Monday, January 18, 2010

New York City - Day 8 - Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and we meet a social antropologist!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 sunny, 50 degrees, not much wind, but out on the water it was.
We had breakfast at the Leo House early, at 7:30am when they opened to get an early start to get our tickets to the Statue of Liberty ferry, etc. Susan knoticed a fellow sitting by himself, so asked if she could sit with him. We had talked to him the day before when he told us he was going to hear some jazz that evening at Birdland. Lee Konitz who was the opening group at Birdland 60 years ago was appearing with Brad Meldaw (sp), Paul Motrian (sp) and Charlie Hayden. (remember Konitz! When he was a teen ager he was recording with Lennie Tristano!) By the time I joined her she had already discovered he was from Denmark, living in Geneva, Switzerland and is a social anthropologist, an area of tremendous interest to Susan! The showers may not be the best at the Leo House, but the guests are superior.
Peter Larsen is a researcher at . [ ] He had just concluded an international event in Philadelphia and added a few days in NYC. When he learned we were going to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, he decided to tag along.
Yesterday was the first really bad day for Susan. Susan, Peter and I took the subway from 23rd street all the way "downtown," south in my mind, to the tip of Manhattan to Battery Park to catch the ferry out to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We got there fairly early, about 9am, but already there was a large group. You have to go through security exactly like out at the airport. I had to remove any metal, including my watch and belt. Poor Susan with her oxygen converter! I think one person knew what it was but was sure if it really was the real thing. Then they ran a wand all over her. I went to grab a photo of the process, but oh, no! No photos! I guess I would have locked up! Finally we were able to repack up everything and put everything back together on her luggage cart with her machine, huge "purse" bag that was larger than my medium sized over the shoulder/backpack. Oh yes and tie our shoes on our walking shoes.
Then we got into a long line to board the ferry. At this point my cell phone was ringing as I was facing some agent directing us where to enter the line. It was Stephanie, calling from our condo. She is watching our condo and collecting mail. Something was beeping! What was it! Where was it! It turned out to be the low battery warning on one of our cordless phones! I guess I need to add an item to my list of things to do before leaving for a vacation - place all cordless phones in their respective chargers.
Susan stayed below on the ferry, which was wise since it was chilly and windy on the top deck.
Wow! The light was bright reflecting off the waves! And it was windy out there! Finally we landed at Liberty Island. We just walked all around it taking time to allow me to photograph it. I had tickets that would allow me to access the top of the base, but decided there was no advantage to do that. Months ago the tickets to climb up to the crown had been sold out, so I missed that. I remember doing that when I was 16 in 1956.
I had a photo of me standing in front of the statue that my mother had snapped back then in 1956 and hopped to duplicate it as closely as possible. We actually found the exact angle but were unsure of the precise distance from the base to where I had been standing.
Never the less, I got Peter from Denmark to take a few shots of me with my Canon SLR.
That evening we decided to try out Houston BBQ at the NW corner of 23rd and 8th Avenue. NYC is not known for having decent BBQ, but we always were going past it, so decided to give it a try. It was packed and extremely noisy. It was good for people watching. Seemed everyone was talking or texting on their cell phones! We had decent BBQ ribs and chicken with huge servings of Cole slaw and mashed potatoes.

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