New York Report: More Ferries! More Ferries! More Ferries!

New York editor John Bollinger weighs in with reports on plans to significantly expand New York Harbor ferry service. Read also an enjoyable history of New York ferry service by contributor Richard B. Marrin.

By John Bollinger 
Published: April, 2002

In the last issue of San Francisco Bay Crossings, Incorporating New York Harbor Crossings (a title that just trips off the tongue), your humble writer discussed the need for increasing and improving ferry service in the NYC area. As may be seen from this issue, there is going to be an increase in services.
With this obvious editorial success, I should consider discussing how it is only reasonable that I suddenly receive enormous, almost uncountable, amounts of money. Having just stated as much, let’s focus on this “increase” in ferry service.

The 19th Century pragmatist philosopher, William James wrote,

“Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul’s resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger. Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.”
Finally more than the little finger of ferry travel in New York has moved. The hope is that this will not be the only movement though. As Richard Marrin tells about in this month’s Harbor History column, millions and millions used to use ferry service around Gotham.

We’re not asking for more gruel here, just enough gruel.

Six Months, One Year or Another Millennium

In surfing newspapers on the Internet a couple of weeks back I ran across a local columnist who had somehow convinced the editors of the newspaper he writes for let to him write a column about how the six-month remembrance of 9/11 was an unnecessary contrivance. The guy’s name isn’t worth mentioning. I would imagine that he has already gotten enough protest about the story.
However, the thought still, obviously, sticks in my craw. It would be so much easier if we could just consign the thoughts and emotions on 9/11 to even a six month basis, but there is no way to have that relative luxury. Every day we are all reminded.
For example, in searching through the picture file from my old magazine, Pierless, for New York Harbor Crossings, I found the business cards entered into a contest we ran for the magazine about four years ago. I started leafing through them and immediately there was the card for Michael Tucker, Sr. V. P. Cantor Fitzgerald. He was one of scores that we lost from our Monmouth County, NJ ferries on 9/11.
Michael was a perfect example of the “hail fellow, well met”. Finding Tucker’s business card led me to not only looking through the hundred others that we had gotten for the raffle, but also to check all of the passenger profiles we did in the paper’s “Aquammuters”. Mercifully, there were no others.
Why did I do it? I could have merely put his card back in the box and ignored the rest of them. I did it because I needed to, as I needed to write something about it here. I needed to in the way that it usually only takes a mention of 9/11 for all of us to start to talk about it.
Would that there was a way to block it out or have it fade away, but there is no parallel for us to draw help from and we will work on recovering in any way that we can, whenever we can.

The Joys of Independent Publishing

Though we said that John Strasberg, internationally renowned director and acting instructor, would start monthly theatrical reviews in this issue, his travel schedule and the overbooking of review tickets for the plays he wanted to review have forced us to start with the May issue.