On Monday, New York City’s new ferry service will launch, and along with it will come a bevy of amenities, designed to keep your floating commute as bespoke as possible. Courtesy of the company the New Stand, which also operates three newsstands throughout the city, including in the Union Square subway station, ferry riders will be able to imbibe from rosé on tap, nibble on a croissant from French patisserie Bien Cuit, or purchase a corkscrew for the waterfront condo dinner party they’re fashionably late for.
Of course, there are also more pedestrian amenities, like $3 coffee from Joe Coffee, or Snickers bars priced at “regular candy bar levels” ($2). But don’t let those stop you from indulging yourself with some of the more rarified products on display in this floating bouge-dega (Pocky, anyone?).
Created by two of the four co-founders of New Stand, Lex Kendall and Andrew Deitchman, who gave me a tour of a prototypical kiosk on board one of the ferries going into service on Monday, the company’s upscale vending sites seem geared to reach the clientele that the ferry itself will most likely appeal to: the professional class whose waterfront apartments are difficult to access through the city’s overburdened transit system.
The de Blasio administration, whose public transportation priorities appear to mirror the wishes of the mayor’s large donor base in the residential real estate industry, has championed the ferry system as something accessible to all New Yorkers. And for $2.75 a ride, it’s certainly cheaper than the current $4-a-ticket East River Ferry. But there is no easy access from ferry stations to subways, or a free transfer between them. Nevertheless, the New Stand is there for us, describing itself as “more than just a store” — rather, a “media platform.”
“We’re not going to go with airport prices just because we have you captive,” said Kendall, pointing out that the prices won’t be marked up from what they would normally retail at inside other nearby stores. The New Stand is based out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where the ferries, run by Hornblower, are currently docked. Each New Stand kiosk will come with digital screens that will feature advertising and information about weekly deals aboard the ferry.
For short trips across the river, like the East River route, which will take riders from Queens to Midtown or DUMBO to downtown, the New Stand will ensure that commuters get their coffee as quickly as possible, with self-serve stations at the kiosks and the option to use the New Stand app to make purchases instantaneously. For longer rides, like the almost one-hour trip from Wall Street to the Rockaways, riders can drink Brooklyn Brewery on tap, or sip on the aforementioned rosé. There will also be cold brew on tap, for those hot summer ferry trips. The E train, this ain’t.
The New Stand will also offer magazines for purchase (you know, like a newsstand), but they’re still working out just which ones they’ll feature. Monocle, perhaps?