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April 01, 2006

Rags to Riches

A trip to New York would not be complete without a visit to Lady Liberty. The weather was beautiful and afforded us wonderful views from the ferry.


We did not get off the ferry at the statue, but went straight on to Ellis Island.


The museum at Ellis Island takes you through the experience of an immigrant arriving between 1880 and 1920. Beautiful photographs and interesting artifacts, along with reflections and explanations, really give you a sense of the frightening and heart wrenching adventure. It was an emotional experience to say the least, and the return trip on the ferry had us viewing the Statue of Liberty with a deeper sense of awe.


Upon returning to Manhattan we began another audio tour of the financial district beginning with the bronze bull -- both ends.

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We paused to have some street food - grilled italian sausage with peppers and onions served in a warm pita. A great meal for a few dollars.


The contrast between old and new architecture in New York is fascinating. We saw Fraunces Tavern, the secret headquarters of the Sons of Liberty, the New York Stock Exchange, and many other significant and beautiful buildings.
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When we finished the audio tour we were just a couple blocks from Ground Zero. This was not on our list of sights to visit, but we were so close we decided to walk past.
We also visited the small church directly across the street from the WTC, that miraculously withstood the destruction unharmed, and served as a center of solace for all of the rescue workers and volunteers for nine months. The church contains lots of memorabilia. An hour, and many tears later, we left the area emotionally drained.

Thank goodness our evening plans called for lots of laughing. We went to see the Mel Brook's Broadway hit, The Producers. It was sensational!

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Notes from Jeremy:

I was unprepared for the wide range of emotions of our day. On our way to Ellis Island, as we passed the Statue of Liberty, I was enamored of the veiw, not only of the statue, but the rest of NYC. After touring the AMAZING Ellis Island Museum and learning about the struggle of our ancestors (and here I would like to point out that MANY, MANY, MANY of modern day Americans' ancestors came to this country through Ellis Island, or other immigration processing centers) as they came to this country which was (and is) so full of hope, opportunity, corruption, despair, and glory that veiwing the Statue of Liberty on the return trip was an entirely different experience. I think one particular exhibit at the museum stood out more than all the others and really changed my perspective on the return trip. The story goes a little like this: a boat was arriving and the passengers were told that they were near their destination. There was much crowding at the rails of the ship and everyone was jostling and things were very noisy. At the point when the passengers saw the Statue of Liberty everything went silent for a long period of time until a Jewish man (and I don't remember his nationality) loudly shouted (something like), "America, I kiss your ground" at which point cheers erupted on the boat. Wow, we should respect our land of hope and opportunity a little better!

Posted by jennifer at April 1, 2006 02:34 PM


You know, I always make smart-ass comments around here, so I guess I should leave some praise, too. I've really enjoyed your New York entries. I've never been there, so it was to live vicariously through your words and photos. Thanks!

Posted by: J.D. at April 4, 2006 01:58 PM