A city that never sleeps - NEW YORK.....NEW YORK

Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
Trip End Dec 10, 2008

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Where I stayed
Liberty Harbor RV Park

Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day 3 -   5 November

After such a day as yesterday ..... the most poignant place we could visit today, was the Statue of Liberty.  For thousands and thousands of immigrants, who 100 yrs ago, travelled treacherous seas in cramped conditions, the vision of The Lady, was the vision of Freedom and Opportunity in a new land.

We had seen her from the Ferry on our first day as part of the boat tour, and it was the kids that wanted to go back and do the 'whole thing'.  So of course, we're going to say yes to that!  And it was great.  I thought we'd stop off for half an hour, have a quick look around and be gone, but NO, I'll definitely hand it to the Americans, their efficiency (in most areas) is poor, but they're museums are unbelievable!  And the Statue of Liberty is a museum.   Right from the formation of thought, to the sketch ideas, drawings on paper, to the whole architect and engineering novel , it was great.  I don't know if you realize, the Statue of Liberty was actually a gift of friendship from the French.

We got to climb up right inside the structure, which is actually made of copper but has been oxidized and so has this 'green' appearance.  Anyway, we climbed 250 stairs, to an observatory platform, exhausted but worth evey 'puff'.  I know we think someimes it's only a statue, but it meant a whole new world to a generation before us, and she still holds the same light of hope that she has since 1886, for the American people today.

Back then, they came on steamships as immigrants, today we come on huge ferries as tourists...  The passage of travel may be different, but the message is still the same.
Obviously that 'little trip' took us longer than expected, but we definitely had to go to Grand Central Station, whatever the weather.   Having visited the Vanderbilt summer home in Rhode Island, we felt 'attached' to this Station that first started the train transportation industry and made New York a icon.  For Cornelius Vanderbilt to have the forethought to build this station, makes him a genius in my mind.  You step into this huge, vast concrete and granite foyer with ceilings decorated with lions, and ornate pillars ... the hustle and bustle with people all going about their business, shoppers, diners (some gorgeous restaurants), loud speakers announcing trains, you could easily transport yourself back in time.  This would have been grand.  I can imagine it as being a social icon, as much as anything else.  We went downstairs to the food hall, still beautiful, not tacky at all, and had some gelato icecreams in wafer cones... yum!

By the time we got out of there, it was well and truly raining, and the 'bus boys' were there selling umbrellas!  How'd they know it was going to rain? How'd they get in position so fast?  A land of opportunity alright!

Got the subway back downtown, and we ALL got off the train, and ALL headed to the wharf to catch the ferry, BUT when we all met up at the terminal, there was no sign of Tara & Harrison.  In fact, I hadn't seen them for quite sometime, and Gary just thought they were with me.   Now, you can only imagine what it feels like to lose your children in the middle of New York city.   My only comforting thought, was at least it was the older two, and I presumed they were together.  Also I know Harry is good at 'asking' for anything, and is not shy, and Tara is very sensible, however, let me tell I was praying every step I retraced over the next mile back to the train station.  
Finally, found them at the Stanton Island terminal, which we had passed, and it was so crowded that they had just simply lost sight of us.  The had gone inside to shelter from the rain, and waited for us.  The relief for the 3 of us when we saw each other was obvious ... to all those around us.   We held hands all the way back to our ferry, and believe me, for Harrison who wouldn't normally hold my hand in public, shows the enormity of what we all felt in that situation. 

It is a gentle reminder to take nothing for granted.

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