Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New York Part Deux

The ferry ride to Liberty Island was getting full. There were many tourists shuffling quickly to get to the top deck to get the whole ambiance of seeing Lady Liberty with no obstruction. We were on our way there but stopped to take pictures of the harbor with that green lady in the background. As I snapped the last one off of Bruce and the boys, a lovely Australian man said "Would ya like me to put you in the picture?" Well of course, thank you. He did well and I returned the favor for he and his family. then we all went up the stairs to grab a spot.

The engines started and we could feel movement. We were only 5 minutes away from something that I had waited all my 39 years to see. I was very excited. SO were my kids. Ever since I brought a little statue of her back from Vegas, my oldest has been very interested to hear and learn about The Statue of Liberty. Plus count in the factor that his dad is from there and well he was grinning to say the least! Bruce looked back at the city, he said that he felt good, not home but good to be back. He had lived a lifetime since being there, but I am sure he was having flashbacks from his early years.

We passed by her and I could not stop taking pictures! It was wonderful to focus in and see it with my own eyes. It was just as big as I expected and fascinating to say the least. We left the ferry and went immediately to the kitchen they had because everyone was getting the mid day sugar drops. in other words some of us were cranky! While dinning with Lady in the background, an interesting fellow was walking around in 1800 clothing talking in a beautiful French accent. I knew he was there to pose as the designer of The Statue of Liberty, Augustine Bartholdi, and walk around talking to people to enlighten them about things they otherwise would miss. He was fantastic! And somehow we caught his attention so he came to sit with us. Now normally Bruce would not be too hip on the idea of him just barging in on lunch, but this guy was soooooo good at what he did, we were all hanging onto every word he had to offer. Interesting information about the concept, meaning, payment and construction of the Statue. We all learned a lot from this guy...

Did you know that The Statue of Liberty was not only a gift from France, but the French paid for it's construction through it's citizens? No money was spent by the French government to fund the project, instead almost all of the money was made by charging the people to watch it's construction. The rest was donated by wealthy individuals.

Did you know that The Statue of Liberty has 7 points on her crown not for the 7 continents that so many believe it represents, but because Bartholdi thought it aesthetically more appealing to give it 7? Just wanted to bust that myth for ya...

Did you know that the Statue of Liberty's dress was derived from Roman & Greek influence? Hence the reason she wears the loose garment, sandals and her tablet is written in Roman Numerals.

The Statue's right foot is in the walking position because Bartholdi wanted her to represent moving forward, a nation of the world moving forward. That was my favorite new fact.

So interesting to talk to him, and the boys loved hearing his funny accent! After filling our bellies, it was off to really look at the Statue. I tried to book tickets to go up to the crown months before on the Internet, but it seems I was too late, sold out all summer long. NO worries, just walking around her was fantastic. SO many pictures were taken, but I think me and the boys were just smitten with actually seeing her up close. She was magnificent. She was proud. She was green. She was all I expected her to be. She was Lady Liberty shinning her light for all the world to see.

Onto Ellis Island. I admit, it was not as thrilling for me as what we just left. Or so I thought. We walked into the building and I could just feel the heritage in that hall. I know about Ellis Island because I studied it in Social Studies in 7th Grade. (Just for the record, I remember learning A LOT about Social Studies in Junior High so thank you Mrs. Fletcher!) There were millions of immigrants that flocked to that island to become American citizens. They brought what they could and not much else. It was a beautiful hall with grand ceilings. The architecture of the windows was what really caught my eye. I walked closer to inspect the woodworking when I noticed the Statue of Liberty in the background. I immediately brought my camera to my eye to capture it, and after I did I thought to myself...I wonder how many people stood right here looking at her like I am now with such gratitude in their hearts and dreams filling there heads. I lingered there for a while, just looking out the window.

We went up the stairs and explored the rooms that were overflowing with artifacts from those that passed through. Steam trunks, clothes, wheelchairs from the infirmary, desks where names were recorded...but the coolest thing was the money! So many beautiful little works of art to mention. It was incredible, the coins were the best....some had holes in them, or squares cut out of the middle, some were triangular shaped and dated back to who knows when! The dormitories were creepy, but the building itself was stunning! Wonderful brick work. This place was much more interesting to me than I thought and I even found my family name on the books. That was pretty cool to see! time I will tell you about the pizza...and Times Square...and the UN....and the sad story about the camera.....