Tourists in NYC: The River Cruise Edition (aka, we took the Ferry!)

After an amazing Friday featuring an excellent Camelot performance, my parents and I had the morning to spend together before we parted ways. After the complimentary breakfast, we decided to head to the Tenement museum.

The museum is in a beautiful neighborhood but at the time we went, the actual preserved building is undergoing renovation. They only had guided tours through their museum and reconstructed models. In addition, we hadn’t booked in advance so the earlier tour we could get would require a two hour wait.

Instead, we decided to make our own historic NYC tour! Our goal was E 87th St, where my Dad’s grandparents used to live. Dad had memories of visiting as a young child and he was interested in seeing the neighborhood. We walked a mile to the Corlears Hook ferry stop. It was starting to get a little warm, but it was manageable. We took the ferry south one stop to Pier 11/Wall St. There, we disembarked and bought another set of tickets for the Soundview (SV) line that we took to East 90th St. The Wall St ferry dock was a bit of a scene due to huge lines for the Rockaway Beach line, which made sense since it was a gorgeous beach day. Our route was nowhere near as popular, but it made for a great boat ride up the East River.

Yes, I strongly recommend the NYC ferry as part of a tourist’s plan to see the city. SMS and I had done it on a Brooklyn trip (whoa, right before COVID) and we loved it. On this trip, it was a beautiful day and the architecture was beautiful. Dad is also a good tour guide. He gave the back story to the UN building and location site. We also passed the Rockefeller University where my sister used to work. It was really a pleasant way to see the city- the breeze also helped on a warm day! Oh, yeah, so did our cold Pilsner from the ferry bar!

We landed at the E 90th St stop. We walked by Gracie Mansion and through Carl Schurz park. Then we crossed to E 87 St and walked past the old house’s stoop and St Joseph’s Church where my Dad’s older brother and sister were baptized. His parents got married in the rectory. We took several pictures and went inside the Church. Dad spoke to a few neighbors. It was really a special time where multiple time points in a person’s individual NYC history converged in one spot.

After that, it was time to part ways. Mom and Dad went to Amtrak and I went to EWR. The rest of my afternoon/evening featured flight delays, boarding, ground stop for lightning, crew reaching their time limit, flight cancellation, and sadness. Hahaha, yes, it was a bit of a mess but that’s Summertime travel + East Coast afternoon thunderstorms. I rebooked onto Alaska out of JFK the next day.

I went into the city and stayed at a Courtyard Marriott near Times Square for the night. I had big plans for the next day to take advantage of my extended weekend!

5 thoughts on “Tourists in NYC: The River Cruise Edition (aka, we took the Ferry!)”

  1. What a lovely day with your parents. Have you had a “Radler” (Pilsener + sparkling lemonade) before? So thirst-quenching on a hot day.

  2. Oh, I’m sorry the Tenement Museum did not work out. My parents loved it – my mom’s family lived in Hell’s Kitchen til they moved to Hoboken, and my parents & aunt and uncle did the “family heritage tour”. 🙂

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