In my previous blog post, I had mentioned that they stopped selling tickets on the Saturday when I made my attempt to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I was forced to just buy a ticket for the next day, which was Easter Sunday. I was bitter, but probably not as bitter as if that had been my last day in New York. The next morning, I got myself up extra early to make the trek back down to Battery Park. I figured I was safe; It was early morning on Easter Sunday.
As luck would have it, there was still a line (go figure) but not nearly as bad as the day before, and since I already had my ticket, I only had to wait in one line. I was back amongst the pushy tourists, but I was getting on that cruise dagnabbit. I finally figured out why their system takes so long; They have airport style security. Everyone is lost in translation, and it just holds things up even more. I regret to say I lost a hat in the security line. It wasn’t stolen, I just forgot to grab it. Oops.
Now that I was finally on the boat that would take us to Liberty Island and then to Ellis Island, I made my way to the very top… and so did everyone else. We were all cramming for a sweet spot on the edge to get photos. Some folks were nicer than others about sharing the space. Hey 20-something Instagram girl, how many glamour photos do you need? This isn’t a Vogue photoshoot. Oy.
The Statue of Liberty was incredible. I got my photos in, but I really made sure to take in the moment of being there. It’s crazy how we have to actively tell ourselves to disengage from our cell phones. It’s extra hard as a travel writer though, because so much of the industry is about capturing the perfect shot. Well, I’m a writer first and foremost, and I’d rather remember actually being there.
Next, we re-boarded the boat and made our way to Ellis Island. If you’re not familiar with Ellis Island, it was a large immigration center for people moving to America. It was in operation from the late 1800s to the 1950s. My Dad’s family is from The Netherlands and although they didn’t come through Ellis Island, I could sincerely appreciate the immigration experience and the history of it.
There are several buildings on the island, but the main building is the one that is open to the public and is now a restored building and museum. There is so much history there, and it’s quite interesting to learn about it. It was also fascinating to be among people from all over the world going through this museum, and I found myself curious as to what they might think about it. The reality is that the history of U.S. immigration hasn’t always been a positive one.
Ellis Island was the last stop on the trip, and then it was back to Manhattan. I had a great time seeing these two sites and am also really glad I got them out of the way before summer. I can’t even imagine what that line will be like!
About the author
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer, comedian, and television producer who has been featured on Amazon, truTV, The New York Times, Matador Network, BUST Magazine, Tiplr, ARTRPRNR Magazine, YourTango, Thought Catalog, GoMad Nomad, Mashable, The Daily Mail UK, the Cannes Film Festival, LaughFest, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, and the Funny Women Festival LA. For more info visit: http://www.jillzwarensteyn.weebly.com