The organization of the site functions around the Staten Island Ferry schedule, which usually leaves every 30 min. During rush hour the frequency increases to about every 15-20 min, and then on the weekend decreases to every hour between 7 pm – 6 am.
When a ferry arrives there is tremendous activity and motion in the station as people debark and make their way into the city, or rush to board the ferry. Then the terminal empties out fairly quickly as people file onto the ferry, or proceed outside. Little by little, the terminal grows full as people arrive to wait for the next ferry. When people have a lot of time to kill, they are pretty relaxed, or bored and killing time. There are lots of snack bars that sell pretzels or other fast food. There are also ATMs and other electronic components that help people wayfind, plan their trip, or just read the adspace.
The main waiting area are long double-sided granite seats, which are all connected to one another. People sit on either side, similar to the subway benches. The benches are in the center of the waiting area, but there is a large area between them that creates an aisle, as well as a good people watching throughway.
The overwhelming characteristic of the space is transitional, but there are still people who sit there for up to an hour at a time. There are also many displays and ads and other forms of signage bombarding you, so it is not really a quiet area, but invites something else that will impact people or grab their attention.
While I was there I saw an exhibition of signs that had been made as a collaboration between students from Brooklyn and visual artists. The project was sponsored by the Dept of Transportation, and the artists helped the students create their own versions of road signs that applied to their lives and values. Aesthetically, I thought these worked well in the space since they were so graphically bold.
Um, there is also a Talking Map. It talks to you. It’s a bit embarrassing to use, but kind of amazing at the same time.
DRAFT SET OF INSTRUCTIONS
Enter the South Ferry station and proceed up the escalators to the 2nd floor waiting area.
Write down the time of your arrival.
Find out the time of the next ferry departure.
Calculate the amount of time you will have to wait for the ferry.
Take a seat with a good vantage point of one of the LED screens.
Write down each message that gets displayed on the screen. If possible, note the color of the message as well. If possible, note the time.
After leaving the terminal, re-type or xerox your notes. Cut out each sentence or phrase. Re-arrange them according to your own desires. Photograph the result. Post the before and after versions to the blog.
Observe the canine cop and his handler.
How would you characterize their relationship?
How many times does the canine cop conduct searches?
What are the various reposes of the canine cop?
What is the method of communication between the canine and his handler?
Document your thoughts and these behaviors with words, images, or video.