“From sea to shining sea, like Lady Liberty,
She reigns over all she sees!
She’s beauty and she’s grace,
She’s queen of 50 states.
She’s elegant and taste,
She’s Miss United States.
Hold your crown up high~
Hold your crown up high~
Raise it to the sky,
Hold your crown up high!”
Anyone remembers this song?
How about this show?
Well, just wanna let you know, I couldn’t help myself but to sing the pageant song when I was at Liberty Island.
During the month I stayed in USA, I went to see Liberty at her island at the tip of Manhattan, New York.
However, before we could step onto her special island, which is also known as the Liberty Island, we needed to head to the ferry terminal, at Battery Park to board the circle line tours ferry.
(p.s. I always remember Battery Park to be a square on the monopoly game board. But I can’t find a visual for it. Did I remember wrongly?)
Despite a low peak weekend, my cousin had to book the tickets to the island way ahead of time (like 3 weeks?) before we could step foot into New York. The crowd to get onto the island was huge, and I guess it still is.
We had a heavy breakfast at home then took the Metro-North Railway down to Grand Central Terminal where we transferred to the New York Subway trains to Battery Park.
As that was 2006, the train stations near to ground zero wasn’t still working. So we got off at Canal St. then transferred to a public bus to Battery Park.
The bus passed ground zero right by the fences.
Melanie was solemn. She has told me before we left for New York that day that she had not have the courage to go down to Manhattan, to ground zero to see for herself what was left.
Because, she lost a friend there during the horrible 911 incident.
I could imagine her pain that took her 5 years! Just because she wanted to take us to the Liberty Island, she had to pluck up all her courage to come with us to Manhattan.
I never forget the look on her face that day. I could only etch it as a memory as I felt it would be rude to take a picture of her then.
|The statue of Liberty with the Manhattan skyline in the background|
A side story, I had a premonition dream of the place a few days before 911. I never told anyone, because it was a dream and I never had been to the States before then, so there were a lot of details in the dream I could not verify or explain.
While Melanie was looking at the site, I look at its surroundings and spotted a building directly across the site that matched a place exactly in my dreams. It was really eerie to think that 5 years later I would have the feeling of deja vu at that very spot.
There was another first hand experience by one of my friend’s father (FR) and his sister (SH), who was supposedly be at broadway watching a show when 911 happened; but their plane was delayed and routed to Canada and trapped there for close to a month. Many Canadians, whom responded to a public outreach to help foster these trapped visitors; were the ones that opened their homes to them. I remembered how FR had recounted his experience to me and how he and SH were so thankful that they made it back to Singapore alive.
So that one street had created many different memories for all of us, great and small, thankful or sorrows; but overall an impact so great I definitely could feel that dense emotion travelling down my veins every time I recount it as if I was there again on that bus ride at that very moment.
We finally alighted at Battery Park to queue for the Circle Line Ferry.
|My Circle Line Ferry Ticket|
So far into my trip, I came to realize that how much Americans take importance in their history. It really stands for who they are, what they did and do, and how and what they want to do with their lives and who they want to be.
Below is a statue at Battery Park made in representation of a real life event that took place.
Based on a photo the German Nazis took of their victims after they attacked the merchant vessel, Marisol had made a clay maquette from her sketches from the photo, and finally a statue on top of the breakwaters. More info on http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/batterypark/highlights/9745
The memorial was commission to remember the contributions of these seafaring merchants in the earlier days.
|Marisol’s American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial|
As we join the rest of the people in the queue, we were entertained by the buskers and the artists there.
Of course, they are trying to earn their daily bread, however it was really up to us to tip them.
At that time, our entrance passes allowed us to enter the Liberty gallery and up to the pedestal, which is at the foot of Liberty. The entire statue used to be opened to the public. My cousin and my aunt recounted how they were able to climb up inside the hollow statue to the crown of Liberty but ever since 911, the statue has limited it access to only the pedestal.
|Liberty Statue Access Pass|
|Liberty Stain Glass|
The immense amount of collection is amazing. In the middle of the gallery stood a miniature replica of the entire schematic detail of the actual statue. The museum also preserved the re enforcement bars in the museum to put in perspective how huge each piece of the infrastructure is.
Do you know that the golden torch in the hand of Lady Liberty is actually pure 24 karat gold? Well, the golden torch was initially in the proposes design but due to budget, the torch was instead made from glass and steel bars . The golden torch was only added on later on when there was enough funds and thus completed the initial design.
|The original glass torch|
Besides the mementos and artefacts, they also had made a replica of the face and feet of the Liberty statue in the actual size so we can put into perspective for ourselves up close and personal how humongous the statue really in.
|Picking her nosie!!!|
|Huge ‘stinky’ feet.. Although it just smells of metal..|
|Staircase inside the statue of Liberty|
Through the windows we can actually see the construct of the entire statue with the copper plates and re-enforcement bars inside the hollow.
|Statue of Liberty from the Pedestal|
|Skyline of Manhattan, New York|
|Selca on the pedestal|