We got up at a decent time this morning and headed out on the subway to lower Manhatten where we bought ferry tickets to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Fortunately the weather probably couldn't have been nicer. Once on Liberty Island we didn't do the inside tour of the Statue but instead enjoyed finishing our breakfast and taking in the on- and off-island scenery. We event saw a floating island art project I'd heard about by Robert Smithson where a barge is stuffed with trees and bushes and putted around the waters for all in the city to see. It was a beautiful sight and one I'll never forget. After Gavin, Holly the other tourists and I photographed Lady Liberty from every possible angle we took a ferry over to Ellis Island. There we saw a short play about the immigrant experience at the island and again took in the scenery of the inside exhibits and outside on the grounds. We even looked for any relatives that may have passed through Ellis on the wall of honor that made a large arc outside with small names engraved on either side. I found some Freitas' but don't know if any of them were my dad's parents. I think I asked him once and was told they didn't pass through there. It was worth a look anyway.
After Ellis Island we ferried back to lower Manhatten and headed straight for the subway and back to the hotel for a quick pit stop to unload our photos before we walked to the Empire State. The line was somewhat grueling to wait to head to the 86th floor but didn't take all that long. Once we took the first elevator up to the 80th floor we were bombarded by sales of Empire-related items, audio tours, and photos. I was pretty annoyed that the line actually had to go through where a photographer took your group picture in front of a Empire State Building backdrop in the hopes that you'd buy it later. I definitely didn't like being herded through this so I made a funny face and didn't take the receipt they gave for later purchase. I was there for the view. Today it was a stunning one. Barely any smog in the sky we could see well outside the city on to the rolling green hills surrounding it. The early evening sunlight cast an orange light on everything and just made for a spectacular time.
After the Empire State we all got gussied up and headed into the West Village to have a romantic dinner at One if by Land, Two if by Sea. We arrived a bit late for our reservation but it didn't matter because the place was running plenty late itself. After a half hour or so we were seated and had a three course meal that was spectacular. When I travel I'll pretty much try any kind of food and tonight was no exception. My entree tonight? Roasted Monkfish. Everything was wonderful but the night had to eventually end and we headed for sleep back at the hotel around midnight. So much for getting more sleep tonight. The amazing thing about New York is that even though you have a dinner that ends at 11:30pm the city is still wide awake and the night is considered young. Incredible.
Waiting in line at the ferry terminal
Lower Manhatten Island from Circle Line ferry
Robert Smithson's floating island in front of the Statue of Liberty
Robert Smithson's floating island in front of the Lower Manhatten and the spire of the Empire State Building
Sarah, Kevin and [most of] Lady Liberty
Gavin and Holly shoot each other at point-blank range
Kevin and Sarah on Liberty Island with Lower Manhatten behind them
Gavin and Holly on Liberty Island with a ferry in the background
An almost symmetrical shot of the Statue of Liberty
An American flag on Ellis Island with Lower Manhatten in the background
A small (copper?) model of Ellis Island
The Statue of Liberty as seen through some windows of the main building on Ellis Island
An old electrical switch or circuit inside the main building on Ellis Island
Gavin photos some names on the Ellis Island Wall of Honor
The Empire State Building taken from Ellis Island
1/4 of Holly's head and a camera-ready Gavin
This cool display showing the faces of immigrants...
...turns into an American flag when viewed from the other side -- couldn't quite figure out how they did this one.
Holly and Gavin on a New York MTA subway train
Shafts of light penetrate the dark and dingy underworld of the New York subway system
Seventh Ave south of Central Park was blocked off for some kind of event -- now just imagine every street covered like this with people on New Years -- crazy!
Gargoyles keep watch on the Chrystler Building
The fantastic Chrystler Building in New York City
Entrance to the New York Public Library
Sarah and a New York Public Library lion
A majestic New York Public Library lion
Central Park and Upper Manhatten from the Empire State Building
The George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River from the Empire State Building
Gavin, Sarah and Holly atop the Empire State Building
Midtown to Lower Manhatten from the Empire State Building
Sailing and other ships in the Hudson River at dusk
Holly and Gavin on the Empire State Building
Sarah at sunset on the Empire State Building
Sarah and Kevin on the Empire State Building
Gavin taking photos from the Empire State Building observation deck
Directory of office in the Empire State Building
Sarah, Holly and Gavin in front of the directory of offices in the Empire State Building
The Chrystler Building lights up just after the sun sets
Sarah and Kevin before dining at One if by Land, Two if by Sea