It’s the second year after COVID-19 eased off that we celebrate the sailor services at Fleet Week in-person. The Parade of Ships kicked off Wednesday, May 24 and they continue the celebration until Tuesday, May 30. There are three ship locations in Manhattan, all on the west side: Pier 88 South, Pier 88 North, Pier 90 North and Pier 86, and one Staten Island location at Homeport Pier. You can find U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guards men and women walking around town. Straus News caught up with some of the sailors stationed in Manhattan’s Pier 88 South who told us they are ready to explore the main attractions in the city that never sleeps.
“New York has always been an incredible host,” Rear Adm. Charles “Chip” Rock, Commander Navy Region Mid-Atlantic told NBC-4. “We can’t wait for our brave women and men to get an opportunity to experience all the city offers and for New Yorkers to get a glimpse of what we do every day—this will create memories of a lifetime.”
Here’s a sampling from the rank and file US Navy and US Marines personnel who were anxious to start hitting the city.
Christina Marin, U.S. Navy
I have not been able to go out yet. Yesterday was a busy day. Today, I am on duty. But I am hoping to be able to go.
I’m from Chicago originally, so I don’t think I’ll have any issues with interacting because I’m used to a busy city.
I’m going to a baseball game on Friday, so I’m looking forward to that. I am also going on a tour of the art museum. The museum was the only event I signed up for. On my other days off, I would just like to check out some of the other museums.
Brad McKay, U.S. Navy
I haven’t been out in the city yet. This is my second time being at Fleet Week. It’s a very busy city, but I did a lot of eating. There’s a lot of good foods. There’s a lot of great shopping and a lot of walking. The first time it kind of caught me by surprise—I’m from Georgia. But with the amount of trying to use public transportation and Uber, I realized that the train is faster. I enjoyed it last time, but today will be my first day out. So, I’m hoping I would enjoy it again.
What do you think about the people in New York?
They’re pretty polite to me. The last time I was here, a lot of people asked me to speak to their kids to give them some pointers and some recommendations between college and the military. My recommendations were to let the military pay for your college. Go to college and become an officer. If you want to come straight in, you can still pursue an education as well.
What do you hope to see in New York?
I hope to see New York. I like food. Everywhere I go there’s good food, and I hope to eat as much as possible.
Cody Peterson, US Marines Corp.
I’m from New York, it’s the greatest city in the world.I love it here. This is my place. It’s easy for me to walk around and communicate. I’m not overwhelmed by some of these people.
I’m going to go to the Yankees game and Hard Rock. I would go see Taylor Swift, but I don’t make enough money to go do that. I’m here to enjoy some good food and good people.
Cashe Matthews, U.S. Navy
So far, I love it. The city is very broad. There’s a lot of people and a lot of things to do. I have family in New York and New Jersey. When I was younger, we would always take the train and hit the city. I’m pretty used to the city. It’s good to be back out here.
The people are very diverse. You don’t know what you’re going to get. There’s a lot of personalities. Overall, the people seem welcoming to the sailors and all the military personnel that have joined their city. It’s been cool. I like all of them so far.
I want to catch a Yankees game because the Yankees stadium was something I always wanted to check out. The Empire State building would be nice to check out, and the 911 memorial as well. Those are my top three of what I want to experience, but there’s a wide variety of things I could run into and check out.
Alex Rivera, U.S. Marine Corps
I haven’t had the chance to get off the ship yet, but I’m looking forward to going out. One of the things I want to do is go to Central Park.
I’m looking forward to seeing Central Park and Times Square.
“New York has always been an incredible host,” Rear Adm. Charles “Chip” Rock, Commander Navy Region Mid-Atlantic told NBC.