Liberty and the Phantom!

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March 2nd 2011
Published: March 5th 2011
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Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

My great grandfather came to the United States through Ellis Island so, naturally, I was excited for our Liberty Island/Ellis Island trip today. We woke up early, because we had reserved tickets for the Liberty Island ferry at 12pm. Later, we found out that because we reserved online we got to wait in a tiny line to go through security instead of the anaconda line for people who bought tickets at the dock. The security was pretty tight and we almost didn't make it onto our ferry, but we got seats on the top level. We had read that for the best views you should ride on the right side of the ferry to the island and the left side on the way back. This was absolutely great advice, because we got picture perfect views of the statue as we went by. I had a more passionate connection when viewing the Statue of Liberty than I have had with any other monument I've seen so far in my travels. Lady Liberty is the symbol of freedom and the United States and I've grown up seeing it everywhere. It was really a weird feeling to finally be standing on Liberty Island next to her. We walked around the base of the statue, which is in the shape of a star, and got to see her from all angles up close. I have to say, she looks shorter in person. All the tickets to go up into the crown were sold out until May, but we got to go up into the pedestal that she stands on, which had a wonderful view of Manhattan. The climb up the steps wasn't bad at all and it was a really great experience. The weather has still been good to us too. It's a lot more cold than North Carolina, but it's been blue skies and really sunny.

We took a ferry from Liberty Island to Ellis Island, where over 22 million immigrants came to the United States, including my great grandfather. The building on Ellis Island is kind of red and white with four large towers on the corners of the building. I could almost feel the history inside the building and almost see my grandfather climbing the steps to the registry room. The inside of the building was ok until you got upstairs to the second level. A lot of the floors were tiled along the hallways and in the rooms where the immigrants were medically examined. I didn't really like the feeling it gave me. But the second floor main hall was beautiful and had a few podiums, on which the staff switch out photocopies of different manifest sign in pages. I couldn't find my great grandfather, but it was interesting to see so many signatures of other immigrants. Another of my favorite exhibits was one where they showed what countries different immigrants came from. I found it pretty interesting.

Ground Zero

From Ellis Island we took the ferry back to Manhattan and then hopped on the subway to Ground Zero. The attacks on the World Trade Center Towers on September 11th, 2001 were tragic events in our nation's history and I felt I should pay my respects at the site. A memorial is now being built on the site. In my opinion, they should've left the space empty. An empty space in the middle of Manhattan is a much more powerful memorial than a huge new building going up. Since the building of the monument most of the area is blocked off with tall fences and you can't really see Ground Zero at all anymore.

China town

We walked from Ground Zero to China town and enjoyed the oriental atmosphere for a while. We walked up and down streets lined with outdoor markets and the smelled of all different types of foods from different restaurants and stores. It was just like being back in China. We ate dinner at Noodletown, which was a pretty authentic Chinese restaurant and I enjoyed tasting all the classic Chinese food again.

The Phantom

We went back to our hotel to get ready for the exciting evening we had planned...a Broadway Show! At 7:40pm we arrived at the Majestic, a classic theater right down the street from our hotel, and I got our tickets at the will-call box office. We got the cheaper tickets, since the trip so far had been expensive so far, but when I went to the box office the attendant told me there were 2 extra seats in the Orchestra seating!! We got to sit 6 rows from the stage! We saw the Phantom of the Opera and I really enjoyed it. It was my first show and I didn't know how I would like the theater, but I loved it. What an awesome night!

Additional photos below
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6th March 2011

Nothing better than live theatre
I'm glad Phantom was the first show you went to!

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