New York State Of Mind via The Circle Line

The Empire State Building as  framed  from a Circle Cruise Line boat.
The Empire State Building as framed from a Circle Line Cruise boat.

I was born in New York City. I lived there until I was ten years old. I am a native New Yorker.

Its funny though when you live in a big city like New York, you assume you are never leaving so the sights and touristy things are not a big deal because you figure, hey, I am here for the long haul. I have all the time in the world.

Need your daily fix of holiday lights? Please check out this post on holiday lights in Virginia.

Well, it did not turn out that way. So on almost every trip I have taken to New York City since I left, I have been trying to catch up on the things I should have done while I lived there, including taking a Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan. (please see more photos and text below)

web naked neptune new york city

I have now taken boat or Duck boat tours in several cities, including New York, Boston, Pittsburgh and Seattle. The coolest thing about touring a big city by water is you are bound to see things and new angles on places in these cities and communities that you probably would have never seen without taking such a ride. What are the chances of seeing this riverside mural if you are just driving around New York? I wouldn’t bet on it.

web new york city light house

Or what about the odds of seeing Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse unless you are sailing on the Hudson River?

web new york monastery rob paine

I never knew until taking a Circle Line Cruise that the Medieval Art at the Cloisters in New York City existed.

Perhaps the most poignant moment of the cruise for me (and something I really did not expect until it happened) was passing in front of the Staten Island Ferry leaving Battery Park as seen in my photo below. My dad, who had just passed away a few weeks before our visit to New York, rode the ferry every night home after work back to Staten Island where we lived. The building seen above the left side of the boat with the patch of orange bricks in the center, that is was where my father worked until we left New York. It was a very special moment.

rob paine staten island ferry

After our cruise we loaded up a on a tour bus and headed south. You can see some pretty funny things from a tour bus too, which was where I shot the photo below. A $350 fine for honking? If anyone from New York City reads this blog post, is this sign for real?

web don't honk sign new york

Post Script: Shortly after moving to the D.C area after my tenth birthday, my parents and I made it our mission to visit every major tourist attraction in the Nation’s Capital. I think in the first year we lived in Virginia we toured the White House, the U.S. Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, The Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials and most of the Smithsonian museums.

You know, several decades later, I still am finding things in the D.C. area I have not been to yet, which is actually pretty cool.

Thanks for dropping by. Have a great weekend, Rob.


  1. Bob- as a fellow New Yorker (Long Island & Manhattan), I understand about not taking advantage of the things you see everyday. We left NY in 1980 but never went to the Statue of Liberty until we took the kids about 20 years ago. As poor newlyweds, my husband and I took the Staten island ferry ride one Sunday for a ‘cheap thrill’ – and it was! The ferry is my favorite photo.


    1. Thanks Jean for the comment. Here are some of the things I never saw/toured until after I moved away : The World Trade Center, The Statue Of Liberty, The Empire State Building, Circle Line Cruises, Radio Music City Hall and Times Square. I did get to several New York Mets games though I never saw my favorite Mets player Tom Seaver pitch in Shea Stadium until I went back to Shea for a game after moving away. I guess in retrospect its a good thing New York is really not that far away! Enjoy the snow up there! Rob


  2. Enjoyed the tour, and the memories too. I feel exactly the same way about London and I still live here! At the moment I am doing a series of projects at Myatts Fields Park, one of my local parks in London, and am learning from meeting it’s users how much it means to them over the years. I think it is people’s experiences and memories that bring places to life…. Great post!


  3. great tour, I enjoyed the sentiment regarding your Dad’s place of work..never been to New York, but it is on my list! I do know what you mean taking things for granted…I lived lakeside for over 25 years, facing west and you know I always took the sunsets for granted…for the last 4 years I’ve lived away from the lake and miss the sunsets terribly!!! Lesson learned…


    1. Exactly. It was a karma thing seeing my dad’s building. I mean, anytime I go to New York its a special experience as that is where my roots are, but when I got on that boat, it never occurred to me I would end up sailing past the place my Dad worked the entire time we lived in new york, it was really cool.


Please feel free to leave a reply. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughtful feedback, Rob

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