Liberty Island & Ellis Island

New York Travel Blog

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Liberty enlightening the world

First things first: take your time. The line for the ferry is long. Really long. So long that various artists take the opportunity of earning some money by entertaining the people in waiting.  A gain for both.

First stop is Liberty Island. Though it's October it's cold. Really cold. It takes a while to walk around Miss Liberty, and, God, she's huge!!! What an awsome sight! Her full name is "Liberty enlightening the world", and I get goosebumps while writing this. I still vividly remember the Homeland war in Croatia which has, after 900 years, finally brought liberty, making us our own masters in our own country. Standing at the bottom of this statue and staring at her holding the torch up high makes my skin crinkle. Unfortunately, the statue was closed for climbing up and I can't recall whether that had anything to do with security measures after 9/11.

Ellis Island
Instead we visited the souvenir shop, warmed up a little bit and shortly afterwards hit the ferry again.

 

Next stop is Ellis Island. You don't actually have to do both visits the same day, but since you've already paid the ticket why not do both in one ride. The Main building opened for visitors contains the Immigration Museum, the Family Immigration History Center, and the American Immigrant Wall of Honor. There's a lot to discover, so, again, take your time. Exhibits are personal belongings of immigrants from all over the world, donated by themselves or their families to the museum. In several rooms photographs, passports and ship-tickets are displayed. I enjoy museums very much in general, especially those showing the history of mankind, and here a very special piece of that history is shown �" hopes and dreams.

Besides of looking at material witnesses of these hopes and dreams, you also have the chance to listen to them. In a small auditorium the museum shows the 30-minute-film "Island of Hope, Island of Tears". We see pictures of immigrants coming to Ellis Island, and listen to people telling their emmigrant stories. I found this particular 'exhibit' especially moving, recalling my father's story of escaping yugoslav communist terror by fleding the country on foot, not knowing what to expect in a country the people spoke an unknown language. Several decades later, I would experience the same thing fleding from the serbian war terror, leaving home and everything behind. Watching and listening to the film, I wondered again what was wrong with people?

Back in Manhattan I walked along the shore of Battery Park. The sun was setting, creating a golden glow amongst the clouds. Miss Liberty stood amid of it, holding her torch up high. …. This is cheesy, I know :), well, what the heck.

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Liberty enlightening the world
Liberty enlightening the world
Ellis Island
Ellis Island
Ellis Island
Ellis Island
Ellis Island museum
Ellis Island museum
Waiting in line for the ferry ... …
Waiting in line for the ferry ...…
... this guy is just entertaining
... this guy is just entertaining
New York
photo by: herman_munster