In Photos: The 30th Annual Fleet Week in New York City
The iconic Sex and The City episode may come to mind, but is Fleet Week really all fantastical escapades with locals? The answer is not really — but kind of. With our curiosities abound we took to the streets to interview the men and women of Fleet Week. Why are they really in town? Do they come from overseas and this is their welcome home?
The Navy dominates the weekend with over 2,000 personnel driving in from regional bases and sailing in on three ships from East Coast ports.
German ships reportedly have on-ship nightclubs while British sailors are allowed two beers a day aboard their ships. These sailors though are not without their alcohol as Fleet Week is loaded with discounts and happy hours of free drinking from New York City establishments welcoming the military service members.
Navy Band Concert
A performance by members of the Navy Band draw a crowd, Thursday afternoon in Washington Square Park.
Arrived in a USS Ford Escape
Musician First Class, Christopher Jerome from Harrisonburg, Virginia plays the Tuba as a member of the U.S. Fleet Forces band drove up for Fleet Week from Norfolk, Virginia.
Saxophones in the Park
Two saxophonists stationed in Newport, Rhode Island have been performing all over the city since Monday. They travel the world over playing for a variety of audiences and their favorite places have been Cambodia: “We played at a school for children who are HIV positive who have been cast out by society and we went and play and they were just starved for attention. It was great to just play games and dance with them.” They also loved Tonga. “We play for a lot of schools and the kids are really appreciative of not only guests but live music. It was really fulfilling to reach out to them and got to know the US Navy and the US Navy Band.”
From New York and Detroit
GM2 (SW) Yomara Ramoscruz and HM1 (SW/FMF) Dalyn L. Ayers pay a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Freedom Tower. Ramoscruz is a native New Yorker from the Bronx and spends her weekend acting like a tourist with her Navy Family.
Soon to be Sailors
Three Naval Academy students, Alex Piecuch, Jake Murillo and Andrew Peele, stand outside the Oculus on their last day of Fleet Week. They spent their time seeing the Jimmy Fallon show and a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden.
Second Time Around
Danielle, from Detroit, is on her way to the Freedom tower. This is not her first time in New York City so she is making sure to relax and tag along with her Navy family.
Fleet Week Made in the Shade
Sailors are offered free access to any major New York City Museum, Yankees games, and the subway.
USS Arlington Marines
Four U.S. Marines from Arizona, Tennessee, Illinois and South Carolina at the 9/11 Memorial. Pictured second from left, Marquez Moss' favorite New York City experience so far has been the Cheesecake. “I really enjoyed the New York-style cheesecake. It is absolutely fantastic. I set unrealistic expectations for it and it just started over those expectations.” Asked if there is anything else he's seen in the city: “I got most of it done yesterday, seeing Times Square, having the cheesecake, seeing Madison Square Garden, Central Park and all that. Now I’m just looking to get lost and have a good time.”
Sailors Looking to Relax
Todd Fritz and Tyler Nicholson from Rochester, New York, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, spent Fleet Week relaxing, seeing the sights, and letting loose a little bit. Both Sailors arrived on ships from Mayport, Florida.
CTU1 Askew, from the Hampton Rose area of Virginia and stationed with the USS Arlington has been in the Navy for six years this July. This is his first Fleet Week and first time in New York. Other than wanting to have some pizza and attend a Harley Davidson event, he's been really impressed with the city and how green it is.
Short Visits Between Deployments
From left to right, MM3 Kobia, DC2 Sanchez, CS2 Wolanksi and Marine Staff Sergeant Cynthia Wolanski look for good iced coffee after a re-enlistment ceremony. Marine SSgt Wolanski drove up from Fort Meade, Maryland to visit CS2 Wolanski as she re-enlists for her Naval duty on USS Little Rock and before Cynthia leaves for overseas in a couple of months.
Sailors Who Shop
Ava Brooks and Natasha Patterson arrived at the 9/11 Memorial for a promotions ceremony with shopping bags from a USO That's My Dress event. Natasha has been in the Navy for three years. As for Fleet Week: "It’s been fun, it’s just good to see a lot of different people. Everybody is just really thankful so it’s really nice to see everybody and their support.”
Looking for Brick Oven Pizza
Daniel Walters and Edward Crespo from California and Puerto Rico, respectively. They are on the USS Mitscher, based in Norfolk, Virginia. They're looking forward to sightseeing and grabbing a few drinks. Edward did some planning before arriving, and wants to head to John's of Bleecker Street for brick oven pizza. The things that surprised them the most about New York City? “So it kind of surprised me, riding on the train. Like how the people are just in their own little bubble, zoned out, with their earbuds in and like they have no idea what’s going on around them at that minute that they are on the train,” said Crespo. “They don’t interact with each other, it’s just like bubble.” And for Walters, “I knew there was a lot of people but just seeing the masses. It is kind of overwhelming.”
R&R With a Little Work
Members of the U.S. Navy taking a break from tank dive demonstrations in Times Square.
Good Times in Times Square
Meet Steven A. Guevara from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He works as a cook onboard ship. “We are in New York right now just walking around, not knowing what to do or where to go because it’s really overwhelming. But it’s a really nice place. We are here to show the American people what their taxes pay for and to meet some of the guys and girls, of course. I’m here to have a good time.” His top three things he wants to experience while in town are the 9/11 Memorial, a Yankees game, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
The USS Mitscher all dressed and moored at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal for Fleet Week.
Two Sailors from Quebec, Canada traveled in for Fleet Week on the HMS Malta which is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Top three things they have each been excited to see are the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and the Empire State Building. Their first impressions of New York City: “It's pretty different from Quebec but it is a good experience and I like it so far.”
Spotted on the South Brooklyn Ferry
Bonham, originally from Indiana and stationed on the USS Mitscher, rides with his Navy friends to Brooklyn on a ferry. "I’ve been here a couple days. Yesterday I had duty on ship so I was stuck on the ship all day but on Wednesday I went to see the Freedom Tower, that was pretty cool,” Bonham said. “And I ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. Today I hit up a bar and I had a tour of the gold vault at Goldman Sachs. That was amazing. Right now we are going to a tattoo parlor.”
Ferry Ride with Professional Sailors
Two U.S. Sailors on the South Brooklyn NYC Ferry as they head towards Red Hook to get tattoos. Both Stevens and Keenan are from the USS Mitscher which is the last all male ship unit.