Our initial plans have changed from day to day but since we are on the last full day of being here, our first priority is to head out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, then we plan to do the rest of the American Museum of Natural History and next go off to Soho for shopping (once Casey returns from work), dinner at Little Italy and if it isn't pouring rain like it was last night when we returned from the Comedy Cellar, we will do a carriage ride in Central Park. One hour at a time and we will see how the plans change today! I'm in a low right now so I'm waiting to ride it out before I hit the shower. Catch you all in a few!
|The huge wine bottle in Lindy's window|
We are showered and ready to roll so Nika and I went next door to enjoy a somewhat-leisure breakfast. All of our breakfasts so far have been hurry up and eat by grabbing something at our hotel's continental breakfast, but today, I thought let's change it up and stop and smell the roses for a moment. In this case, it was breakfast next door at the famous Lindy's.
Lindy's Restaurant: Lindy's Restaurant- the famous Broadway delicatessen renowned for serving up the best New York Style Cheesecake to well known mobsters and mafia hit men and Hollywood legends alike throughout the early twentieth century. This place had all the glitz, glamour and dark history to make it a fixture of all things New York City.
The original restaurant was closed in 1969 but in 1979, a new "Lindy's" was opened to continue serving up the same great deli food and world famous cheesecake. It remains one of the top must-see restaurants for visitors to Manhattan. We had breakfast there and it was, as many reviews have noted, high-priced, but what we each wanted to order contained a lot of food, so our outstanding waitress advised that Nika and I could split an order which would make it enough food for her to eat and enough carbs for me plus still get our beverages of choice. After wiping our plates clean and steeping ourselves in enough coffee, we were off to catch the bus. Grayline Express bus, that is. But stop the bus! We finally figure out that we are probably going to miss the Express bus, so figured since I am now adept at riding the subway and we don't want to wait another hour for the next one, we might as well hope a train out to Battery Park instead.
|Ok! I couldn't help myself!|
Bust a Pose: Of course, there are also the little oddities that you find at Battery Park, too. Take, for instance, Miss Lady Liberty standing about seven feet tall, begging tourists to have their picture taken with her (actually he -- on stilts). I fell victim (yes, I had to pay to have her cozy up to me for a picture) but it was all for my personal New York experience, as you can see from the picture above. By paying her you get the luxury and having her drape you with a flag and the honor of holding her torch. (And, yes, again, all I got out of that was the picture!!) Gullible? always!
|The Urban Farm at Battery Park|
Six months after the attacks, following a documentary film about the sculpture, it was relocated to Battery Park on a temporary basis—without any repairs—and formally rededicated with an eternal flame as a memorial to the victims of 9/11. It has become a major tourist attraction, due partly to the fact that it survived the attacks with only dents and holes. The Sphere is 25 feet high and cast in 52 bronze segments. The artwork was meant to symbolize world peace through world trade, and was placed at the center of a ring of fountains in Tobin Plaza, and was designed to mimic the Grand Mosque of Mecca in Kaaba. It was set to rotate once every 24 hours.
American Merchant Mariners' Memorial: As we walk through the doorway of Castle Clinton and out the back area we find ourselves heading toward the shoreline to the metal line dividers set up to guide us to Pier A where we will depart. Just before we start to snake through the lines, we find the American Merchant Mariners' Memorial. Dedicated in 1991, this haunting memorial stands on a rebuilt stone breakwater in the harbor and displays a bronze figural group and boat which are based on an actual historical event; during World War II, a Nazi U-boat attacked a merchant marine vessel, and while the mariners clung to their sinking vessel, the Germans photographed their victims.
|American Merchant Mariners' Memorial|
When the idea was first conceived, it was meant to commemorate the thousands of merchant ships and crews which were put into military service since the Revolutionary War. In World War II alone it is estimated that 700 American merchant ships were lost, and 6,600 mariners gave their lives. As is depicted in the photo at right and creating an emotional dynamic, depending on the ebb and flow of the harbor’s tides, the one figure (whose hand you see coming up out of the water), struggling beside the boat, is submerged each tidal cycle. When viewing the monument, it brought tears to my eyes. As I said, it is very emotional to see with the water lapping up and over the struggling hand in the water.
|Staten Island Ferry's "Kennedy Class"|
The company offers a range of logistics services, including supply chain management, ocean transportation, terminal handling, inland distribution and technical services. It is one of the world's largest companies in the transporting of rolling equipment; automobiles, heavy machinery (mining, construction, farming equipment), yachts, trains, power stations and others. Headquartered in Oslo and Stockholm, it has main regional offices in New York, Tokyo and Sydney. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics received the distinguished Norwegian American Trade Award for 2008 from the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce.
|Partial view of Ellis Island|
Then out farther in the harbor waters, I see Ellis Island. It is captivating to see, set apart off in the waters. The thought of it somehow reminds me of Alcatrez Island in California. I am not sure if it is the facade of the buildings or what. It looks ominous. We'll talk more and see more of Ellis Island in my next post.
Then not to damper the mood too much at the start of our aquatic journey, I spied the real Miss Lady Liberty off in the distance standing proud and awaiting our boat to dock.
|Statue of Liberty Off In The Distance|
As we began our approach to Fort Wood, located on what is now known as Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty hangs her hat (or torch, in this case), I would be remiss if not to first mention a little about Fort Wood and its home.
Fort Wood was a star-shaped fortification on Bedloe's Island (now known as Liberty Island). Its walls were used as the distinctive base for the Statue of Liberty. It is named in honor of Eleazer Derby Wood. Wood was an American Army officer in the War of 1812, and a graduate of West Point who became the first graduate of West Point to die in battle. He was greatly admired by the Army's commanding general Jacob Brown who commissioned a monument in his honor at West Point and also Fort Wood on Liberty Island.
Liberty Island is the small uninhabited island in New York Harborbest known as the location of the Statue of Liberty. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the island has a land area of 14.717 acres, which is the property of the federal government. Liberty Island is located in the Upper New York Bay surrounded by the waters of Jersey City, New Jersey, but its built portions and docks fall under the jurisdiction of the City of New York. The historical developments which led to this construction created the rare situation of an exclave of one state, New York, being situated in another, New Jersey. An exclave is strip of land that belongs to a political entity but that is not connected to it by land. The island is operated by the National Park Service, and since 9/11, is guarded by around-the-clock patrols of the U.S. Park Police Marine Patrol Unit. Liberty Island is 2000 feet (600 m) east of Liberty State Park in Jersey City and is 1-5/8 statute miles (2.6 kilometers) southwest of Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. Public access is permitted only by ferries from either of the two parks, Battery Park in Lower Manhattan or Liberty State Park in Jersey City.
A hot topic of boundary disputes or border wars, The Statue of Liberty itself is claimed as a symbol by both New York and New Jersey. It is a tug-of-war of sorts as everyone from the two states try to lay claim to this grand lady. She was featured on New York license plates from 1986 through 2000 and on a special New Jersey license plate celebrating Liberty State Park in Jersey City. The Statue is also seen on the New York State Quarter. The national monument was the symbol of the Central Railroad of New Jersey, still used by the Raritan Valley Line. (The Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal is nearby).
Though it is uninhabited, the United States Geological Survey includes it as part of New York's 8th congressional district. Both New York City and Jersey City have assigned the island lot numbers. Utility services, including electricity, water, and sewage, to Liberty and Ellis Islands are provided from the New Jersey side. Mail is delivered from the Battery.
There is, for instance, the World Trade Center Memorial Grove. The plaque, at right, that sits in front of the group of trees notes that they were dedicated to those who lost their lives in the events that transpired on 9/11.
The famous “Liberty Bike” built by Orange County Choppers and featured on the popular Discovery Channel / TLC television series “American Chopper” is currently on exhibit (began October 2011) at the Statue of Liberty throughout 2012 in celebration of her 125th Anniversary.
This motorcycle is entirely plated in copper that was preserved from the centennial restoration of the Statue of Liberty National Monument through an exclusive agreement with The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., under direction of The National Park Service / US Department of Interior. The “Liberty Bike,” like the Statue of Liberty, is a work of art formed from copper and iron. There are many design features on this special motorcycle that were inspired by Miss Liberty, such as: The shift lever is crafted from a section of cable that once carried electrical power to her torch. The handle bar design was inspired by the spikes in Miss Liberty's crown. The "DaVinci" designed carburetor is fashioned to resemble Lady Liberty's torch and lights up when the bike is running.
From start to completion this bike took only four and a half weeks to complete.
The placard recognizing the Manhattan Skyline reads, "In 1886, the Statue of Liberty standing on her pedestal, stood taller than any other structure in New York City. At 305 feet, 1 inch, it exceeded even the Brooklyn Bridge, which had been completed three years earlier. However, the Statue was soon surpassed in height by the forest of tall buildings which today gives Manhattan its world-famous skyline."
Rock from Norway: Also there is the rock that reads" This stone from the mine that produced the copper in the statute of liberty was brought with the sailing ship "Sorlandet" as a gift to the US of America from the Citizens of Karmoy, Norway. 7/4/1986"
Statue of Liberty: Now that I have touched on almost everything else on the island, I suppose it is time for me to get around to talking about the main attraction -- Miss Lady Liberty herself. A gift from France, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924, inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1984 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986. The Statue of Liberty, also known as "Liberty Enlightening the World" is a titanic neoclassical sculpture of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tablet (known as a "tabula ansata") on which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. With a broken chain laying at her feet, she has become an icon of freedom and of the United States.
|Yeah, I had to do this ( a couple times!)|
|Yes, besides rainy it was also windy!|
Now, onto the question that I know is just eating at you.
|The Ferry we are going to catch to go to Ellis Island|
|Okay, I'm done doing that now!|