Bob, great speaking to you. With that new influx of Staten Islanders on the way, maybe I can get the newstands on 69th Street to start selling the Advance!
A tip of the hat to Councilman Vincent Gentile for being a good sport about this! ( And he is correct--Bay Ridge, and NYC / NJ would benefit by expanded ferry services. Including small ferries, which could use the 69th St Pier)
By ROB HART
ADVANCE ALBANY BUREAU
ALBANY -- The Staten Island Ferry is going to start making runs to Brooklyn?
The Web site "Bay Ridge Blog" posted that City Councilman Vincent Gentile made the announcement at Circles Restaurant in Brooklyn, about ferry service between the two boroughs.
But the date of the entry -- April 1 -- reveals the ruse.
Gentile (D-Brooklyn) allegedly went on to say that the service would alleviate traffic on the choked, expensive Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and that the boats will run every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
And cars, outlawed since 2001, would be allowed back on the boat. But Brooklyn residents would only pay $1 for the privilege, while Island residents would have to cough up 20 bucks each way.
Funny, we never got an advisory on that press conference.
The blog's author, a Brooklynite who answers to "The Phantom," said the announcement was born of his desire to top last year's entry, that Mike Tyson would box a heavyweight match in Brooklyn's Alpine Theater.
"The Phantom" grew up in Brooklyn near the 69th street pier and is "old enough that as a child I did take the ferry" when it ran between the boroughs before the Verrazano was built in 1964.
"I was trying to think of something to put in there for 2007 and it just dawned upon me," he said. "I love April Fools' (Day)."
Gentile had a good sense of humor about the whole thing."My first reaction was, 'How many calls did we get on this? How many people think this is really going to happen?'," he said.
But he added it was a "shame" the idea of a boat link between boroughs existed only on April Fool's Day.
"It's funny to read, but the sad part about it is it should be true," said Gentile, who formerly represented parts of the Island in the state Senate. "We should be using our waterways in many more ways than we do now." Rob Hart covers state government for the Advance. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.