Daniel Tours America (c)DanielClarke.com Daniel Tours America - http://America.DanielClarke.com
My Blog My Photos My Diary My Movies My Map Message Board
Daniel Tours America
Liberty and Manhattan Islands, NYC
22nd Jul 2008
New York day 5: Islands, Lower Manhattan, Ravi

I finally got to visit Liberty and Ellis Islands today, taking a painfully labourious cruise between the three points. 

First stop was Liberty Island, to view "Liberty Enlightening the World" as she is properly known. I landed and wandered around the base, an old fort.  I was fascinated to hear on the audio guide that for a long time Americans did not consider her American.  They thought of her as a very French monument.  On the other hand, the immigrants, as they arrived into the harbour, were delighted to see this symbol of America, freedom, and the right to shoot each other.

From there, Ellis Island was the next port of call.  A small island at first, it was enlarged several times, and now spans both NY and NJ.  I toured the museum and saw the registry all where the immigrants were herded like cattle.  One of the steps along the way was a brief (6 second) medical examination, where the "doctor" would draw with chalk a symbol on the lapel of anyone requiring closer inspection.  Many were detained, hospitalised, or deported.

Upon finally reaching Manhattan again, 5 hours after joining the queue for tickets, I went up Broadway to see some of the really old sites.  These included Bowling Green, Trinity Church (cool to see the solitude of the old gravestones set against the bustle of a big city), the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Hall (where Washington was sworn-in), and the Federal Reserve Bank.

Wall Street was a maze of road-blocks, sniffer dogs, fences and police.  One cannot get to the door of the building as the fence blocks half the street.  Even if one could, though, there would not be a lot to see from the outside, it's just a door. On the reverse is the largest flag I have ever seen, spanning the whole facade.

I went to the site of the World Trade Center buildings, which is a deep hole in the ground with lots of cranes.  They appear to be building new things, but there is still a lot of evidence of the old site.  Security is tight.... we wouldn't want anyone to blow-up the rubble, would we?  That'd show 'em.

The World Financial Center, just next door, was unimpressive - one can't really see its outside because the pedestrian walkways in the whole area are enclosed; and upon entering all a tourist can see is turnstiles to the left and shopping top the right.  Meh.

The highlight of my day was meeting up with fellow Queensbury School alumnus and fellow ex-Patriat Ravi.  He too came to the US in 2006, though under far more impressive circumstances (UBS to New York, not JAS to Atlanta).  We met at Penn station and went for drinks, dinner, and an excellent catch-up.  We'd not seen each other since Dave & Andrea's wedding in August 07.   It was great to see a friendly face, and to engage in conversation without having to bring out my "From Bedfordshire..... 30 miles north-west of London.... no, I used to live in Atlanta" speech. 

Next: New York day 6: Broadway show
Previous: New York City: day 4

Diary Photos

Liberty and Manhattan Islands, NYC

Ellis Island framing Jersey City, from New York

Registry Hall, Ellis Island, NYC

Hospital, Ellis Island, NYC

Passport of an immigrant, Ellis Island, NYC

Ellis Island from the water, NYC

Fort Clinton, Battery Park, NYC

Trinity Church graveyard, NYC

NYSE, Wall Street, NYC

NYSE defences, Wall Street, NYC

Federal Hall, NYC


WTC site rubble, NYC

Who doesn`t? NYC

WTC rebuilding, NYC

World Financial Center, NYC

Pedestrians crossing the street in rush hour, NYC

Queensbury students Dan and Ravi, NYC

609 Words | This page has been read 39 timesView Printable Version