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Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Of course visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were high priorities on all of our "must do in NYC" lists.  After securing the plane tickets and hotel, it was the first thing I researched.

Tip:  Get your tickets online ahead of time.  The lines for tickets were very long.  It was great to bypass all that waiting in the hot sun.

Battery Park was also on my list of places to take the family which works well when catching the ferries to both islands.  We started at Castle Clinton National Monument.  It was built as a fort to keep out the British in the War of 1812.  Over the years it has been an immigration station (before Ellis Island was built), an opera house, and the NYC Aquarium from 1896-1941.

We got on our ferry and took off first for the Statue of Liberty.
The first time I saw the Statue I thought it was bigger than I expected - especially up close.
The boys had the opposite feeling.  They thought it was smaller in person.  Huh.

The ferry pulls into Liberty Island behind the statue to let everyone off.  I liked this view of the rarely-seen back of the statue look at Manhattan.

Detail of the base that the statue sits on.
When the US was raising funds for the base the media had a field day with the complexity of it - that it was more elaborate than the statue itself.  I think it looks great.

The star-shaped foundation

Inside the base is a museum.
Here's Thomas sitting on an actual-size replica of one of Lady Liberty's feet.
Most kids posed here by holding their nose (like the foot is stinky).
My boys have just outgrown that :)

Looking down from the highest platform at the Hudson River

Once we finished on Liberty Island we took a ferry to Ellis Island.
This is the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, formerly known as Immigration Station.
Ellis Island is officially party of New Jersey.

There is a great video about the operations at Ellis Island when it was open as an immigration center from 1892 to 1954. 
I can't imagine how hard the life of an immigrant must have been.

This large main room is largely unchanged.
Years ago long queues and benches were set up for the immigration processes.
They really believed in architectural interest back then, didn't they?
Another gorgeous building.

A great trip!

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