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NYC Subway sign_edited-1

We took the subway everywhere we went while in NYC. Only ran into one dangerous looking character ~ kept my eyes on him the ENTIRE time.

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After living so close to NYC in the late 70’s and visiting over the years, I had never visited the Statue of Liberty or been to Ellis Island. Don’t know of any of my ancestors who traveled through Ellis Island but we did find John’s great-grandfather on a 1906 registry. I stood in the registry room reading some of the accounts from immigrants and tried to imagine their anxiety, anxiousness and most of all relief to be off the boat after what would have been a long, arduous journey across the seas. If you want to check your family members who may have come through Ellis Island, click here.

The Statue, a gift from the French, was completed in 1876 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of our Independence. The pedestal was erected with monies raised from US citizens.  What surprised me most about the statue is it’s so thin ~ only the width of about 2 pennies.

Despite the fact I thought I might get frostbite while waiting in line for the ferry (30 minutes in sub-zero temps), it was well worth the pain and shivers. We picked up our tickets at the suggested 30 minutes prior to the launch which was a good thing because we were in the front of a VERY long line and were able to get a seat on the boat. They fill the boat to capacity.

If you’re planning a visit to the Statue of Liberty, here are the details:

  • Book early ~ we booked our tickets for the tour of Liberty Island, Ellis Island and the Crown two months prior to our trip and there was only one time still available for visiting the Crown on Sunday ~ 9am. So much for sleeping in.  You won’t be able to buy tickets for the Crown once you’re on Liberty Island.
  • The boat departed from Battery Park and, since we were staying in Brooklyn, we took the R Train to Whitehall Station.
  • There are 354 very narrow steps up the spiral staircase to the Crown. You’ll be required to store your backpacks or large purses in a locker ~ it’s definitely necessary as it’s a tight fit. The crown itself is a small area with only 5-6 people allowed to squeeze in at a time.
  • Our cost for the tour (including the crown) was $108  for 4 people and can be booked through Statue Circle Line.

View of Statue and Liberty Tower
Manhattan Skyline, Statue of Liberty and Freedom Tower

View of city from the Crown Statue of Liberty
View from the Statue of Liberty Crown

NYC Statue of Liberty hand
Statue of Liberty Hand

NYC sign at the statue of liberty
Corner Stone at the Statue of Liberty

NYC cast of the Statue of Liberty toes
Cast of Statue of Liberty Foot

NYC Spiral staircase inside the statue of liberty
Spiral Staircase up to the Crown

Original Torch replaced in 1986
Original Torch taken down in 1986

Ellis Island
Ellis Island

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It’s been six years since our last visit to NYC so we took the 3.5 hour train from DC for a quick visit. The reason for making our journey was to celebrate Logan’s birthday and to show our Bangladeshi exchange student the city. We tried to cram as much as we could into our short 48 hour visit. Despite the cold freezing temperatures, we spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying Time Square, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, etc.

NYC Blog View of City
View from the ferry boat ~ looking back to Manhattan

NYC Blog View from the crown of Statue
View from the Crown of the Statue of Liberty

NYC Blog Times square
Times Square

NYC Blog Times Square at Night
Times Square at Dusk

NYC Blog Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty

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This is a post by my husband John who ran the New York City Marathon (2007):

I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to run two very different marathons this year. I think I ran the smallest marathon (Guam) and the largest marathon (New York City) in the same year. In Guam, only about 100 people started, 46 finished and I was so proud to be in 16th place.  There were no spectators along the course except for when I saw Patti and FG as they headed by car to the finish line. I did have my share of boonie dogs attacking me but thankfully didn’t get any dog bites.

By contrast, NYC marathon was huge. Over 38,000 finished the race and I placed an impressive 18,504. From start to finish, the roads through all five boroughs were lined with what seemed like millions of people and bands playing all along the route.

While the Guam run started at 4:00 am, NYC started at 10:10 am but I got up 4 am just to get to the start on time. I had to catch a bus from Grand Central Station at 4:30 am in order to get to the start on Staten Island. I arrived at the start at 6 am and, along with thousands of others, I was doing anything possible to keep warm including stuffing the Wall Street Journal in my shirt which helped fend off the cold. Some smart people brought cheap sleeping bags which they tossed at the start.

The organization of the race was exceptional and the woman who was tasked to do the job deserves a raise. Everything ran like a Swiss watch ~ very precise. When the gun sounded at 10:10 and the elite runners took off, they started moving the mortal runners up to the start line in groups of a thousand, then a pause, then another thousand. With my bib number of just over 25,000, I started 40 minutes after the gun sounded.

The view from the start over Verrazano-Narrows bridge and the fire-boat with sprouting water was fantastic. For the three miles or so, the road was lined with discarded clothes which were being shed by the runners as they warmed up. The girl scouts volunteered to pick up the clothes, wash them and distribute them to the poor.

The entire route was very crowded and it was very difficult to run freely through the course. I remember it wasn’t until mile 17 that I could run at my own pace and not have to dodge people. It was incredible the number of people who carried and used their cell phones ~ there was a mini people-jam at the Queensboro bridge when so many people stopped to make calls. This was the first marathon that I ever saw anyone with a cell phone. Ah, America…

Overall, it was a great experience and I recommend it to anyone on the marathon circuit. Don’t plan on setting personal records but enjoy the crowds and the city.

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View of a marathon from a non-runner:

On the day of the New York City marathon, Logan  and I woke up at 4:30 to wish John good luck, we each gave him a hug & kiss goodbye, then it was straight back to bed until about 7:30 am.

The morning consisted of gathering breakfast from the local grocer near the hotel, watching the pre-marathon and start on TV, then out to shop at Lush, Macys, Ann Taylor and a few other small stores.

Unfortunately, we could only stay in our room until 1:00 pm so we stored our luggage with the bellstaff and walked to 2nd Avenue for a nice Italian lunch at Alfredo’s. At about 2:30 pm, we headed to the finish line at Central Park. We were able to find the “One Mile to Go” sign and decided to wait there to see FM. By this time it was a little before 3:00 and I was worried we missed him.  He’s consistent on his time at marathons but it’s so hard to know when he actually starts and we’d heard on TV that some people didn’t start until 30-40 minutes AFTER the starting sound at 10:10.

Although we never did see John run by (we must have missed him by a few minutes), Logan and I were totally entertained by the runners ~ many who had signs, lots waving their country flags, some were running in memory of loved ones, some were dressed up as well. I saw an Elvis, Banana-Man, Robin (From Batman) and Superman. Must have been all the leftover Halloween costumes.

Katie Holmes ran by looking fabulous as though she was out for a short jog.  She was wearing a NY FireDept cap and again, she was striking and certainly stood out in the crowd. I read in the newspaper later that Tom and Suri were waiting at the finish line.

Once we realized we’d missed John, Logan hailed us a cab and we headed back to the hotel to wait for him there.  It was a quick dinner at Houstons next door and off to the airport.

Too short a stay and a worrying week ahead ~ more on that in a bit.

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