New York City has so many landmarks that serve as the “face” of the city, but one of the few free ones is the Staten Island Ferry. Ferries shuttled people back and forth across New York Harbor since the 18th century. Today, the Ferry between St. George on Staten Island and Lower Manhattan has a way of life for the 19 million people who commute between the two destinations each year. Eight boats make up the Staten Island Ferry fleet, making a combined 33,000 25-minute one-way trips between the two boroughs. Arguably, the ferry offers the best view of the Statue of Liberty.
The National Lighthouse Museum officially opened in 2015 as a dedication to the history of Lighthouses and their keepers. Located in the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island in New York City, the museum is located on the former site of the United States Lighthouse Service General Depot.
Standing on the banks of New York Harbor near the Staten Island Ferry terminal is Postcards, a pair of 30-foot-tall white marble wing sculptures that frame lower Manhattan. Designed by New York architect Masayuki Sono and built in 2004, the memorial honors 274 Staten Islanders: those killed at the World Trade Center, one passenger killed when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pa., and a resident killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
When it opened in 1964, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was the world’s longest suspension span. The bridge was named after Giovanni da Verrazano. In 1524, he became the first European explorer to sail into New York Harbor. Its 693-foot-tall towers are 1 5/8 inches farther apart at their tops than at their bases because the 4,260-foot-long required engineers to take into the account curvature of the Earth. Each tower weighs 27,000 tons and is held together with three million rivets and one million bolts. Seasonal contractions and expansions of the steel cables cause the double-decked roadway to be 12 feet lower in the summer than in the winter.