As I think I mentioned before, we had fairly good view of Lady Liberty from our campsite (or parking spot), but not so nice that we could call it done. There were a lot of random things in the way of a clean view. Boat masts, smog, other RVs, cats pinching loaves, etc.
We tried to score tickets to go up in the crown but they were booked until January, and everyone told us the better view is not from the top anyway. I mean, you have to be on the ground below to be able to do this:
Ellis Island was the ferry's first stop. The park service offers a free self-guided audio tour set up (think headphones and a little remote device that you click and listen to as you walk through the building). The main section of the museum is nicely done and very informative, covering the history of immigrations and the kinds of lives people were leaving behind as well as what greeted them when they arrived on American soil. You could (well, I could) easily spend a couple of hours checking out that part, but we wanted to see the registration room and peruse the family records also. However, all of that stuff is still closed mostly due to continued recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy. My grandmother came from Sweden when she was three years old. They traveled on a ship and she once told me how she remembered the buckles on her shoes getting rusty from the water that washed over the deck. I wanted to search for her passenger record, even though I was almost certain they had entered the country through a different port. Although the registration room was closed, a sign said passenger record searches were still possible online at EllisIsland.org, so that is where I went. I entered my great-grandfather's name first and came up empty, but when I entered my grandmother's name it found her right away. They arrived on October 7, 1924 on the ship Bergensfjord, having left Sweden from the port of Christiania.
Stopping to warm up in the sun and eat lunch, we found the seagull bombing to be on par with our own beloved Gulf Coast beaches. In fact, I think maybe New York gulls spend the winter traveling to Florida to network and attend conventions with break-out sessions on how to work in teams to steal entire hoagies. They seem to communicate well, with one lurking just out of shooing distance and one or two bogeys circling above, waiting for the distraction moment. Then one moves in for the strike. The whole system breaks down as soon as the prize is hand (or beak) and he flies off, refusing to share with his teammates, which was no doubt the original agreement. They may be annoying, but you have to admire their pluck.
Where was I?
Oh, yeah! So here are my favorite shots of Lady Liberty.
We got back to "camp" earlier than the night before and not nearly so exhausted. We were booked for another night but decided we had seen all we really needed to see in New York so we planned to pull up anchors and head south in the morning. We may not be big on big cities, but we are definitely glad we made the trip to see the Big Apple.
P.S. Click here to see the other NYC photos.