Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 35 - Ellis Island

Caught the ferry to Ellis island..  brrrr it was cold crossing the water and windy.  Can’t believe it had turned so cold but I was looking forward to Ellis Island. 
Ellis Island Main Immigration hall
You walk into the main hall and you can’t believe so many people passed through those halls. They have an awesome display of a wagon in the foyer with many bags from the immigrants in the hall.
Wagon full of Baggage 
They also had this awesome flag display which depending on where you were standing in front of the flag or off centre you can see the faces of the immigrants and their descendants.
Immigration numbers  
Also to look at immigration numbers and how they have dwindled over the years and me thinking I really have no hope. 
Faces of Ellis Island   
I then wandered to the receiving hall where the immigrants would be processed and determined if they needed medical care etc. it is a humbling experience to think of the people that passed through there.
Faces of Ellis Island  
I wandered upstairs through the dormitories and then the various museums and how many people began to resent these immigrants and how they were treated.  Times haven’t really changed from that point of view in the world.
Main Immigration Hall - Imagine the stories that would get told here 
It was interesting to see the catholic nuns display and realise how much they contributed towards the immigrant effort.
The many displays on the upper levels  
They are currently in the process of restoring the hospital and the dormitories that were attached to them.
the view from the dormitory level
If you have the time if you are there to take a look at the wall of the names of the immigrants that have been recorded there which is done in a manner similar to the Vietnam memorial in Washington. The family descendants can apply to put the name on the wall.
the wall outside with the names  
By this time however, I was frozen it was so cold and windy so I decided to head back to the city and it was one of the last ferries.  I really took advantage of the full day out there because I had been on the boat at 8.30am and now leading up to 4pm…  So I headed to the wharf to wait and froze…
Dormitory Room  
Got back to battery park and the wind had picked up but I was checking the time so I could send the twinny a birthday text.  So I headed back into the subway with the rest of the New York commuters.
The restoration of some of the older buildings 
Because I had to change at 59th Street it was kind of cool to watch all the grumpy faces along with a pair of chickens playing some instruments in the subway station.
Red Nose and me freezing...  
I did try to get a photo of the grumpy non smiling faces but got kind of busted but it was funny.
SOOOO Busted ...giggle  
Headed back with every intention of heading over to the met once I warmed up … but best laid plans. As soon as I walked down the stairs my iphone starting going off with the birthday messages – ah it was so nice to hear from everyone.
Late afternoon   
It was so cold when I got to the apartment and had to send a message to Judah to see if that could be rectified because I couldn’t just turn on the radiator but in the meantime I rugged up with the 2 doonas and trackies and a few jumpers.
Immigration statue in Battery Park 
So needless to say I changed my mind about going out … it was just too cold for me but I got a phone call from S which made my night. To wish me happy birthday for the following day.  So sweet…
One of my favs...  Happy and enjoying Ellis Island  
It was actually a fun night with all the birthday messages that were coming in and chatting to everyone …So thank you for helping to celebrate everyone…  My celebration to come  
video

A couple of hints here:  Pre Book when you book your airline ticket because the crown books up about 2-3 months in a advance and it is only a few extra dollars.  It is worth climbing it – while there a small elevator for disabled or less able guests you do have to climb the last 10 or so steps and it is really narrow.  Plan for the whole day if you have crown tickets because you get special access to the museum which is fascinating and also Ellis Island takes a while to go through. If you get a new city pass or similar you can’t access the crown so you can always come back with that.  Overall have a amazing time.  

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