We took the boat from Highlands, New Jersey, to Manhattan (an East River dock at E. 35th Street). The trip is about an hour each way and costs $40 round trip (I gather most of the patrons are daily commuters who get a deal for buying a 40-ride ticket). We caught the 2:50 p.m. boat, which actually departed about half an hour late (no announcements were made to the two or three dozen people, mostly tourists like us, waiting to make the trip).
It was a beautiful, calm day on the water, but even so this trip is much more like being on the sea than the short trips across the Bay from San Francisco and Oakland. The boat rolled slowly on the swell and made it tough to walk straight across the deck. At the New York end we sailed east of Governor’s Island, under the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges, and got off the boat at the end of 35th Street. We walked to the New York Public Library, then doubled back to Grand Central Station and jumped on the No. 5 subway to downtown Brooklyn. We met our friends Jan and Chris there, then took a GPS-assisted drive to Fornino pizza on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. Two small-world experiences: first, my brother John lived in this now hipster-intensive neighborhood about 20 years ago, when it was a little less given over to sidewalk performers, book vendors, and nice restaurants, bars, and boutiques. Second, Fornino, where we ate, is run by a friend of his.
Dinner was great, then Chris and Jan drove us back to Manhattan for the ferry home. It was warm and clear all the way across. Fireworks over Coney Island. A couple of shooting stars fell as we crossed the bay back to New Jersey. Ashore, then back to Highland Park.