Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Crown of New York

Yesterday was a very busy day, 18 hours of touring according to Nick. We woke up early and started with a tour of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Our taxi dropped us of at Liberty State Park where we took a ferry to Ellis Island and listened to an audio guide about what immigrants had to go through when they landed here. It was very interesting and kind of sad to hear how they were treated. They have a memorial wall for these immigrants outside. There about 5000 a day to come in to the US for 2 decades (I hope I quoted that right). Anyway, I found that there were 10 people who came in with the last name of Renner! One was even Marie Renner, which made me happy! There were even 2 Stolbergs!

From here we hopped on another ferry which took us to Liberty Island. The Statue of Liberty was really tall, but it's interesting to think that it only reaches the first floor of the Eiffle Tower. It's 300 and some feet from base to top! Nick COMPLETELY redeemed himself today for the whole hotel mess!

Since 9/11 climbing to the crown of the statue has been closed, however, it was reopened on July 4th of this year. Luckily Nick researched ahead of time and found this out, so he booked us a tour several months in advance. Only 240 people are allowed up each day and they are already book solid for over 6 months out. Since we did this early, we were able to go to the ranger station and get this fancy wrist band which allowed us to skip the long line which would have taken nearly 3 hours to stand in and only goes to the museum inside the pedestal. After going through very intense security, which includes Nick checking his bag into a locker using his finger print, we were able to climb up our own VIP, steep, 360 stair spiral staircase up the skirt to the top! It was fascinating to climb up the body of the Statue of Liberty and see the internal structure. We were very lucky because it was just us and one other guy, plus two rangers at the top! It was like having a private tour. This was also good cause the crown is quite small and hot!

After the statue we went to Battery Park. Then walked through the financial district to Wall Street. It was crazy because Obama had derived a speech here earlier in the day and so there were all shorts of video crews there filming. Watch some English news station cause I walked by and smiled at the camera! There were alot of people here.

Next we went into a Macy which is 2 million square feet and rode the wooden escalator which was the first one opened for public use in the US in 1902. Then we continued on to Rockefeller Center and went to the NBC store, Nick drooled over all "The Office" souvenirs that were outrageously priced. Next we went to the United Nations Building. Unfortunately we got there after it closed and all the flags were down and we couldn't go inside. We are going to go back today though! I think it would be awesome to give a speech here, but first I have to become an expert on some topic such as child abuse, child soldiers, or child sex slaves. I already know alot about each of these, but am far from an expert. Hopefully I'll be able to live and work in some community abroad where these are a problem and then I will know way more about it!!!

Finally, we hoped on a subway at Grand Central Station during rush hour, not a good idea, and went uptown to the Yankees game. The new stadium is huge. We left after the 8th inning to avoid large crowds on the subway. Yankees ended up winning 5 to 3. It took us 2 hours, 2 subways, a PATH, and taxi ride to get back to the hotel. We got in around 12 and were beat.

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