People of the Ferry 2020, Social Distancing

People of the Ferry 2020. Connection at a Time of Social Distancing

8 Sep 2020 Brooklyn
People of the Ferry 2020, Social Distancing
Photo by Francesca Magnani

LOCATION: Brooklyn Bridge Park – Empire Fulton Ferry Park Area | Get Directions


In 2020, the year that changed human relations worldwide, NYC Ferry continued to provide a safe, spectacular way to connect New Yorkers during the pandemic. The bridges, the sunsets, the clouds, the sky, and the human gestures that never cease to marvel me as a photographer are all right there, on the top deck of the ferry.

Families, couples, singles–everyone convenes on those seats. Strangers meet, workers commute, readers read, friends pose for a selfie, lovers hug, kids observe the waves while the adults converse. You can just be, or reflect, and enjoy the journey–maybe living the perfect staycation while the sea breeze tussles your hair. The background is magnificent, still, and iconic: the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Coney Island Parachute Jump, reminding you that you are home.

Under the attentive eyes of the NYC Ferry crew, I feel welcome, and I feel I am part of the diverse crowd that enriches the city. The masks are there. Now more than ever I am impressed by the temporary, but very real community that is created when people embark for a destination, whether it takes ten minutes or almost an hour to get there—we are all in the same boat.

Featuring: Francesca Magnani


Francesca Magnani is a Brooklyn-based, Italian photographer, writer, teacher, and translator. Born and raised in Padua, Italy, she studied in Bologna, Newcastle, and New York.

With a background in Classics and Anthropology, she has been telling in words and images the stories that move her, with a humanistic approach that enriches the descriptive narrative tradition in documentary photography–getting right at what she sees as the heart of the matter. As she shows glimpses of other people’s lives she chronicles her own; when their lives touch hers.


NYC Ferry, operated by Hornblower, connects Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx via 21 waterfront landings in New York City.