We stayed in New Jersey at the Hilton and drove into New York on Saturday. We picked up our step up guide about five minutes after the Holland Tunnel.
Our first stop was Central Park. We walked to John Lennon’s Imagine Medallion and Strawberry Fields. There was a man taking photographs next to John Lennon’s photo. He’d placed roses around the medallion and immortalized him. At Strawberry Fields there was a sign saying how this was to be a quiet meditative place and please do not feed the birds while people fed the birds regardless of the sign.
Next we went to Manhattan and were told about where the celebrities lived or got their start. Since I’m movie illiterate and don’t know many actors or actresses, this was meaningless to me but I enjoyed seeing all the crowds and sky scrapers.
After lunch at Grand Central Station we enjoyed an exciting New York City Harbor cruise. I saw the Statue of Liberty for the second time in my life. And seeing it again brought the first time to my mind. The first was as a seven year old child immigrant from the Netherlands coming into the US at 4:30AM. My parents had wakened up the three oldest of us kids to see it as we entered the harbor. Along with a crowd of people in a foggy drizzly predawn September morning, we stood at the rail of our small Norwegian passenger ship, the Skaubrynn, and watched as the statue of liberty came into view. The grown ups were excited and I knew it was something special. Later I was to learn that my parents had stayed awake all night to see the statue.
Soon we were headed into Ellis Island to be processed into customs. We waited all day while my father found our one crate that held all our family’s belongings. We waited for him in a cafeteria. A waiter took pity on us and gave us donuts. It’s a family story that he had watched my mother with six children under age ten. When my eight year old brother turned on his charm to ask for a cup of coffee for my mother he came over with a tray full of donuts. My mother doesn’t remember eating lunch or feeding us but must have done something for the baby. It was seven pm before my father showed up finished with customs and we could meet our sponsoring family from Washington DC. We took the train to DC that night, a Friday night and started school Monday. I had no knowledge of English and remember crying as my mother left me alone in my second grade class room after delivering my two older brothers to their classes.
So back to my trip to New York City, as I took photos of Ellis Island and the statue of Liberty it was sunny and the memories of long ago vague. We sailed past Governor’s Island and pier 17. We stood in awe at the fabulous skyscraper skyline. Later we enjoyed dinner and entertainment and some in our group danced.
My next post will tell of Ground Zero, Times Square and Rockefeller Center. If you would like to subscribe to this blog just click on the button on the top right and get my post delivered right in your email.