Liberty Wall Street and the Brooklyn Bridge

Statue of liberty

I think no trip to NY would be complete without going to see one of its most famous icons, the Statue of Liberty.

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Go Early

We were on the Subway a 0830, having collected a sandwich for our mid-morning breakfast on the go. Arriving at Battery Park around 0910. There was a slight queue for tickets. When I got to the window, we were surprised to be offered a ticket up to the podium (we had tried to book tickets on-line the night before with no success).

Security and more Security

As the Statue is such a symbol it seems reasonable that a degree of security is applied; This was fairly normal air-line security. With the exception the "trained professionals" and I do use this term ever so lightly, have no clue what they are doing !! When you see a bag on the scanner with something suspicious, do not shake the bag and re-scan it, in fact they did this 3 times before 4 of them looking at the screen thought it was ok. Take it out of the queue and physically examine it !!

Board the Ferry

We like 99% of the people went up-stairs, and sat down. Pointless... as hundreds of other people stand by the rails, meaning you can not see.

Museum

There is a good Museum in the base of the statue, however - yes - security. This time the same as before (without the shaking), and you have all rucksacks taken off you by the Park Service (nice easy to use system - top marks).

The Museum is very interesting, and explains just how the Statue was built and how it is repaired (shock news... it is wearing out in places).

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Real size face, build in the 1990's prior to restoration work.

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Podium

I thought we were getting to the base of the statue but the outside. So I started up the stairs, after 2 flights of stairs Dora was questioning my route finding, as she just saw a sign saying there were another 176 stairs ahead. Anyway we plodded up the stairs in quite good fashion, puffing quite a bit by the time we reached the exit point.

What a smashing view !!

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We were able to walk all around, and yet again look over the straights that had been totally new to us 3 weeks previously, but which we had seen countless times since.

Ellis Island

This is where all immigrants to the US used to be "processed" on arrival - it is a massive set of buildings, and has many historical displays. The only slight issue here is neither Juliet or myself has any connection to the US, so looking up where/when your ancestors arrived - meant nothing to us.

Wall Street

When the ferry docks, it is a short walk to Wall Street where you will find the famous Bull statue. You will not be able to see it, due to the 000's of tourists who are standing around it. But it is there.

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Brooklyn Bridge

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We plodded along Wall Street, and made our way to the Brooklyn Bridge. There is a join cycle path and pedestrian path there (sadly on the same day, there was an attack on the same type of facility just north of Battery Park - killing 8 people).

The bridge was packed with people, amazingly so; People who just stop, without checking is there is anyone fallowing them. I started pretending to be a local - grumbling loudly at people's inconsiderate nature.

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The walk in the sun was wonderful, yet cold. The wind howling over the narrows.

Halloween

I never remember this as being an important day when I grew up in the UK, but in the US this is a really major festival.

New York has one of the biggest Halloween carnivals, and we had already planned on seeing it. But we needed some food first. Just by our hotel was sort of a street food market.

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With 1 major Avenue (6th) closed for about 20 blocks, just getting there was a little more difficult. But on arriving in the vicinity of the carnival, the sheer number of people meant that Dora was unable to see (due to her lack of height).

We move locations, and did eventually manage to get quite close to the parades. The costumes, bands, floats, dancers and music was excellent.

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The police presence was very heavy, ensuring everyone was safe (especially after the earlier attack).

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Gallery

For the day photos.

For the Halloween photos.

NY day2

NYC day 2

With the weather forecast being 100% accurate, we had a slow start to the day to let the rain pass. With a general plan agreed, we set off to navigate the Subway here in New York.

Why are we not there yet ?

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There is a subway entrance literally in-front on the hotel, so we bought 2 tickets and popped $10 onto each one. I must say it was very easy and stress free.

Entering the Subway is not too high tech, as you need to swipe your card - most places like UK and Malaysia have smart card sensors - this took several attempts to understand.

Down to the platform, and after 5 mins a train appeared heading Uptown. The first three planned stops were as I expected, then we seemed to be on super-drive. We missed the next 5 stops !! We got off nearly in Harlem, and swapped platforms only to realize there is an express platform, and a local. Duh !!! Now back on the local platform, we stopped off at 86th street.

Central Park

We exited the Subway and went into the park. The first thing that struck us was how cold it was. We had packed out rain gear, and we were now wearing them. Dora alas did not have her wolly hat on, so she was a little cold.

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The park was really blustery, very autumnal. Lots of people walking their dogs. In the middle you could almost forget you were in a big city.

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We exited near the Met art gallery, and strolled up to the Guggenheim - alas neither of us are art buffs - so we headed south.

Grand Central Station

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We entered a very impressive building - one of those buildings we have seen on many time in the movies. In real life it was much more beautiful than you expect. Looking like a combination of a Victorian train Station, and a Museum.

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We spent a few minutes wondering around before disappearing in search of food.

Where is King Kong ?

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After lunch, we had a bisque walk towards the Rockefeller Centre, only to find ourselves outside the Empire State Building. We were in the lobby yesterday when it was a miserable day - raining and very windy. Now it was bright - with blue skies, plus there was no queue. We entered, and after some queueing and "security" we were levitated to the 80th floor.

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We rose another 6 floors to the observation deck.

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Wow !! Breath taking in terms of cold, wind and view.

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We did rise the next 20 floors to floor 102 - but it is frankly disappointing, and in our opinion.

Gallery

There are some more photos including these in the gallery.