. There is so much to do here, but what can you possibly do in NYC without it resulting in severe depletion of the wallet?
A little bit of geography on New York to begin with. The city is made up of five boroughs – Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island. For me, as a Sri Lankan, the borough that stands out the most is Staten Island, because — unlike Manhattan — the borough seems to embrace its island identity. The mention of the word “island” immediately makes me think of one of two things – a place like home, deceptively small at first glance, surrounded by the Indian Ocean, or the island in Robinson Crusoe, an isolated, uninhabited little island where nobody would want to be stranded for a lifetime.
Staten Island is somewhere in between. It is separated from the rest of New York by the Kill Van Kull Strait and New York Bay. The only direct way to get from Manhattan to Staten Island is via the Staten Island Ferry.
A few pointers before boarding the ferry:
- Buy yourself a bag of pretzels from the terminal to munch during the ride – $3 a pack (AED 11)
- The sea breeze can be quite chilly even during warm summer days, so be sure to carry a jacket
The ferry ride, especially for a first timer, can be quite an experience. Try to squeeze through the crowd and get to the upper deck for the best possible view along the way. The most celebrated of the sights is arguably the Statue of Liberty and you can admire the statue perfectly, as long as you push yourself to that side of the boat. When you’re on the boat going towards Staten Island, look behind you: it’s an entirely different perspective of the Manhattan skyline, a picture that could only look better if it was around sunset.
Sahan Sachintha Tampoe
In just under 30 minutes, the ferry docks St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. You have now successfully voyaged from one borough of NYC to another! It is now time to explore a little bit of Staten Island. As you exit the terminal, you’ll see the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, which is the home of the Staten Island Yankees. You won’t be the first person to wonder how likely it is that the ball would go soaring over the stadium and into the water, given how close the stadium is to the harbor.
Sahan Sachintha Tampoe