The fifth annual Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint event happened on Sunday and it could not have been a better day for it.Brilliant sunshine, smiling faces, great music, totally manageable lines (mostly you just had to hover for a moment before getting a taste of something incredible) and best of all a whole load of ABSOLUTELY AMAZING FOOD AND DRINK!
Hallelujah, praise the lord! This weekend the East River Ferry resumes regular service.
Whew, that was a close one! Since the ferry landing’s mysterious tumble into the East River this winter, many of us wondered whether the pier would be up and operational in time for the G-train debacle. With mounting pressure from the public and Councilman Steve Levin, the owner of the India Street pier hustled to complete the new ferry landing just in the nick of time. Let us breathe a collective sigh of relief and cross our fingers the rush job didn’t compromise the quality of construction.
After months of head scratching and hand wringing, it appears that work to repair the India Street ferry landing has finally visibly begun, just nine days before next Friday’s G-train closure plunges North Brooklyn into a five-week transportation brown out. It appears city officials are now “cautiously optimistic” that the landing’s owners will finish repairs before the G shuts down.
In our in-depth June 6 post on the topic, we noted a disconcerting lack of transparency about the repair process and called on local political leaders to pressure the city and the landing’s owners to publicly commit to a timeline that would ensure the ferry is operational before shutdown.
We’re well aware by now that the imminent five-week G suspension this summer (from late July through the end of August) has many commuters spooked. Adding insult to injury, the New York Waterways ferry landing at India Street—by far the second-best option for many—has been suspended indefinitely since February, when a gangplank failed and plunged into frigid East River waters moments after passengers climbed aboard.
This looming transportation brownout has raised eyebrows for months. At an April 3 meeting organized by State Senator Daniel Squadron at the Polish and Slavic Center on Kent Street, officials addressed community transportation concerns, including the ferry, but they declined to announce a reopening date. Now, almost two months later—and only eight weeks before the G shutdown—that date is still elusive.
The road to Pulaski bridge traffic jams and sweltering MTA shuttle buses is paved with good intentions. So, for the past several weeks, Greenpointers has been investigating the India Street Ferry closure to determine whether anyone can say with confidence that the ferry landing will be operational before the G shuts down.
(The answer: very likely, but not entirely certain.) Here’s what we found out:
I’ve said it before, I only go to Manhattan to visit the dentist, since finding a new dentist is the only thing more painful than going into “the city.” Otherwise I’m very content to stay on this landmass we know as Long Island and within the confines of the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. But travel between the two sometimes illogically results in “having” to go through Manhattan.
With development on the East River waterfront outpacing transportation solutions, commuting remains a hugely unanswered question. In Greenpoint, with much complained about G service (which is only going to get worse before it gets better) and still no East River Ferry service at India St on the known horizon, maybe it isn’t too cockamamy of an idea to imagine a self powered wireless street car that runs along the Queens and Brooklyn waterfront between Astoria and Red Hook. Continue reading →
The biggest craziest news in Greenpoint last week was the East River Ferry ramp collapse at India St Pier. No one was injured thankfully, but their motto, “Relax, we’ll get you there,” is a bit ironic.
There is no telling when service will resume from that location. In the mean time, passengers can take a FREE shuttle bus to No. 6th St. Us Greenpointers sure do love shuttle buses, right folks?
The East River Ferry is for many Greenpointers a great way to commute to the city and because of the recent collapse of the pier last week, you may have to find yourself an alternative mode of transportation for at least a few more weeks as the investigation continues.
A shuttle bus service has been announced that will take ferry riders from India St to North 6th St Pier beginning tomorrow, 2/18 during the morning and evening commute. Continue reading →
We Greenpointers absolutely love riding on the East River Ferry, but what happened this morning around 9am at the India St pier is very unsettling.
The Daily News reported that after commuters had crossed the ramp and were safely on the ferry, the ramp detached and plunged into an icy cold East River. Needless to say, we are thankful no one was injured, but they were understandably pretty freaked out.
Service is suspended at this time and an investigation into WTF happened is happening. More photos after the jump! Continue reading →
Boaters rejoice! The East River Ferry will continue to carry (some) commuters to work and (many) tourists to the Brooklyn Flea until 2019! But, seriously, any transportation vessel that makes the L train a little more bearable in the mornings deserves our everlasting gratitude.
Plus, riding a boat on a summer day is just more fun than cramming against the bodies of 50 sweaty strangers.
The ferry launched in June 2011 as a pilot program. Since then, close to 3 million passengers have cruised across the glorious brown-ish waters of the East River, tripling initial estimates. The ferry now carries 100,000 riders per month.
The only downside is that weekend rides will increase from $4 to $6. That’s a lot more than $2.50, so as much as we love getting to DUMBO in 10 minutes, the MTA wins the approval of our inner cheapskate.