View of the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge. Photo provided by James Dickinson.
If you can locate the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge as you exit off Interstate 95 and travel East toward New York City, you have arrived at the U.S. Army’s Ft. Hamilton site. In fact, the East Bridge abutment actually sits inside this military post, located at the SW corner of the borough of Brooklyn.
Ft. Hamilton is a full-service military post, small, but offers the essentials—gas station, PX, Commissary, health care, legal assistance, recreation and lodging. An overnight stay is now about $150 since IHG contractor (Holiday Inn Express) assumed management of this relatively new IHG Army Lodge. These quarters, with adjacent parking, are just two blocks inside the main gate. Several nice restaurants are about four blocks outside this gate as is a NYC subway station. The Holiday Inn van will provide shuttle service these few blocks upon request.
If the traveler’s destination is JFK for an out of country trip, one can leave your registered vehicle on post and take a taxi to the airport for about $40 to $60. Contract Security can identify which cab companies are allowed on post. Security folks are fair but strict as many are retired NYC policeman. Security: (718) 630-4848.
Weekend visits to NYC are popular whether for shopping, athletic events or Broadway. One should also allow time to visit the Harbor Defense Museum on post. The fort was built between 1825 and 1831, and notables who served there were CPT Robert E. Lee and LT Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Sunday brunch is served in the style common in clubs 50 years ago. In fact, the location is the old Officer’ Club, now known as the Ft. Hamilton Community Club. Its elegance hasn’t diminished. It’s still popular for weddings and other social events. This hotel is non-smoking and has free washers and dryers. Rates are currently $135-$144 for military retirees only, and two accessible rooms are available.
One of our more memorable weekend trips to Ft. Hamilton was to attend Appreciation Day for Military Retirees and Veterans, then into the city for dinner and an evening at the Metropolitan Opera. After that Sunday brunch the next morning, we headed back home, down I-95 South.
James E. Dickinson COL (USA Ret.) and Barbara Dickinson Wilmington, DE firstname.lastname@example.org
Reprint from Nov–Dec 2014 • Volume 44, No. 6
Editor’s Note: The room rates quoted below were available at the time of the Dickinsons’ visit. Since that time, the IHG contractor (Holiday Inn Express) has reduced rates for military retirees across the board (www.ihgarmyhotels.com).