WHERE: 4 South Street
WEBSITE: siferry.com

Co-Signed by: Jack Erwin, Senior Editor


Everybody loves summer in New York (or they should), but it also seems like everybody loves to complain about the heat in the city, too. Go figure. Me? I got no gripes with the greenhouse effect, mostly because I'm sitting on about a half a million in Exxon stock, but also because when it's time to beat the city summer heat, I hit the breeziest, sleaziest bar in town, the Staten Island Ferry.

A few things you should know about the Staten Island Ferry:

1. I'm talking about the actual Staten Island fucking Ferry, the big boat Shaolin residents take to get to work, not some newfangled bistro in Brooklyn Heights with a flip name (but watch, that'll happen soon).

2. It's free.

3. You will be rubbing elbows (literally when you're waiting to board) with tourists and freaks Staten Islanders at this "bar," so if you're looking for pretty people, either bring your own or try someplace else.

4. The "bar" isn't really a bar. It's a snack shop that serves canned beer (Bud, Corona, Heineken, nothing fancy) and hot dogs and the like. (There's no liquor. For that, try Downtown Cellars on Liberty Street and fix your own cocktail on the way.) When you get on the ferry, you'll want to go directly to the snack bar, because a line will form once the tourists figure out what's up, and if there's anything worse than having to wait for a beer, it's having to wait for a beer while some guy from Charlotte is deciding whether he wants a pretzel or an ice cream sandwich.

5. There isn't a "bar" with this combination of views and breezes anywhere in the city. Why spend a day visiting the Statue of Liberty, when you can sail past it at 25 knots (I totally made that up) and salute it with your Coors Light tall boy? Why go to Governor's Island at all, when you can shake your head condescendingly at your out-of-town friends when they ask if it's Staten Island? And why go more than 50 feet onto Staten Island at all when you can disembark from the ferry, turn a corner, and get back on to go right back to the city?

The trip is 30 minutes each way (check here for schedules), just enough for anywhere between one and five beers, depending on your make. Take your mom! That's what I do!

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