Wednesday, November 2, 2011

(12) PA - Introducing Lady Liberty

Time has simply run away from me since my last post. Finally today, after a trip down the Hudson River, you get to meet Lady Liberty.

Even though I've visited New York City in the latter part of August it still stirs my heart with fond memories of an awesome visit to New York City. If this is the first time you join me on the journey, welcome! If you've been chewing your finger nails in anticipation of the next leg of the journey, then I hope that you are not disappointed.

I invite you to share your thoughts. I always enjoy hearing from you :)

A glimpse on the inside of the Zephyr. Everywhere I looked there were men with yellow t-shirts.  What the?... And not just yellow, but a real 'in your face' sunflower yellow. I simply couldn't rest till I knew what it was about, and just as I was about to ask outright, I caught sight of the embroidery on the shoulder: It turns out it was a choir.

Watchtower: 3:25pm. This is the world headquarters for the Jehovah's Witnesses and their publication - Watchtower Magazine. They've been in the area since 1909 and own several properties here.
Pier 17 - this is where our cruise began. I just love the skyline.
What a backdrop! It gives you a bit of an idea of just how big these buildings are.
Beautiful architecture. I can't help but imagine how much these buildings must weigh so close to the edge of the water.
United States Coast Guard
Many, many windows. Would the term 'geometrical' apply here at all? (Geometrical: Relating to simple shapes forming regular patterns. relating to simple shapes, especially when these form regular patterns
In the background there is two buildings under construction. These are two of the eventual three new buildings that are being built where the World Trade Center towers used to be. We will be taking a bit of a closer look at the memorial site a bit later on. One thing is for sure though, the New York skyline will never be quite the same again... 

It's kind of strange to think about the kids that were born and are growing up in the wake of 9/11. They never saw the World Trade Centre and so for them it will be a story of something that happened in history; something that used to be. For them the New York Skyline is just what it is now - not a comparison with what used to be. It's interesting for me to think about it like that: having memories vs a clean slate.

In a way it reminds me of something I saw on the News about Freedom day (or something). A youth was being asked about the fight for freedom and her reply was along the lines of, "If freedom is all you've known, then you don't understand what it's really about - not like those who fought for it with such zeal." For her it was pretty much just another day on which others celebrated something that happened to them, but almost as if it didn't really concern her perse. It gave me a bit of a fresh perspective on a few things. If you don't know the used to be then you can't miss it, or feel disappointed if the present is completely different. For you the present is just what it is - for you the present is 'normal'. 
Abandoned pier in New York Waterfront being renovated.
Interesting contrast between older and newer architecture. I can understand a little bit better how Donald Trump can fall in love with beautiful buildings.
Museum of Jewish Heritage, living memorial to those who perished in the Holocaust.
River side apartments - another spot in New York City where I wouldn't mind living - these and the apartments with views of Central Park and Madison Square Park. I can imagine getting home after work and riding my bike along the river bank... Aah, that could be the life. And don't forget about the beautiful night lights!
Now this is Hollywood material. Isn't that beautiful? I'm tempted to say it: Just like in the movies! ha-ha
Here the new World Trade Center building is more visible. This building will consist of 105 floors, whereas the previous towers were 110 floors each. If I remember correctly, the progress is at around 73 floors thus far.

New York Department of Marine and Aviation (Pier 40)
Although it was quite a rainy and windy day on the water everyone tried to sit where they'd have a good vantage point for Lady Liberty.
Hyatt Hotel - a distinguished name in the hotel industry and one of over 420 hotels worldwide.
The Pier Apartments - Here's a sneak peek inside - I like! (It doesn't look like much during the day but it looks pretty at night with the lights on.) 
These are pretty, but I'm not sure what I would do with one though...
I really believe that there will always be rich and poor. I think it is just the way of the world. And instead of thinking on the side of the "glass half empty" I choose to think on the side of "full". There's plenty of money out there but if you think that you'll never have any of it, then that's precisely what you'll have. But hey! that's just me.   
The Colgate clock. Hmm... I wonder if there's any particular reason for calling it that?... ha-ha (Hard to believe that the signage once read "Soaps-Perfumes". My association with Colgate is only toothpaste, but what a surprise to discover that they started out manufacturing laundry cleanser - the design of the clock is based on the shape of a bar of Octagon soap and it dates back to 1924.

The clock used to be on top of the Colgate factory building, but in 1985 the company had outgrown their facility and had to relocate. The clock, however, remained behind as a stand alone icon. The mechanism of the clock is the same as that of a traditional wall clock with weights and wheels but it is powered by twenty-eight large-volt rechargeable batteries and is kept within a minute of accurate time. 
Central Railroad of New Jersey terminal (also known as Communipaw Terminal) - In Algonquian language Lenape  the word Communipaw means big landing place at the side of a river and it is said to be the first port of entry to America for an estimated 10.5 million people. This terminal was built in 1889 and was in operation till 30 April 1967. It has been listed in both the New Jersey, as well as National Register of Historic Places since September 1975, and it is also a New Jersey State Historic Site. I can not believe that this building has been standing for 122 years. That is longer than what most people are alive. Wow!

The terminal has sat abandoned since the early 1970's. Today it is one of the important sites of Liberty State Park and houses a museum. Numerous fares, concerts and other sponsored events are held on the grounds and parking lot and it is also a great spot from which to see the 4th of July fireworks.    
Ellis Island, America's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. It has housed the Museum of Immigration since 1990. The entire island has been owned by the US Federal Government since 1808 - over TWO CENTURIES! - Remarkable! Which brings us to the third, and perhaps most famous of the Liberty State Park trio: The Statue of Liberty. 
Do I honestly need to put a caption on this one? ;) OK then... just in case - this is the infamous Statue of Liberty - "(Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Libert√© √©clairant le monde.) Designed by Frederic Bartholdi, the statue was a gift to the United States from France and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue, a robed female figure (Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom), bearing a torch (liberty) and a tablet (tabula ansata) evoking the law, with a broken chain and shackle at her feet, has become an icon of freedom and of America. The spiked crown represent the 7 seas and the continents. The date of the American Declaration of Independence is inscribed on the tablet: 4 July 1776. 

Before the tour started we were browsing in some souvenir shops. Everywhere Lady Liberty appeared a green-blue-ish color. I eventually wondered whether it was cheap or a bad quality look-alike but no, the real one is the same green-blue-ish colour. Then, reading up about it, I found that the statue is made of copper. It is the process of oxidation - the chemical reaction between metal and water. Almost unreal to imagine that it looked similar to this at one time:

Now, bear in mind that this photo (above comparison) is photoshopped (Source: I think it looks a bit too golden, but if it was gold I'm certain that it would not have ever been on display ha-ha)
The people at the foot of the statue look like ants ha-ha. I think we definitely had a better vantage point from the water. Inside the pedestal there is a museum and an observation deck from which visitors have a 360 degree view. In general reservations must be made quite a bit in advance - at least 48 hours. Different tours offer access to different parts of the statue. All passengers have to undergo a security check similar to that at an airport before boarding the ferry to visit the statue. 
There are 354 stairs from the top of the pedestal to the crown of the statue. The tour guide explained that bookings for the crown must be made up to at least 4 months in advance, allowing for security check-ups. There is an additional 21 steps to the torch, but tourist access to the platform surrounding the torch has been barred for safety reasons since 1916.

I have to admit, I'm not big on patriotism but if you stick around a certain kind of pride to be associated with definitely rubs off on you...

We are almost at the end of our little tour of New York City. Next we'll be heading back to the bus and take a walk through Wall Street before we head back to Time Square. By now the rain has completely subsided and the sun even slowly starts peeking through the clouds. Stick with me for a little bit longer, OK?


  1. November 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm
    Wow. Your pics really give those buildings a sense of scale. Most of us none New Yorkers, and especially folk like me living in the UK, only see NY from an aerial perspective in movies and TV. It's certainly weird seeing them so vast and heavy right next to the water. And how they towered over that sail ship, stunning and a little scary! Like reverse vertigo!

    1. November 2, 2011 at 5:05 pm
      New York is a city where you walk with your head hung back almost permanently It does put it a bit in perspective, doesn't it? Pictures where you get a true scale for the size of things are very interesting for me. I used to have a friend who is a geologist and whenever they take pictures of anything in the rocks they often use a pen to show the scale. The laymen thinks (initially anyway) that it is a picture of a pen ha-ha

  2. November 6, 2011 at 4:09 pm
    Those shots of the staue are outstanding!

    1. November 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm
      Thank you, granny I tried my best. Once we got closer to the statue everyone seem to pour onto our side of the fairy for pics. The water was quite rough and you had to stand pretty firm, as well as try and peek past all the heads with the lens. There are days I'm grateful to be tall enough to see over other people's heads or shoulders Just after the statue we discovered that the boat had a top level but with no canopy/covering. With the rain and not wanting to get the camera wet, it was not an option that I had thought about, plus all the seating were puddled with rain water. But I'm glad I got what I did

  3. November 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm
    One of my favorite personal pictures is a shot of me and friend standing below the Statue of Liberty, with her awesomeness towering above us. Great photographs!

    1. November 14, 2011 at 1:05 am
      Thanks, Tracy I'd have to call my picture with Lady Liberty a personal picture too – eyes closed – in the middle of a pointing gesture – half speaking and half smiling… A personal picture, yes It is amazing how it stirs up a sense of awe and 'proud to be associated with'. It is one of my life highlights for sure!! Did you guys get to see the inside or the museum?