Momboisse Family Adventures New York City - Day One (Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island)

Mike and I planned this trip three times over the last ten years.  Finally in September 2017 we were on our way! - 

Empire State Building Entrance 1967

Mike traveled to New York City a number of times on business.

The only time I was there was in 1967 as a 10 year old with my family, rocking my Mary Jane shoes.

Majestic Theater W 44th Street 1967 

With just two and a half days to see and experience as much as possible in  NYC 

7th Avenue/W46th (Times Square) 1967 

Mike gave me carte blanche to plan this trip.  I spent hours (because I am obsessive)  researching how best to attack touring this city on our own.

As a good blend of my mother and father, I had this nailed. Ma would plan our trips down to the second using letters for correspondence (now we use internet) - Pa covered every trip with photos (yup - we still do). Why do I do this? To make history for our family and when we are 80 possibly remember what we did.  So let's make our history...welcome to 

Momboisse Family Adventures
 Fall Colors 2017
 New York City to Quebec 

Lincoln Center 1967 

Friday, September 22, 2017
Day One, New York City

Though it is our vacation, we are up and on our way at 7am,  using our tinyurl map to keep us on track.

Castle Clinton 

After navigating the New York Subway system and purchasing our MetroCard, our first stop is Castle Clinton National Monument.  Took the 1 train to South Ferry, did not make eye contact with anyone on the train or any idle conversation. Oh how I really wanted to...............

We were confused by the large Staten Island Ferry Terminal when exiting the subway thinking, this must be the way to the Statue of Liberty. A kind New Yorker pointed us in the direction of Castle Clinton. The ice is broken, now they will all talk to me!!!!! I am my father's daughter.  

The only way to get to the Statue of Liberty is to take Statue Cruises which is located in Castle Clinton.  (Also helpful to purchase your tickets months in advance - we purchased our tickets for the Crown six months in advance).

West Battery, as Castle Clinton was originally called, was built by the United States between 1808 and 1811 as the last of a series of five forts defending New York Harbor.

While waiting for our ferry we visited Castle Clinton museum which portrayed in pictures the landfill timeline over south Manhattan.  
In the early 1800’s this fort actually stood in the water and was connected to the mainland by a drawbridge.  It housed 28 canons but never saw any military action.

In 1815 it was renamed Castle Clinton in honor of New York Governor DeWitt Clinton. In 1823 a massive landfill project began filling in the area around the fort, and it became Castle Garden, an amphitheater and concert hall. Then between 1853 and 1872 another massive landfill project filled in more of the area. 

From 1855 to 1890 Castle Garden became an Emigrant Landing Depot for Ellis Island. In 1896  this became the New York City Aquarium, and finally in 1946 it was saved from demolition and restored to its original design becoming a National Monument and part of the National Park System a few years later.

Statue of Liberty

With advance Crown reserve tickets ($21.50) for 9am, we took the first Statue Ferry at 8:30.

For the best view sit up top on the right side. If  you want to be the first off, line up a few minutes before docking at the exit.

Pulling away from the pier Manhattan's skyline grows in the distance...

 Brookfield Place, One World Trade Center...

...View of Goldman Sachs Tower in Jersey City , and The "Jenga" building, 56 Leonard Street Tribeca - condos priced from $3.5 to 50 million.  

Ready for our climb! 

Be prepared for airport style security at two locations.  Once before boarding the ferry and once again at Liberty Island. The best time to go to ensure least wait time is first thing in the morning. For all the information on what is allowed at the Statue of Liberty visit this site.  

From the lobby to the top of the pedestal an elevator is available or you can walk 215 steps. The elevator was out of service - so we walked.   

View from outside around top of pedestal - Jersey City, Ellis Island, and Manhattan. 

From the pedestal to the crown is 354 steps up and down a tight and steep circular stairway.  No elevator is available.  

Very crowded in the crown.
There are two staircases.
One for up and one for down.

We made friends with those
in front and behind us - it is
the only way to travel! 
 Above is a view of the entire crown platform area.  Besides visitors which file through one at a time, there are two park rangers stationed at the crown, one at the end of the up stairway and one at the down.  

View from crown window. 

View of tablet with inscription July IV MDCCLXXXVI from crown window. 

View looking up at torch. 

Climb down...

Informational plaque at the observation landing at the bottom of the pedestal shows view of Manhattan with Twin Towers. 

At the base of the pedestal, behind the original torch, there is a museum which we enjoyed using a free audio tour.  

The Statue of  Liberty was placed on top of  the remains of Fort Wood, a fort built in the shape of an 11-point star between 1806 and 1811 to defend New York Harbor.

In 1865 Edouard de Laboulaye and Auguste Bartholdi conceived of the idea of  the Statue of Liberty.  It was to be a gift from the people of France to mark the American Centennial.  

Bartholdi was awarded the design patent in 1879 for the Statue of Liberty.That same year Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame) designed the statues internal framework. 

From 1881 – 1884 the statue was assembled in Paris. In 1884 architect Richard Morris Hunt designed the pedestal. (We will learn more about Mr. Hunt in Newport, Rhode Island as he designed and built many "cottages" on the Cliff Walk.)

The Statue of Liberty measures 151 feet to the top of the torch (305 feet from the foundation of the pedestal) and was made from copper sheets 3/32 of an inch thick which is less than the thickness of two pennies. 

Her green color is the result of the natural weathering of copper.  In 1885 the statue was dismantled and shipped to New York and reassembled in 1886 in New York Harbor.  

Ellis Island 

We left Liberty Island at 10:35 on our way to Ellis Island where we would take a free one hour self-guided tour of the Immigration Museum.

From 1892 to 1954 over 12 million immigrants  entered the United States via Ellis Island.  Including one of our own, Virginia Bruno (Lynn's paternal grandmother - passenger 101837070259) arrived with mother Orsolina Amedeo (passenger 101837070258) and four more siblings October 3, 1908 on the La Lorraine from Havre.  They were to meet Orsolina's husband Matteo in San Francisco.  

Lynn's grandmother, and great-grandmother would have passed through this same Passage.

Here is what it looked like at the turn of the 20th Century.  

The Registry Room where all new arrivals waited to be inspected and registered. The Registry Room has been restored to look as it did between 1918 and 1924.

The rest of the museum was set up as separate room exhibits documenting immigrant experiences at Ellis Island.  The medical exam, legal exam, detainees, stairs of separation, and kissing post.   A wonderful Scholastic Interactive Tour (which was basically our tour) may be viewed here.
The majority of Ellis Island's buildings, hospital, disease wards, and morgue may be viewed by a reserved guided Hard Hat tour.  We did not have  enough time, but the current exhibit: Unframed-Ellis Island, features life size historic photographs installed as murals on the walls of the hospital complex.  Visit artist JR's site to see this work.  We took a picture of one of his murals shown below as we left for Battery Park. 

Hopped on the 12pm ferry to arrive at Battery Park ten minutes later.  

Battery Park 

The Battery is a beautiful, well kept New York City Park, worth more than a quick walk through.  We were looking for The Sphere but  found, The Immigrants 

and the East Coast Memorial - memorializing 4,601 missing American servicemen who lost their lives in the Atlantic Ocean while engaged in combat during World War II.

The bronze eagle gripping a laurel wreath over a wave sculpted by Albino Manca signifies the act of mourning over a watery grave.  This was dedicated by President John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963) May 23, 1963.

Our walking tour continues in the Financial District.  Stay tuned...
For an interactive map and guided walking tour covering many of our tours please be sure to download the GPSmyCity App from the iTunes store. The App covers an extensive library of articles and walking tours from over 470 cities worldwide, and now features articles from Adventures of a Home Town Tourist covering Carmel and Monterey (with more cities on the way).

(with iphone 5s) by L.A. Momboisse and R.M. Momboisse unless otherwise listed below: 
First five pictures were taken by my father John Filippi in 1967 on my last trip to New York.
Aerial shot of Castle Clinton from the Castle Clinton National Monument WebSite.
Castle Clinton from National Park Service brochure showing nearly circular Castle Clinton c. 1850.
Picture of Crown area from Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island brochure.
Aerial shot of Statue of Liberty Wikipedia.
Black and white picture of entrance to Ellis Island from Visiting Ellis Island site.