Sunday, June 17, 2007

Vamos a Nuevo York

If you haven't figured out by now, I'm taking a Spanish class this semester, so I'm trying to practice as much as possible. Anyway, took a trip to NYC yesterday. It was a gorgeous sunny day, not too hot (at first) and not as wet as it would be later in the afternoon.

We stopped by to see the progress at Ground Zero which looks quite similar to what it looked like when I was there in December 2001. A nearby very old church served as a place where the rescue workers could sleep and get fed after 9/11. It has now become a museum. It also has a really cool cemetery.

The extensive damage done to things other than buildings on 9/11 can be seen on the sculpture that stood outside the World Trade Center buildings for years. They have moved this sculpture to Battery Park where you catch the ferry to Ellis and Liberty Islands. There is an eternal flame burning there as well.

We also went to Ellis Island for the first time which includes a trip to Liberty Island. I've been to the Statue of Liberty before but that was pre 9/11. Post 9/11 trips to Liberty Island and Ellis Island are somewhat similar to boarding a jet. Metal detectors, take off your shoes, etc. as well as an hour wait just to get on the boat.

Ellis Island is very interesting and to have been part of the restoration of the building and its contents must have been a fantastic experience for those involved. You certainly can get a feel for the suffering this immigrants went through to get to America, the tight cramped quarters on the ships, waiting in line for hours or days and losing their belongings, their names and family members must have been quite a comprimise for freedom. There are passports, photographs, luggage, clothing musical instruments and other personal belongings to look at as you walk around the building. You can even trace your own family roots if they came through Ellis Island.

Graffiti was a way for the immigrants to pass the time and leave messages maybe for other family members. There are a couple of columns in the building that have been preserved with the original graffiti on them.

The views from the boat to and from the islands are beyond compare.


Bone said...

The view of the Manhattan skyline is one of my favorite pictures in the world. It never gets old.

InterstellarLass said...

Last time I was in NYC was 1999. Crossing fingers I'll make it in November. You really will have to come see me if I'm there. We will be partying!