Sunday, April 15, 2007

April 14, 2007 - Hangin' with Ms. Liberty

I got up around eleven thirty and decided to make the most out of today. I only have a little over a week left, so my time to explore the city is running short. After stopping by Malibu Diner for a turkey, mushroom, and cheddar omelet, I took the 1 Train to Rector Street. My destination? The Statue of Liberty.

I walked to Battery Park, which was bustling with activity. Anti War and Bush protesters were peacefully walking around, as were environmentalists. I quickly veered away from the crowds and bought a ferry ticket from Castle Clinton. I wasn’t able to get into the actual statue, though, as they have limited observation tours which must be requested early in the day.

The line to board the Liberty Island ferry was exorbanently long, stretching all the way around Castle Clinton and into the park. It moved pretty quickly, though. In the mean time, a black guy with a clown wig and a ukulele entertained the crowds, asking where they were from and making up songs on the fly about their home states. I was probably on-board within a half hour. Anybody who’s taken a ferry ride to Mackinac Island will find the trip familiar. The boat ride was much the same, except with some truly spectacular views.

I strolled around Liberty Island for an hour and a half, taking dozens of snapshots and several movies. People were more than willing to take my picture (and I did the same for them, of course). In fact, one lady even offered without my asking. Don’t ever say New Yorkers aren’t nice. By the time I got back to Manhattan, my memory card was already full – and I still wanted to explore Downtown! I’d done all right for a little while, deleting pictures I knew didn’t turn out well, but I eventually only had good pictures left. So, I went to the J&R electronics superstore and bought another memory card (2gb for $20 isn’t bad at all).

Walking through some familiar territory near Ground Zero, I headed down Wall Street. Going East, I enjoyed the sights of the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn itself from a nearby pier. Finally, I winded my way back to Battery Park and prepared to head home. On the way to the subway, a man who’d just arrived in the city from China today approached me. He was looking for the 1 Train. As that was where I was headed, I showed him how to get there. We chatted for a bit on the train. He had a thick accent, but was fairly fluent in English.

I ended the evening by ordering dinner from Blue Moon, a Mexican restaurant near my apartment. I had a Mexican chicken stir fry, which was excellent. It was a traditional stir fry, with meaty mushrooms, chicken, red and green peppers, and zucchini.

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