Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Am I losing my mind, imagining things that aren't really there?

Silly me, I actually did not know that they Staten Island Ferry was now free. I would walk past the ferry terminal down near the Battery every Saturday afternoon and never bother to take it, thinking I was saving a buck or two each time. I had taken the ferry once in the early 1990's and there was a fare, but according to the NYC DOT Web site:

The fare for passengers, which had been 50 cents for a round trip between St. George, Staten Island, and the Whitehall Terminal in lower Manhattan, was eliminated in 1997.

I was reading something a month ago and only then found out about the fact that the ferry was free now.

I have taken the ferry round-trip each of the past three Saturday's.

On my first trip, September 27, it was a bit foggy and visibility was rather mediocre. Still, as the ferry approached Staten Island, I was sure that I could see the vague profile of the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier which was being refurbished, or so I thought. Through the mist I could see the tower and the various aircraft on the high deck, including the Lockheed A-12 "Blackbird" spyplane. All very cool. If I hadn't seen the ship before many times, I probably would not have recognized it at all. I was explaining to another passenger, a tourist, what it was, but I suspected that he had no idea what I was talking about and may even have thought I was making it all up. Incidentally, the Will Smith character in I Am Legend was hitting golf balls off the tail of the Blackbird spy plane on the Intrepid's deck, so that will give you a frame of reference that you can check out.

On my second trip, the next Saturday, October 4, visibility was much better. Except, I looked where the Intrepid was the previous weekend, and it was not there! I looked and looked again, but it was not there. At that point I began to wonder if I had really seen the ship the week before. Sure, they could have moved it, but since it was being refurbished I didn't think it was likely that I just happened to catch the precise week it was moved. I debated asking another passenger who was a SI local, but I felt too embarrassed that maybe I had imagined it in all that fog. It does happen, but not usually to me. Besides, I did not have a clue where on SI the ship was supposed to be moored for refurbishment. Oh well. Whatever.

Something that got me thinking was that this past Sunday I was walking along the Hudson near Riverside park and after I saw three cruise ships depart, the last of which was the new Eurodam, I thought I could see the tower of the Intrepid sticking up above the buildings on the piers north of the Intrepid Museum. But, since I was lacking in confidence of what I had or had not seen two weeks before, I just filed away that memory.

Just a few minutes ago, I recalled the ship for some strange reason and decided to do a Google search on the Web and get THE answer. Surprise, surprise, sure enough, they did in fact move the Intrepid on Thursday, October 2, 2008, so I really was not imagining that I saw it the Saturday before and then did not see it the next Saturday.

So, it really was there at SI three Saturdays ago and really was back at the museum this past Sunday.

Therefore, I can safely conclude that I am not losing my mind.

Note: If I had an iPhone I probably could have checked the Web on the spot and not felt so confused.

-- Jack Krupansky

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