Statue of Liberty and Other New York City Sights

Statue of Liberty/Mark Heard/flickr

Statue of Liberty

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.

About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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16 Responses to Statue of Liberty and Other New York City Sights

  1. Great post, Clar. Your story of arriving in America and of your mother sitting in the cafeteria with the children is very touching.
    I can only imagine how frightened you must have been on that first day of school. How long was it before you made a friend?


    • clarbojahn says:

      We moved five times total that first year, going to five different schools. I remember a friend in third grade when we finally quite moving named, Nancy Beyer. She lived on a farm off Hunter Mill in Vienna VA. I lost her as I had to do third grade twice. According to those that know better, I needed more time to learn English before moving on to fourth grade. After that I had a paper route and didn’t have time for friends. It is a great lose in my childhood. I made some friends but never good ones. I did come home one night at three in the morning when I was home sick at a sleep over. I just biked home in the middle of the night. I rejoined the party in the morning.


  2. laradunning says:

    The inlcusion of the immigrant story was nice. The Statue of Liberty means so much to so many people and on so many different levels.


  3. i relate to your visit, imagine your steps and sites and am drawn into my own feelings surrounding them. thank u. keep on.


  4. pattyabr says:

    I love NYC. I’ve only been once. What a wonderful story re-living Ellis Island.


  5. nrhatch says:

    Sounds like quite a trip, Clar. Loved the flashback to your arrival in the states.


  6. oldancestor says:

    Belated greetings from a Jersey boy. I’m new to this blog so I’m not sure where you are coming from.

    I live almost halfway between NYC and Philly these days, so I claim them both as my home city. Can I do that?


    • clarbojahn says:

      Claim both NYC and Philly as home city? Why not? Knowing a little about you through your blog makes me think any town would be glad to have you. Did you see the post before about our stop in Philly? Where we saw the Liberty Bell? We really enjoyed it.


      • oldancestor says:

        The first time I saw the liberty bell, I shouted, “Are you kidding? This bell is BROKEN!”

        Philly is a good walking city and less draining than New York.


  7. jannatwrites says:

    Sorry, I’m late to this party!

    I’ve never been to Ellis Island (or many places east of the Mississippi), so I was drawn in by your story of coming to America as a small child. Thanks for sharing that story.


    • clarbojahn says:

      Yes, as you know it is just a tiny island in the NYC harbor used only to process immigrants. I haven’t been many places west of the Mississippi. 🙂 Fortunatly we both have time to travel to more places. I hope to see the Grand Canyon soon.


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