Give Me Liberty or Give Me Crinkle Fries
Yesterday, Jon and I took my visiting French relatives to the Statue of Liberty. We left early enough in the morning so we could meet them at 9:30 at Penn Station. I was smart. I made reservations for the boat via the interweb, so we had tickets for an 11:15 ferry to Liberty Island.
It was on the subway down to Battery Park when I discovered that I didn't have my camera. Later in the day, I found it in on our coffee table where I'd placed it so I wouldn't forget it. So, sadly I don't have any pictures to illustrate are fun outing.
It's been a while since I've been to Liberty Island. That security check really dampened the fun atmosphere. But once we got through the security check the ride over was quite nice. We all sat together on the top level of the ferry. It rained ever so slightly. Aside from that bit of drizzle the day was rain free.
Liberty Island didn't seem terribly crowded. We were able to see that great view of downtown Manhattan, even through the haze. But we didn't go into the monument itself. Turns out you have to buy the tickets for that in advance because the security check they perform in Battery Park, to get onto the island is also the security check for entering the Statue. This was not a tragedy. I've been in there plenty of times, Jon's been in there also. And my relatives, with the exception of the 10 year old, have also seen the inside. The 10 year old is not really the museum, plaque reading type and it turned out to be a good thing.
We had lunch there which was eh, but my relatives were hungry. The mediocre food filled the void.
Then we had to get off of Liberty Island which took a little over an hour. (It felt more like ESCAPE FROM LIBERTY ISLAND because it seemed so difficult). Who knew there were so people on the island with is. All of a sudden it seemed like there were thousands of people standing on line with us. We got on line and at 2 and disembarked at Battery Park around 3:15. That time includes missing the ferry we got on line for and then waiting for another one. This time, I was feeling a little sea sick and sat below with my aunt.
It wasn't until we arrived at Battery Park that we discovered the 10 year-old lost his bag with money and a disposable camera he'd bought for the adventure. I felt so bad for him. He was very upset.
Everyone was hot so I took them into the Museum of the Native American at Bowling Green. If you haven't been there you should go. It is also the Alexander Hamilton US Custom House. And the building is beautiful. You've never seen a rotunda like the one build into this building. It was free and it was cool inside. But guess what we had to do before we could enjoy what the museum had to offer? That's right. We had to go through another security check. Belts, keys - everything.
I guess I can't blame them.
I sat with my aunt in the rotunda, while the others checked out the museum. The 10 year old calmed down. It was a nice transitional activity.
After the museum we took the 4 train at Bowling Green up to 42nd Street and we did an abbreviated tour of mid-town. I showed them Grand Central station. Then we walked across 42nd to Broadway.
Just before we got to 5th Avenue, walking west, we spotted a bunch of police cars. Walking further we saw a bunch of cops standing together in a clump. They kindly posed for my uncle when he said CHEESE and took their picture. Then they got in their cars and drove off together toward the West Side Highway. The police do this all the time. They pick an area, gather together and then drive off together. It's usually about the same time every day, around 4:30. My friend Sam called it "a surge" once and I'm not sure if that's officially what it's called but I liked that description. (I just did a quick search and found this.)
We walked past the library and then at 6th Avenue we started walking up town. The goal was to show the 10 year old Toys R Us because he'd actually heard of the four story toy store in New York City. It's entirely possible he'd heard of FAO Schwartz but Toys R Us was closer. Besides I think Toys R Us is way neater. That's at 44th Street and Broadway if you're wondering. So, we showed them Times Square and Toys R Us. They saw Grand Centra Station, the NYP library from the distance, the Chrysler building behind them. Not bad for a one hour tour.
Getting to Penn Station
We walked down 7th Avenue to get to Penn Station, so my relatives could take the train back to my parent's house. That was difficult. I never knew before how crowded 7th avenue is during rush hour. But we managed to stay together and they made a 6:00 train home. Jon and I stood on the platform until we saw that everyone was seated. And then we went home and vegged out.
We watched the All Star Homerun contest on ESPN. After Hamilton hit 28 homeruns, I started falling asleep so I went to bed. (I don't know who won, so don't tell me.) I was pretty tired.