Journalist Camps Out on Staten Island Ferry

“All ashore, all ashore, all passengers must go ashore.”

Jillian Jorgensen, senior politics editor at The Observer, will next week start a new career chapter, as features manager for AM New York. In this last week of Observer duty, she has shared a very fun field report. Fun right down to the way the idea for the article was hatched:

It started, as an alarming number of my stories do, with a half-joking tweet that came to me as I walked to my office on Whitehall Street. “The Staten Island Ferry should have a writer-in-residence program like Amtrak does,” I posted on July 14. The idea turned into an eight-hour journey to nowhere aboard four different ferryboats, as I proclaimed myself the Ferry’s Unofficial Writer-in-Residence.

Adding to the lineage of this piece is the fact that Jorgensen grew up in Staten Island and as such, has taken over the years too many ferry rides to count. We especially enjoyed the way she ties the names of several of the ferries to her own career and history. The S.I. Newhouse connects to the Staten Island Advance newspaper, where she used to work. Another boat allows her to mention a 2015 piece:

The bulk of our trips were aboard the Guy V. Molinari, a massive vessel named for the pugnacious former congressman and borough president who, at 87, is still getting into feuds with Staten Island politicians half his age — last year in an interview he told me he’d never forgive a state senator and fellow Republican for a slight, deeming him a “lowlife.” It was the perfect place to meet up with Borough President James Oddo (who has also publicly tussled with Molinari) for a noontime interview.

She also during her Sept. 21 odyssey squeezed in at one point a phone call with Staten Island novelist Eddie Joyce. Well navigated.

Update (5:00 p.m.):
Jorgensen’s final week at the Observer just keeps getting more buoyant.

Screen grab via: observer.com