I woke up this morning 11 years ago feeling a good deal better than I had the day before, not that it would have taken much. Still snuffling and snorting some, I headed towards Liberty Park on the Jersey side of New York Harbor, to catch a ferry to Ellis and Liberty Islands.
It was a misty, moisty day, and cloudy was the weather, to quote my mother — apparently she got it from this nursery rhyme. I had a rather occluded view of the New York skyline from the ferry. “However, it was trés cool to see the World Trade Center poking up into the clouds.” More poignant and sad than cool these last nine years, alas.
The next sight was Ellis Island:
A few million people started their lives as Americans here
The ferry schedule provided me with an hour or so here, where the echoing tiled main hall is filled with a museum. “It was less enthralling to me than it should have been because I didn’t feel well, and because to my knowledge I don’t have any ancestors who came through immigration here. As far as I know from my two genealogist cousins, both sides of my family have been here since before the Revolution. But it still was interesting, especially the exhibit talking about the full run off immigration, percentages and statistics, and not just about the people who came through Ellis Island.”
My next stop was Liberty Island. What they don’t tell you is that the only good way to get a photo of the front of Lady Liberty is from the boat. Most of the island is behind her:
Still, I managed to get decent views of both her front and back. It took a while to get inside, because of the airport-like security. “I made a comment to the security guard about feeling like I was going through an airport, and he said it wasn’t like that until five years ago. Without thinking, I asked why five years ago, and he said that’s when we had terrorism in New York. Oh, yeah, stupid, I thought. The [first] World Trade Center bombing. No duh.” Little did anyone know…
I went up the elevator to the top of the pedestal — the stairs to the crown close fairly early in the day — and got blown around in the rain until I could get back to the door and inside to the museum, which told about the construction and the fund raising. There was a full-sized copy of part of one foot, and of her face:
Her nose was about as red as mine because people apparently like to rub it with their hands as they walk by.
Her original torch (it was replaced in the work that was done on the statue in preparation for the Bicentennial in 1976) was on display as well:
It had originally been solid, but had been cut into a lattice so it could be lighted from within, and that weakened it so it had to be replaced.
After my ferry ride back to the mainland, I drove back down towards Philadelphia in preparation for heading towards Gettysburg and the Pennsylvania Dutch country the next day. And “out of the big city for a few days. … Thank goodness. Cities are all well and good, but I need some space.”