As Enterprise and its chaperone flew overhead, the crowd, which was made up of men, women and children of all ages, erupted into cheers and applause.
"It was absolutely amazing to see it like that," Adam Schechter said shortly after Enterprise's first pass. Schechter carried his young son, Harry, and spoke energetically about his experiences with the space shuttles, including seeing the STS-97 launch of the shuttle Endeavour in November 2000.
"It was amazing, and the loudest thing I ever heard in my life," Schechter told SPACE.com.
He also recounted a visit he and his son took to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., where Enterprise had previously been on display since 2003.
Just over a week ago, on April 19, Enterprise was replaced at the Smithsonian by the shuttle Discovery, NASA's most-flown orbiter. Enterprise will now find a home at the Intrepid in an enclosure on the deck of the converted World War II-era aircraft carrier, until the museum finishes construction of the prototype orbiter's permanent display area.
Enterprise is scheduled to arrive at the Intrepid, which sits along the Hudson River, via barge in June.
But spectators today at Pier 86 got a sneak preview of the test shuttle that is now a New York resident.