Jun 29 – Fri
Our trip from Manasquan New Jersey to New York City was wonderful, there were 6-8 foot waves on the Atlantic Ocean, but they were 8 second periods so the boat was gently lifted 6-8 feet, then lowered. Auto pilot was able to steer the entire trip.
It was our last ocean ride of the trip, everything from here to Lake St Clair will be inland waters.
As we approached NYC, we could begin to see the sky scrapers & bridges from a distance, becoming larger as we got closer.
Then we passed under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge into the Hudson River.
The next major sightings were the famed Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island.
Our marina, Liberty Landing, is right next door to The Statue & Ellis Island.
The ride into New York Harbor and into the lower Hudson River was not as bad as we had expected. We expected a lot of boating chaos with the rumors of the high water traffic. But it was not nearly as bad as Chicago, Mobile, Fort Lauderdale, or Miami. Most likely, our plan to arrive mid-day on this Friday helped reduce the traffic.
We arrived at Liberty Landing Marina about 1:30pm.
Liberty Landing is actually on the Jersey side of The Hudson River, offers great views of NYC, and is cheaper – If $5/foot means cheaper ($215 bucks / night).
Liberty Landing is a great marina, with awesome bath/showers, a great boaters lounge,
and awesome views of NYC, especially at night.
We began our NYC journey with a Water Taxi ride across the Hudson River from New Jersey to NYC. The water taxi departs from our marina, and drops us just behind the One World Trade Center.
After the Water Taxi, we took a land taxi another 10 miles to our 1st Stop – the famed Times Square. It was now about 7pm on a Friday night and there were as expected thousands of people in a relatively small space, but it was very cool.
Times Square is in the Midtown Manhattan section of New York City at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. It stretches from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. Brightly adorned with billboards and advertisements, Times Square is one of the world’s busiest pedestrian areas, it is also the hub of the Broadway Theater District and a major center of the world’s entertainment industry. Times Square is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 50 million visitors annually. Approximately 330,000 people pass through Times Square daily.
I think that they were all here today.
There were musicians, artists, street performers, and some folks just trying to make a buck.
Our 2nd Stop, about 6-8 blocks away was – Rockefeller Center.
Rockefeller Center is a complex consisting of 19 commercial buildings between 48th and 51st Streets, facing Fifth Avenue. Commissioned by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan. The buildings surround a large sunken square and a private street called Rockefeller Plaza.
While in Times Square and walking to Rockefeller Center, we noticed a very large mounted police presence, all around the city.
Our 3rd stop was – Radio City Music Hall.
Radio City Music Hall, nicknamed the Showplace of the Nation, was for a time the leading tourist destination in the city. The venue is notable as the headquarters for the precision dance company, the Rockettes.
As we continued our now very long walk, we passed by Nellie’s favorite TV station – The Fox News Studios !
5th Stop on our walking tour was – St Patrick’s Cathedral.
The Cathedral of St. Patrick is a prominent landmark of New York City. It is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York as well as parish church. Located on the east side of Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets in Midtown Manhattan, directly across the street from Rockefeller Center, facing the Atlas statue. It is considered one of the most visible symbols of Roman Catholicism in New York City and the United States.
Finally after a long travel day and tourist day, we had dinner at an Italian joint called Pazza Notte. It was like most places very crowded, even now for a 9PM dinner.
June 30 – Sat
Friday night while we were walking, Jonell had found a cell phone with driver’s license on a street bench near The Radio City. We had planned to give it to a police officer, but none around when you are looking for one ?
The owner’s name was Gerald Rizzo.
Our backup plan was to mail it back to him.
But, when we woke up Saturday morning, there was a missed call on the phone from Gerald Rizzo. He was calling his cell phone from his office. We called him back, & told him what marina we were at. He was working but sent his brother to pick up the phone. He was, as expected, very grateful !
After returning the phone, Saturday became Ellis Island day.
We again took the water taxi ferry from the marina to Ellis Island.
Ellis Island was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants into the US, and acted as the United States’ busiest immigrant inspection port for over 60 years from 1892 until 1954.
Ellis Island was opened January 1, 1892 and was expanded with land reclamation between 1892 and 1934.
Before that, the island was the site of Fort Gibson and later a naval artillary storage site. The island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965 and has hosted a museum of immigration since 1990.
The Ellis Island Museum was set up very well.
We started with a movie showing the history, and listening to audio replays of the journeys of many immigrants.
The museum supplied an audio device that walked you thru the museum in an orderly manner, and gave a lot of great information about all facets of the immigration process, starting from why the immigrants felt the need to leave their home country, the journey, the process of gaining approval to enter the USA, assimilation into the ways of the USA, and American kick-back or resistance to the high levels of immigrants.
The first section of the audio tour described why people felt the need to leave their home country. Mostly poor economic conditions, especially in Europe & legalized religious persecutions, including mass killings.
A transportation revolution had occurred with many ship carriers now allowing economical passage across the oceans. The ship companies soon found out how profitable this could be, especially if they jammed many people on the same boat. Some folks could afford decent transportation, but most traveled in “Steerage” jammed together down on the lower floors of the ship. There were no toilets, there was only “piss pots”. The conditions were awful, but people were desperate.
Although mostly from Europe, the “Peak Years” of immigration (1880-1924) occurred from all around the world to the new land of the USA.
Once the boats arrived, there were over 90 ports of immigration, but Ellis Island by far received most of the new arrivals.
I don’t have any good photos for this, but the next step was the review & check-in process. The fear of allowing disease and starting a health epidemic was of paramount concern. The new immigrants had to wait at least 24 hours, housed in beds at Ellis Island, and had to go through reviews by several different doctors. They also had to have paperwork showing that they either had a skill or a family member who would take care of them so that they would not become a dependant of the government (imagine that !).
Most of the applicants were welcomed into the country, approximately 80 percent successfully passed through in a matter of days, but others could be detained for weeks. Only 2% were rejected.
Once allowed entry, the assimilation process was encouraged, and most immigrants actively engaged in this process.
As many immigrants were welcomed into the country, there became some push-back from the US Citizens, warning of the “dangers” of too much immigration (Imagine that !).
Even the media back then got involved.
There were many comical cartoons related to immigration, mostly showing that the “judges” or people deciding who got into the country & who was left out – were either direct immigrants or had immigrant backgrounds themselves.
There was a room with a lot of mementos from immigrant families, donated to the museum by family members.
There was also a room which described the reconstruction of Ellis Island from a derelict building into a beautiful museum. Lee Iacocca played a major role in the creation of the new museum.
> Ellis Island opened in 1892
> Ellis Island closed in 1954
> In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson issues Proclamation 3656, according to which Ellis Island falls under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.
> Ellis Island opens to the public in 1976, featuring hour-long guided tours. During this year, more than 50,000 people visit the island.
> In 1982, at the request of President Ronald Reagan, Lee Iacocca of the Chrysler Corporation heads the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation to raise funds from private investors for the restoration and preservation of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
> By 1984, when the restoration begins, the annual number of visitors to Ellis Island has reached 70,000. The $156 million dollar restoration of Ellis Island’s Main Building is completed and re-opened to the public in 1990, two years ahead of schedule.
> The Main Building houses the new Ellis Island Immigration Museum, in which many of the rooms have been restored to the way they appeared during the island’s peak years. Since 1990, some 30 million visitors have visited Ellis Island to trace the steps of their ancestors.
Dinner on Saturday night was across our small canal at Liberty Landing, to a waterfront place called Surf City. The place was packed, but we were able to nab a table right on the water.
After dinner we went for a walk down to the end of the Liberty Landing Pier. There were some very nice views of the Manhattan Sky Line.
That’s all for now.
Tomorrow will be a fun day dedicated to One World Trade Center & The 9/11 Museum & Memorial, we can’t wait.