On Friday, we took a ferry ride out to see the State of Liberty and Ellis Island. This is a photo looking back towards NYC. On the right, you can see Brooklyn Bridge.
Here's a photo of Alex and me in front of the Statue of Liberty. You have to buy tickets quite a bit in advance to go inside of the statue, and we decided we didn't want to do that. I really didn't want to be stuck to a "schedule." Anyway, we really enjoyed walking around Liberty Island.
The ferry ride out to the island was pretty nice. They really pack you on! I believe I heard them say there were 400 people on board at one point... and they were still loading more people! It was also a shock when I realized I wasn't hearing ANY English being spoken! I quietly listened, and it was true... we were hearing many different languages, but not any English! (Later, we did hear a few people speaking English.)
When we planned our trip, we didn't realize we were going to NYC the same weekend as the NYC marathon! During our trip, we kept seeing people from all over the world... many in matching jackets like this one from France. Even in our hotel, we'd see the runners getting ready to go run in the mornings.
When you're done seeing the Statue of Liberty, you get back on the ferry and you can get off on Ellis Island. Ellis Island is where they processed immigrants for many years.
This is a photo of the Registry Room on Ellis Island. This is what a sign said: Nearly every day, for over two decades (1900-1924), the Registry Room was filled with new arrivals waiting to be inspected and registered by Immigration Service officers. On many days, over 5,000 people would file through the space. For most immigrants, this great hall epitomized Ellis Island. Here they encountered the complex demands of the immigration laws and an American bureaucracy that could either grant or withhold permission to land in the United States.
Besides the Registry Room, you can tour the rest of the building which is set up like a museum. One of the most interesting things I saw was a room filled with beds. Most people didn't spend the night at Ellis Island. They timed the last boat of the day so that they could process everyone and have them off the island by night. But, those who were being held over sometimes did spend the night. (There were also hospitals on the island.) Anyway, in this room, they had "bunk beds" (on chains) that could be let down from the ceiling. They were 4 beds high!!! Then, during the day, the beds could be raised so they could use the room for processing, etc. (I'd given my husband the camera at the time so I didn't get a photo.)
Because this island was the place where immigrants could either start a new life or be sent home with crushed dreams, it was called the "Island of Hope, Island of Tears." On the island, we watched the above 30 minute movie that told more about Ellis Island.
Leaving Ellis Island.
And, here's a photo from when we got back. This is in Battery Park, which is where you get on the ferry. If you can see, there are 4 men (why not women???) dressed up as the Statue of Liberty! You can pay to pose with them and have your photo taken! (No, we didn't get our photo taken.) We also saw one of these "statues" on Broadway.
Next up: site of the World Trade Center and The Lion King