Manhattan transfers: New York’s boroughs by ferry

Downtown New York has sights galore but the citys expanded ferry services offers a more relaxed route to see its less famous neighborhoods and fabulous opinions back to Manhattan

There are a lot of sights to tick off on a visit to New York City. Lots of tall buildings, lots of parks … and lots of people at all of them. But if you have seen the well-trodden attractions, it can be fun to find a more authentic side to the city. And this has become easier since the city expanded its ferry service.

Two new roads, linking neighborhoods such as Astoria in Queens and Red Hook in Brooklyn, were added in 2017, and two more will be added in 2018( see map of ferry network here ). For simply $2.75, the ferry is a far more picturesque and less claustrophobic way to traveling than the metro, and goes to places that otherwise might be overlooked.

Neighbourhoods across the five boroughs are constantly in flux, and we’ve selected an region in each that is, for different reasons, beginning to attract more attention.

Sounds of New York: ways by artists from across the city’s
five boroughs

Illustration: Hennie Haworth

People who live in Astoria boast of cheaper rent and the alternative it offers to scene-y Brooklyn. In recent years, trendy bars and coffee shops have moved in but there’s still a friendly community vibe.

New York’s second most populous borough, Queens is regularly described- including by the New York State government- as” the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world”, with 47.7% of the borough’s 2.3 million residents having been born outside of the US.

In Astoria, on the East river in the north-west corner of Queens, that is reflected in its big Greek population, with a slew of tavernas and a smattering of Greek orthodox churches.

What to watch and do

Astoria Pool in Astoria Park beneath Hell Gate Bridge. Photo: Barry Winiker/ Getty Images

Astoria Park
Spanning 60 acres along the East river, the park has views of Manhattan’s skyscrapers and the striking Hellgate bridge. It is also home to the city’s oldest and largest swimming pool, a popular destination on hot summertime days.

Museum of the Moving Image
Home to the largest collecting of movie artefacts in the US, the museum screens ratings of movies annually and the permanent exhibition,
Behind the Screen, guides guests through the film-making process.
* Adult $15, child$ 7, 36 -0 1 35 Ave,

Welling Court Mural Project
This project comprises more than 150 murals by artists from around the world, spanning a number of blocks and streets close to the waterfront. It’s worth exploring the little side streets and doorways where some of it is hidden away, and there are also some anti-Trump murals to check out. Which is always nice.
* 30 th Ave& 12 St,

Where to feed and drink

Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna

Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna
This is a no-frills eatery and a more accessible alternative to
Taverna Kyclades, probably the best-known of Astoria’s Greek eateries. A cosy place close to the Ditmars Boulevard subway stop, it’s known for its homely fare and family atmosphere. The food is relatively inexpensive-$ 7 for a Greek salad, $18 for a hefty portion of grilled liver and onions with lemon potatoes- and the grilled octopus ($ 17) is particularly celebrated.
* 26 -0 2 23 rd Ave, on Facebook

Astoria Seafood
This tiny, chaotic place bills itself as” New York’s number 1 seafood eatery”, and whether that is true or not, a visit is at once confusing and overwhelming, but also a lot of fun. Customers select their own fresh fish from ice trays, pop them in clear plastic bags, then approach the counter. There, a brusque cook asks how you’d like the fish cooked: fried or grilled. Then it’s a case of huddling until a table becomes available and glugging whatever alcohol you bought from the deli round the corner( it’s BYO ). When I was recently there, one of the waiting staff grabbed someone celebrating their birthday for an impromptu dance routine.
* Prices depend on fish type and weight, 37 -1 0 33 rd St,

The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
In summer hundreds of eager drinkers flock to this huge beer garden( one of the largest in New York) next to the East river. The bar is owned by the Bohemian Citizens’ Benevolent Society of Astoria, formed in 1892 to support Czech and Slovak culture. The menu features Czech-style dumplings and” traditional Slovak sheep cheese “. The beverages menu, as to be expected, is dominated by Czech and German brews, served in mugs ($ 7) or pitchers ($ 18 ).
* 29 -1 9 24 th Ave,

Where to bide

The Paper Factory Hotel

Paper Factory Hotel, Astoria, New York

This former factory had fallen into disrepair before being reimagined as a hotel in 2014. It’s just a 10 -minute train ride from the city, the rooms have the high ceilings and industrial feel of the original building, and a beer garden is on the way.
* Doubles from $100 room-only,

Getting there

It’s reached by the E, M, N, R and W trains and the Astoria route of the Hornblower ferry, which stops at Wall street and East 34 th street in Manhattan.

Illustration: Hennie Haworth

Standing only a few feet above sea level and right on New York harbour, Red Hook was one of the fields worst been struck by 2012′ s Hurricane Sandy, whose cyclone surge submerged huge swathes of the region. But in the five years since, it has undergone a dramatic resurgence with coffee shop and bars opening and people moving here from Manhattan and Brooklyn.

It’s been something of an unlikely turnaround for Red Hook, which was one of the busiest ports in the world until the introduction of shipping containers in the 1960 s. The area is not linked by the develop, which led to it being somewhat forgotten by the rest of the city. The renaissance has not been without criticism, however. Increasing property prices and rents have forced some residents out, as gentrification has snuck in.

What to insure and do

Riders on the way to the Red Hook Crit race. Photograph: Eloise Mavian

The Waterfront Museum
The museum is aboard a 103 -year-old barge and houses the captain’s original living quarters and a number of tools once used by longshoremen and stevedores to load and unload boats.
* Free,

The Red Hook Crit
AKA” one of the wildest bike races in the world”, this annual one-day event describe thousands of spectators. Cyclists race around a 1km way on fixed-wheel bikes, usually at the end of April. It is one of the largest cycling events in the city and knows we dramatic high-speed crashes.
* 2018 dates tba,

Pioneer Works
This non-profit cultural centre and exhibition space right by the Red Hook ferry terminal may wish to stimulate the arts accessible to all. Current exhibitions include Solid Light Works by British artist Anthony McCall( until 11 March ). Gerard and Kelly, whose work explores intimacy and sexuality, are exhibiting from 24 May to 24 June.
* Free ,

Where to eat and drink

Red Hook Lobster Pound. Photo: Daniel Krieger

Red Hook Lobster Pound
The Lobster Pound started selling its famous lobster rolls from the counter but in 2015 opened a eatery. It serves four rolls- Maine, Connecticut, BLT and Tuscan- with fries or salad ($ 25 to $27 ).
* 284 Van Brunt Street,

Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies
Steve has been attaining his key lime pies, traditionally a Floridian dish, at this tiny bakery for 23 years and “theyve been” lauded by no less than Al Roker, America’s most famous weatherman. Steve’s is right by the water, and the neighbouring Louis Valentino Jr park and pier is the perfect place to scoff your pie.
* Pies from $5.50, 185 Van Dyke St,

Sunny’s Bar
This watering hole was opened in 1890 by the grandparents of the now-deceased Sunny but, over the past decade, it has repeatedly flirted with closure. It was closed for 10 months after damage sustained during Sandy and, in 2017, only a last-ditch fundraising attempt saved it from being permanently shut down. Still, this local organization, which has regular live music and a homely vibe, lives on.
* 253 Conover Street,

Where to bide

LOOK Hotel
There aren’t many decent hotels with any character in Red Hook. LOOK hotel has newly decorated, simple and modern rooms and a bar selling local craft beers.
* Doubles from $99 room-only,

Getting there

The South Brooklyn ferry route stops at Red Hook as it shuttles between Bay Ridge, to the south, and Wall Street. Otherwise, it’s an F develop to Carroll Street, then a 10 -minute bus ride on the B57.

South Bronx Illustration: Hennie Haworth

When the Cross Bronx Expressway was built in 1963, few could have seen its negative effects it would have on New York’s northernmost borough. The expressway was designed to ease traffic through Manhattan but, in cutting through the Bronx, it destroyed neighborhoods, cut property values and led to many people leaving.

By the late 1960 s, the South Bronx had the highest vacancy rate in the city. Whole buildings were abandoned, or intentionally set on fire by proprietors so they could assert the insurance fund, and unemployment and gangs were rife. But in the late 1980 s, the South Bronx slowly started to see a resurgence, as people and business moved back into the area, and a strong creative scene began to develop.

Today, the neighborhood is known for its artistic community and vibrant food. But as in other areas, many in the South Bronx fear gentrification.

Here, I have also opted some of the more historic places to visit and eat in this proud part of the city.

What to watch and do

The Bronx Documentary Center

The Bronx Documentary Center
This non-profit gallery and education centre was founded by former war-photographer and Bronx resident Zun Lee. Its current photography exhibition, Father figure: Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood( until 31 March ), focuses on the lives of African-American families in the Bronx and Harlem and, according to Lee, aims to dispel” stereotypes of black masculinity and absent fathers “.
* Free but indicated $10 donation,

The Bronx Museum of the Arts
Founded in 1971 with the aim of making art accessible to the local community, this museum specialises in work by artists of African, Asian and Latin American backgrounds, intending to” reflect the borough’s dynamic communities “.
* Free,

The Bronx has a graffiti scene that dates back decades, and a current exhibition at WallWorks- a contemporary gallery which places emphasis on promoting emerging artists- features the work of South Bronx graffiti artist Hector ” Nicer ” Nazario. Nazario was one of the founding members of Tats Cru, a Bronx-based group credited with helping graffiti evolve into an established art form.

Where to feed and drink

Port Morris Distillery. Photograph: Matt Furman

Xochimilco Family Restaurant
This great-value restaurant serves all the Mexican classics( burritos, enchiladas, tacos, etc) from 10.30 am until midnight during the course of its week( and until 1am from Friday to Sunday) and has a friendly, relaxed vibe. The soups are especially popular and, at just $14, the caldo de mariscos – which contains shrimp, mussels, octopus, calamari and crab- is a steal.
* 653 Melrose Ave,
on Facebook

Port Morris Distillery
This distillery brews its own pitorro , or Puerto Rican moonshine sugar cane spirit that is 92 degrees proof- although the owners claim that their extra-long distillation process prevents the drinker from get a hangover. The distillery offers free tours and has savor rooms and a store where you can pick up a bottle of the liquor.
* 780 East 133 rd St,

Where to stay

The Opera House Hotel

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