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New York City second-graders give citywide ferries the best names ever

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All aboard the Friendship Express!

There ain’t no contest like a boat naming contest, ’cause a boat naming contest is just the best. The newest on that front: Second-grade classrooms across the city have made their suggestions and tallied their votes on names for the city’s new ferries, to launch on May 1. Let it be known, these new sea faring vessels will be named Lunchbox, Friendship Express, Sunset Crossing, Urban Journey, Waves of Wonder, and McShiny, among other yet-to-be-determined names.

WNYC checked in with students at P.S. 170 in Bay Ridge, where Lunchbox, Friendship Express, and McShiny were named, to get the origin story of Lunchbox. "You can put different foods in a lunch box, and there’s different people from different countries in New York," second grader Jannat Moughal told WNYC. The conclusion is, if you put different people on a ferry, “you make a lunch box” of New Yorkers. Second grader Ali Rabah is credited with the name. Sadly, there’s no intel on the genesis of McShiny.

It might seem an odd choice, especially after the Boaty McBoatface fiasco, for the city to ask second graders to name the ferries. James Patchett, who heads up the city’s Economic Development Corporation that’s behind the new boats, told WNYC he thought it was important for kids who live close to the ferry landings to feel some ownership of it. “They put a lot of thought into these names and they really took it seriously,” he said.

“I feel stupendous that I won,” second grader Mohamed Almesri, of the Lunchbox class, told WNYC. “I feel like I want to see the stars right now.”