On our third day we had an easy time using the subway to get to our 9:30 reservation for the ferry from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty.
We had opted out of spending money on the audio tour, so were pleasantly surprised to see free tour times posted- the first of which was only ten minutes away. Rangers who work for the National Park Service give them, and ours was very friendly and knowledgeable. Before the tour started we were the only ones waiting, and she told us some interesting things about Ellis Island. I hadn't thought about it until then, but talking with her reminded me that my grandma Ella went through when it was active.
We learned a lot about the statue- I recommend that tour to anyone. I was pretty eager to see if I could find my grandma's manifest, so we skipped the pedestal part of the tour (we were told there wasn't really much to see in there, but who knows) and headed over to Ellis Island. I bet my great grandparents were even more excited to see it.
We looked all over the building, watched a National Geographic movie they had playing, and then went to the Family Immigration History Center. We were met by an LDS missionary couple and learned that the church is largely responsible for the center.
I found my grandma! She was 5 when she went through. She is listed with her family, and there is information written on there, like how much money they were traveling with, the address they left and where they were headed, skills they possessed. I just sent the copies we printed to her, I hope she likes them.
When we got back to Battery Park, these guys were putting on a show. They could do ANYthing! Run up trees and flip off them, stand on any appendage- it was like gravity had given them the day off. Here is one guy jumping over a bunch of people.
Like I mentioned before, we went back to the Met. Here's one pic I forgot- the sculpture on the roof. Reminded me of "War of the Worlds."
After the Met, on our way to the subway, we passed a crowd watching the filming of something. We asked an excited-looking woman what it was and she said in a French accent, "Sex in zee Citeee Two! Just inside zat building is Seghah Jessica Pahgckeh! So exciteeeng, no?!" Actually, no. But I nodded enthusiastically for her as we left. Sorry- to all you Sarah Jessica fans...
I forgot to mention- somewhere in here, we got stopped by a news crew and were asked what we would do with a million dollars. We couldn't say anything practical like a house or school or anything. I said I would pay for a lifetime of massage. I guess my aching legs and feet were all I could think of. Zach said he would pay off student loans. Then they asked us to show our reation to winning a million dollars. Zach shook his long hair and screamed and I just stood still and looked like I was about to faint. Haha- I bet we didn't make the cut on the show, whatever it was.
We went down to Little Italy in search of arancini, my favorite snack when I was on my mission in Sicily- which I have never tried to replicate. It took some doing, but we found a place that had them.
They were cosi-cosi. ;) You can tell how enthusiastic I am...
Then we hopped over to the Brooklyn Bridge just after the sun set. It was quite a walk.
Our last night in New York.
A few blocks away was Ground Zero. We found walled-off construction, and advertisements for the building to come. There is a memorial in the church just west of the site (if I remember the orientation right,) but we were there way past the tour hours. A plaque informed us that George Washington had been in that church on the day of his inauguration.
So much has changed.
The next morning we took advantage of all our earlier window shopping and did the actual buying with exactly what we wanted in mind.
Back at the Hershey's Factory. No, they don't sell cheese. That was just us.
Saw some nice cops and horses- not exactly what you think of when someone mentions the NYPD, is it? I didn't expect to be petting a horse that morning, but there you go.
We boarded another shuttle, and met yet another interesting driver. This one had Superman paraphernelia plastered on every inch of his dash. It was through his windshield we waved a fond goodbye to the Big Apple. And prayed we'd make it to the airport. Those guys drive like maniacs.