The New York Wheel, which just started construction on Staten Island, will have a concert venue, beer garden, playground and it’ll become the tallest Ferris in the U.S.. At 630 feet and 60 stories tall – 80 feet taller than the one in Las Vegas and almost 200 feet taller than the London Eye – it’s due to be completed in 2017. The 40-minute ride will have drop-dead views of the NYC skyline, the Statue of Liberty and each glass pod will hold 40 visitors, operating until midnight. The only downside? It’s in Staten Island. Nevertheless, the New York Wheel’s goal is to attract some of the 3.6 million tourists who ride the free (yes, FREE) Staten Island Ferry each year, most taking the 25-minute ride over, only to leave immediately on the next ferry back. But no one is holding their breath for Staten Island to turn into the next Brooklyn, which over the past decade became its own tourist destination, thanks to Williamsburg, art galleries, the Brooklyn Museum and all things artisinal. But Staten Island does have the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden which I’ve yet to visit, so that free ferry is going to bring a LOT of people to a place that gets overlooked on the well-worn tourist trail that is NYC.
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