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A Commuter’s Palace: Beer, Wine and Baked Shrimp Chips



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It just so happened I got booked with some freelance days in the city the very first day the ferry set sail. Perfect timing! Everyone has heard the details thus far; there are some kinks to work out, yada yada yada. But overall, the response from our community seems positive, as is mine.

After work on May 1, I headed to Pier 11 for my voyage back to Rockaway. The ferry before us was at capacity so the line for the 6:30 p.m. boat seemed endless. The mood was jovial despite this. Soon enough we were boarding, but then there was another long line – for the bar! I needed a drink on my first happy hour ferry ride, so I waited. Unlike a regular bar where everyone crowds around and hopes to get the bartender’s attention, this line was orderly – single file.

While I waited, I noticed the wide variety of snacks for sale – Chocolate Bark Thins, Hu Kitchen’s Cashew Butter & Vanilla Dark Chocolate Bars, POPCORNERS Kettle Chips, Pirate’s Booty (I mean, they had to right?), Altoids, Snack Factory Pretzel Chips (one of my favs), KRAVE Jerky and more. Interestingly, there’s a whole Japanese snack section which includes, Hello Panda Biscuits, Pocky Chocolate Biscuits, Meiji Chocorooms (crunchy chocolate trippy mushrooms bites), KASUGAI Lychee Gummy Candy and Calbee Baked Shrimp Chips (that one I have to try).

Besides snacks, beer and wine, you can also buy a gold nail clipper, birthday candles and mini birthday hats. If you need ear plugs, a posh looking tooth brush, or a sleep mask, look no further. Also available, Fujifilm Mini Instant Film Cameras, UNO playing cards, bubbles, coloring books, colored pencils and last but certainly not least, a pocket notebook with a dinosaur on it. The cover reads “All my friends are dead.”

Glass of tap Rosé in hand, I headed to the top deck. Most passengers had a drink or a smart phone in their hand. I saw only smiles. Spirits were high! Around Coney Island the water got choppy. Commuters, including myself, braced themselves and grabbed the closest handrail. Some people were caught off guard and their drinks spilled. I guess they were shy about getting the drink cover and straw. A woman was walking up the stairs with a beer when a crew member grabbed it, helping her to the top platform. “Hold on to your hats, and your beers!” I thought.

Long story short, I’m ferry obsessed. The vibe is fun and the views are spectacular. For $2.75 you get transportation to Brooklyn or Manhattan with a boat tour of NY Harbor – The Freedom Tower, Governor’s Island, the Statue of Liberty and more. I had a moment, wind in my hair, staring at the sunset through the Verrazano Narrows, I felt like Goldie Hawn in the movie Overboard, a woman on a floating palace.

Paula DiGioia is a Rockaway Beach resident, a lover of cats, a passionate cook and an enormous Fran Drescher fan. DiGioia enjoys writing about food, family, community, gardening and everything in between. Find more narratives like this on her blog theglorifiedtomato.com.




PAULA DIGIOIA

PAULA DIGIOIA

Enjoying the view with a drink in hand.

Enjoying the view with a drink in hand.

The ferry beautiful view.

The ferry beautiful view.

Mini party hats are offered on board the boat!

Mini party hats are offered on board the boat!

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