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SNL stars buy ferry for entertainment cruises

By Duane Cruz, Staff Writer

If there is one staple ingrained into the life-blood of New York City (NYC), it would have to be its cherished transportation system. The city-wide transportation services perpetually keeps the city moving, day and night. NYC runs -or rather sits on- its subway and bus systems. 

Even now, two years deep into the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic, there is still a dedicated daily ridership. 

According to MTA statistical data, on Jan. 31, 2022, an estimated 2.5 million people rode the subway and Staten Island railroads, as well as a 1.1 million rode on one of the MTA’s many bus routes. This is just the sum of a single day’s worth of travel in the big apple. 

That being said, one form of transportation that does not make the daily news and operates in the background of the NYC transportation scene- the NYC ferry system. 

Ferry travel in NYC might very well be one of its longest standing forms of transportation, with ferry usage being documented as far back as 1654. As far back as the river-faring form of transportation goes, the ferry is not particularly busy for a populus boasting well over 8 million residents. 

According to NYC Ferry collected-statistics, the ferry with the highest estimated ridership from July 1st, 2021 to September 30th 2021 was the East River Ferry, which averaged about 13,709 people weekly. The lowest was none other than the St. George Ferry, which averaged 2,318 people during the same time period. 

More commonly known as the Long Island Ferry, the St. George Ferry travels from the northern tip of Staten Island to Midtown West Manhattan. 

On that note, it was a surprise to many when a formerly decommissioned Staten Island Ferry known as the John F. Kennedy was bought by none other than SNL hosts and NYC natives Pete Davidson and Colin Jost. 

The Saturday Night Live co-hosts recently announced their participation in buying the ferry on a skit aired on the late night talk show. 

“My boy coy-joy and his ‘SNL’ boy-toy are saying a hoy- hoy to an aquatic toy-toy. That’s right. Colin and Pete have bought a ferry boat everybody,” co-star Alex Moffat said in a skit on the show.

The “Weekend Update: Three Guys Who Just Bought A Boat” took a whimsical approach to the seemingly daunting task of purchasing and restoring the nearly 50-year-old monument to NYC travel.

“It sounds like they could have [success] with it,” said health science sophomore Anthony Tilles. “I think we’re nearing the end of the pandemic, so it seems like a good idea.” 

The John F. Kennedy had previously retired in August of 2021,and was recently purchased by the two comedy giants to be reconstructed into a live entertainment, arts and food venue. 

“I don’t think the [city] should . . . there are other stuff they should be focusing on,” said sophomore nursing major Elaine Claire. “We’re still not in control of [COVID-19], so opening something like that is just risking it.” 

The settled bid amount set the trio back $280,000. The auction was held about a month before the episodes airing and their initial announcement, with the bidding being placed by the third member of the buying party, under the alias “Pitalia211.” Paul Italia is a co-owner of the New York City comedy club The Stand, which has hosted its fair share of A-list comedians, including Dave Chappelle, Josh Johnson and Marc Maron. 

The only thing standing between Davison and Jost and Manhattan’s next trending entertainment venue is finding a place to dock it, which could prove to be their biggest hurdle yet. 

“They don’t know where they’re docking it, so that’s one thing I see as a red flag,” freshman business major Andres Glasgow said. “If you don’t have a solid plan, where they’re going to dock it, I don’t think it makes sense funneling money into it.” 

The newly-made ferry owners have turned to the recently elected Mayor Adams for answers about where to dock it. 

According to the New York Post, the mayor had reportedly tweeted to Jost and Davidson on Twitter saying he loved their plans.

 “Let us know how we can help and we’ll be there for the maiden voyage,” Adams said on Twitter. 

If the ferry remains undocked, the comedy crew could face thousands in fines.

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