USA Series: Statue of Liberty and 9/11 Memorial

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty

The Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Memorial are two of the main New York “attractions” which Alex and I are looking to visit today. 

Both are located in downtown Manhattan and between them, should take up most of our day.

It is a slightly overcast Thursday morning with a top of 22 degrees forecast. Humidity 87%.

10:30am
From our accommodation on the Upper West Side, using the “1” subway line, we can take the train direct to Battery Park.  Once at Battery Park we follow the signs to find the ticket booth to buy our tickets for the ferry to Liberty Island.

Our USD$17 Statue of Liberty ticket gets us a return trip on the dedicated ferry to Liberty Island and access to the grounds only.  

Ferry to Liberty Island

Ferry to Liberty Island

In addition to accessing the grounds, if we had wanted to climb either of the two accessible levels of the Statue of Liberty (the base and the crown) we would have needed to pre-purchase tickets for an additional fee.  For access to Lady Liberty’s crown, including climbing the 300 stairs to the crown, we would have needed to pre-book months in advance.  We didn’t do this, so we can’t, which is ok and I know my legs will be grateful.

Before we can board the ferry, we need to pass through an airport type security screening which we have found to be common at many of the major New York attractions.

Lady Liberty up close

Lady Liberty up close

Statue of Liberty according to Wikipedia:

“The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor, in Manhattan, New York City.  The statue, designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886, was a gift to the United States from the people of France.  The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.  A broken chain lies at her feet.  The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States: a welcoming signal to immigrants arriving from abroad.”

Liberty Island panoramic

Liberty Island panoramic

As for Liberty Island, it is not large and does not take long to walk around. There is food and a shop there.  Our admission ticket includes an audio guide and within 5 minutes of collecting our audio guides I hear Alex say: “I’ve heard this same bit 5 times already. How dies this thing work?” …hmmm.

Liberty Island with city backdrop

Liberty Island with city backdrop

Once we complete a lap of the iIsland and enjoy the views looking back to New York all we can, there is not much else to do so we join the lengthy queue for the return ferry.

3:00pm
Upon returning to Manhattan Island and leaving the ferry area, we come across a strip of sketch artists.  Normally my reaction would be an instant “no thank you” but it looks like it would make a great momento so we go with it.  My only request to the artist… “can you make me pretty… and skinny?”. He laughs… hmmm. Ok… what about Alex… “what about handsome and thin?” … another smile from the guy.

The charcoal sketch costs USD$10… the frame and plastic cover which he recommends we also purchase in order to stop the charcoal smudging, another USD$20.  All in all, we are super pleased with the sketch and for a piece of personal art, a bargain really.  I am happy to add that thanks to his artistic license, we are both pretty/handsome and skinny/thin!

4:30pm
We are able to walk from the Statue of Liberty ferry to the 9/11 Memorial. 

9/11 Memorial Preview Site

9/11 Memorial Preview Site

I had read that it is recommended to pick up a reserve pass from the 9/11 Memorial Shop before heading to the Memorial entrance… not true, you seem to be able to go straight to the entrance. Perhaps, thinks Alex in his wisdom, this is just because it is not so busy here today.

Anyway, our second attraction today and our second airport style security screening awaits before we can proceed to the 9/11 Memorial site.

9/11 Memorial according to Wikipedia:

“The National September 11 Memorial & Museum (branded as 9/II Memorial and 9/II Memorial Museum) is the principal memorial and museum commemorating the September 11 attacks of 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people, and the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, which killed six. The memorial is located at the World Trade Center site, on the former location of the Twin Towers, which were destroyed during the attacks.”

This is a sad space and you are reminded that when visiting the site, you should remember to act respectfully. 

Freedom Tower

Freedom Tower

Twin Tower footprint

Twin Tower footprint

The only surviving tree of the 9/11 attack

The lives of many people were lost here through no fault of their own. 

Main memorial grounds

Main memorial grounds

They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Never forgotten

Never forgotten

Enscribed names around the memorial

Enscribed names around the memorial

Tomorrow we will be visiting the Chrysler Building and Macy’s department store.  We also have tickets to the night session of the US Open Tennis so it should be another full day.[showmyads]

For previous USA series post see Bronx Zoo and the Guggenheim Museum
For next USA series post stay tuned…