b'As the ferry pulls away from Manhattan, the breeze catches my hair and sunlight glimmers on the water. I take a deep breath and watch the skyscrapers slowly shrink away while the vessel gathers speed and heads up-river. For 20 minutes, my heart rate gradually slows as we ping-pong from bank to bankpassing the Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City and Four Freedoms Park, slipping under the Queensboro and Roosevelt Island bridges, before the boat curves into Hallets Cove and docks at my destination. With my feet back on solid ground, Im ready to explore Astoria.5'