In the 1850s, Walt Whitman took a ferry from Brooklyn to Manhattan and did a remarkable thing — he wrote something nice about his commute.
“Ah, what can ever be more stately and admirable to me than mast-hemm’d Manhattan? River and sunset and scallop-edg’d waves of flood-tide?”
New Yorkers today are generally less enthused about mass transit. But the East River ferry is enjoying a revival thanks to a recent expansion and is luring developers to a long-neglected stretch of the city’s industrial waterfront, from western Queens to south Brooklyn.