Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lights, Sights and the Green Lady...

So a few weeks back we were visited by Forrest and Patsy. It was a good time for all of us to get more familiar with the city as we had ambitious plans. The first night was spent discovering Times Square. It was wild.

I'd like to know what the energy consumption is for that area alone!

The next day we decided to go visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We bought our tickets thinking we would hop on the ferry right away. What a surprise when we realized that we couldn't see the end of the waiting line! We seriously thought of returning our tickets and getting our money back but then we decided to wait a while and see how fast/slow the line would go down. It turned out we only had to wait 45 minutes to get on the ferry, I hear some of you saying "only 45 minutes!?" Seriously this was the longest waiting line I have ever seen and when we took bets as to how long we thought we would wait one of us said 3 hours, so 45 minutes was a breeze. The ferry ride reminded me of the Princess of Acadia, the ferry connecting Digby NS to Saint John NB. It was cold, windy and smelled of the ocean - nice. It only took 10 minutes to get to Liberty Island. As we approached we could see the Statue getting bigger and bigger. It was somewhat impressive but I was more charmed by the ride on the water than anything else.

Because we hadn't reserved tickets in advance, we weren't allowed to go to the top of the Statue but that was fine. We walked around the island and got to see the Lady from all angles.

It was interesting to learn that the outer shell of the statue is only the thickness of two pennies! I thought it would be much thicker. The interior is a large spiral that solidifies and supports the shell. Ever wondered what the back end of the Lady looks like?

After the walk we made out way back to the waiting line. We only waited 25 mins that time. The ferry took us to Ellis Island.

The Island served as a federal immigration center between 1892 and 1954. Over 12 million immigrants passed through the island between those years! At the peak of the immigration years, 5,000 to 10,000 people would pass through everyday! Eighty percent of them passed through in a few hours but some remained because of poor health or other issues. Only 2 percent were sent back. They say that about 40 percent of US citizens have an ancestor that entered through Ellis Island. Now the island is a museum. We got to watch a film that was very moving. It was the story of the immigrants that came, told by the said immigrants. They spoke of the hardships endured to get the money for the crossing, the inhuman conditions on the vessels, the fears, the hopes, the loneliness... It's an incredible story.

After reaching the mainland we decided to find some food. We walked with no clear direction or idea of where we were until we came to this -

Ground Zero. We were approched by a yound man who told us about the plans for the new Trade Center. There will be five towers. One of them being built already. You can barely see it in the picture - it looks almost invisible in that light, with the clouds reflecting on it. We found refreashments and continued our walk. We turned a corner and saw this

The Stock Market building. If you ever have any doubts as to which country you are visiting you can always go to Wall street! At that point we were ready to crash so we made our way home. It was a good time. To end are a few more pictures of our day.

This one is made up of three pictures taken and patched together by Matthew. It's the view we had from the ferry. The next one shouldn't need any explanations.

1 comment: