The city's attempt to restart Lower Manhattan following last week's terror attack included the return of Staten Island Ferry service for the Monday morning commute. NY1 Staten Island Reporter Roger Clark filed the following report.
While it may resemble your ordinary morning commute, Monday's trip aboard the Staten Island Ferry was anything but ordinary. It was the first time the ferry resumed service since Tuesday's World Trade Center attack, and passengers experienced a variety of emotions.
"I've lived here all my life, and I've taken the ferry all my life, and it's really hard to see New York like this," said commuter Danielle Bonanno. "I feel really bad for everybody that has died and lost people, and it's hard to come back to work, but you have to."
Fellow ferry rider Ballah Burch added, "It's a big difference for Manhattan, and for me who traveled from Staten Island to Manhattan every day. It's a big, big difference, both emotionally, physically and everything. It's big difference."
While the smoke from last week's disaster remains and the smell is in the air, it's the absence of the twin towers that has riders choked up.
"It's weird, it's eerie," said Burch. "I didn't want to see New York City from this side, and I didn't want to see the twin towers missing. Actually, I can't remember where they were. I can't locate where I used to see them every day."
Commuter Joe McGovern added, "It's very strange not seeing the towers over there, because I'm so used to it. I'm originally from Philadelphia and I've been here since 1984, and I could just imagine how it feels for the New Yorkers that were born here and not seeing it."
And according to Cislyn Worrell: "I'm just scared. I didn't want to go to school this morning."
So Staten Island residents today got back to this routine that some have been doing for years. But as one person on the boat put it, it just wasn't the same today. And it will never be the same again.
- Roger Clark