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Published: August 17th 2011
My blisters were feeling much better today thanks to my Tevas. They're not pretty, but they sure are good walking shoes. MoMA was going to be my first stop today. MoMa is the Museum of Modern Art on W 53rd Street. It is one of the few museums open on a Monday and the entrance fee is about $12 I think. It was included in my NY Pass, which I was trying to my money's worth out of in the three days I had to use it. I ate breakfast at a place called Lindy's on 7th Ave and I don't recommend it. This was my one food mistake in NYC. Overpriced, unfriendly service, and my bagel with bacon and tomato was not even mediocre, but it cost $8.50! I knew when I sat down it was a mistake and I don't know why I didn't leave. The three women next to me left after seeing the menu, and they made the right decision.
So I walked one block down 7th, got a huge ice latte for $3 at Cafe Metro, where I should have gone for breakfast, and then headed over to MoMa. I had high expectations and was
not disappointed. Modern art is not really my thing, but out of 6 floors, two were outstanding and the furniture floor was interesting and well, brought back a few memories. I was in the lobby before the museum opened, so when they let us go upstairs, I went straight to the 4th floor and Andy Warhol. I was on a mission to see the Campbell's Soup Can, but it wasn't on display. I did see his Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, along with other iconic paintings by John's, Pollock, and Lichtenstein. This was my favorite floor because so much of the art is a part of America's pop culture that my generation understands. I visited the 5th floor contains very famous works by Cezanne, Dali (you know, the clocks?) Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Matisse, Money (Water Lilies), Picasso, and van Gogh's Starry Night which I could have sworn I'd seen in Paris. Guess not. Maybe it was on loan, but I didn't see anything stating that. I really enjoyed this floor. Architecture and Design on the 3rd floor was interesting, but I flew through the other floors. I loved MoMa and would love to go back one day.
MoMA it was finally time to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I took the subway to Battery Park and had to go to the bookstore, not the ticket window, to redeem my NY Pass for the $13 ferry ticket. Today was hot and humid, which made waiting in the line a bit daunting. There was rumor going around that people at the end of the line, like me, would be waiting an hour. But I think it was only about 20 minutes before I got to the air conditioned security and another five before I was actually on the ferry. I got some great photos of the Manhattan Skyline and it wasn't long before I only had eyes for Lady Liberty. Finally! I had waited so long to see this iconic American image and it was totally worth the wait. She is an impressive site and I can just imagine what all those immigrants were thinking when they arrived and she was the first thing they saw. However, I didn't have tickets to climb the pedestal or up to the crown, so I really didn't see any reason to get off the boat. I had a fantastic
The sun was starting to set.
view of her from the boat, it wasn't crowded or hot, so I just stayed there until we departed for Ellis Island.
Ellis Island basically consists of a huge building that was once used to process the arrival of immigrants in a sort of assembly line fashion. It is a national park, as is Lady Liberty, but admission is free. You only pay for the ferry. The huge building has been restored to its original splendor and is beautiful, inside and out, although I'm not sure the immigrants could have appreciated it after their long and arduous journeys. The first room is a huge open space and surrounded by a second floor balcony. Off to the sides of this huge room are smaller rooms that were used to inspect and poke and prod and question the immigrants. They were checked for diseases, general health, criminal records, you name it. They went through a lot more than today's immigrants, but then again, a lot of those worrisome diseases have been eradicated. I guess we have new ones to contend with now though. Each small room has a display and explanation of what the room was used for, and there are
Museum of Modern Art
Talk to Me was the special exhibit - techonology based. Didn't do much for me. Too modern.
some pretty amazing photos in these rooms. I was so impressed with the organization and authenticity of this entire building. It was clearly built to process immigrants. That was its original purpose. It is one of our smallest national parks, but also one of the most interesting even though its not an outdoor space, which is what I think of when I think of a national park.
I got back to Battery Park, ate yet another hot dog from a hot dog stand, and wandered over to the financial district. I decided to explore Little Italy and Chinatown on my next visit to NY even though they are next to the financial district. I took some photos of Trinity Church and wandered down Wall Street. I somehow did not get a photo of the infamous BULL! I saw it, but how did I not get a photo?? There were a lot of people on Wall Street as it was time to go home, so maybe I was distracted by all the handsome men in suits. I walked by the water and found myself at the entrance to the pedestrian crossing of the Brooklyn Bridge. It wasn't quite time for
sunset, but I was hungry and tired and had a long walk across that bridge ahead of me. So off I went. The view of Manhattan when I got about halfway across was pretty spectacular, even without the sunset.
When I got to Brooklyn, it was time for pizza. There was an older gentleman giving two gals directions and holding his groceries. He clearly lived in the neighborhood, so I asked him where to go for good pizza. He seemed a bit surprised that I was traveling alone, but he got over it and sent me to Monty's, just a short walk from the bridge on Montague Street. I had pizza and a pint for $10! And a much needed rest. I decided to explore a bit of this neighborhood and found myself at the waterfront watching the sunset, looking at the Manhattan skyline, and eating two mini fruit tarts that were divine. This part of Brooklyn really had a community feel to it and a friendly vibe. But I was tired and it was time to go. Tomorrow I'll explore more of Brooklyn and leave the rest of Manhattan for my next visit to NYC.
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