Liberty, the French-American

Liberty, the French-American

“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?

Remember now?

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
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.

Liberty Island
The circle line tours ferry makes a turn around the front of the statue to dock the ferry on the Island.
This is the time that one can appreciate the beauty and elegance of this lady and the majestic of the island. This is also the best time to get the best photo op of the entire monument.
I still recalled that moment where the crowded ferry turned silent and the only distinctive sounds I could hear are the waves, the calling of the seagulls and the clicking of the camera shutters.

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
We entered the statue and gallery after a security screening where tons of Liberty mementos were carefully collected and displayed. From old advertisements that featured Liberty to items like cutlery spoons and forks with the handle covered with pictures or carvings of the statue. There were even stained glass window panes that were preserved and donated to the gallery on display.
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..
(note: You can see how much I had bundled myself in although it’s Spring. Lesson learnt from my NY car show trip!)
There are lifts in the gallery below but you will need to climb stairs to get to the statue itself.
Our access pass is only limited up to the pedestal only. The inside of the statue is actually hollow and a person can climb up to the torch or crown of the statue for a fantastic view of Manhattan.
However, access to the torch is banned in 1819 due to safety reasons and after 911, access inside the statue itself is close.
The gallery could only show us the inside of the statue via special windows constructed within the bottom of the statue.
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
Walking out the pedestal, the area is like an outdoor balcony ring around the statue.
You can’t really see much of the statue from the pedestal  however, you definitely can see the details of the statue.
The entire statue is made from Copper and it turns green from 135 years (as of 2006) of rain and shine. Copper oxidises (copper sulphate interacts with oxygen) and develops this layer of green called patina to protect and preserve the metal underneath.
The real view from the pedestal is this: The view of the Manhattan skyline.
Skyline of Manhattan, New York
It is quite weird for many Americans to see from this angle because the twin towers that once stood in the familiar skyline is gone.
However, since I was there for my first time, I didn’t feel it at all.
I think when the Freedom Tower is completed, I will feel the difference when I visit the Island again.
Selca on the pedestal
The Liberty Statue is a gift from France to the United States. Representing the Roman goddess of freedom, Libertas, she is dressed in robes and holds a tablet of laws which inscribes July 4, 1776; which is the American Declaration of Independence. She also bears a torch in her right hand to signify the light or “Enlightenment of Freedom” and a broken chain at her feet.
She is an icon of Freedom and of the United States.
And since she’s built in France and assembled in United States, I’ll like to call her a French-born American. (lol~)
Below is an interesting postcard I bought at Liberty Island:
Liberty Postcard
Updates ( Aug 2012):
The Liberty Island is closed to public access after Hurricane Sandy.
The docks and home of the statue has been damaged by the storm.
Fortunately, the statue itself is safe as it has been built to gently sway in the wind.
Initial inspections of the statue from the pedestal to the torch and the newly-renovated crown has bring is good news.
However, the dock and the base as well as the home of the caretaker of the statue has been badly damaged by the storm.
Liberty and Ellis Island will be closed until further notice.
However, tourists, public can still view the statue and the island onboard the statue cruise rides.
More information can be found on:
Update: 04 July 2013
Liberty Island is finally re-open!!!
Learn more about the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Operation here:
More stories soon!

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