Last week, I went on a cruise to Liberty Island with my husband. My husband, who is 50, and has lived in New York CITY his ENTIRE LIFE, has NEVER been to the Statue of Liberty. I’m not much better. Other than a class trip when I was in fifth grade, I hadn’t been either. We didn’t know what we were missing.
So here’s now it happened: Last month I was in Paris with my family. One afternoon, we met my husband’s childhood friend, who now lives there, and he gave us this advice: No matter where you live, or where you visit, act like you’re a tourist.
I thought about that. Here I was, being wowed by Paris, when I lived in one of the most spectacular cities in the world, too. So when the press invite to go on the sunset evening cruise arrived, I was thrilled.
We had a spectacular night – perfect skies, a light breeze and no humidity. And I can’t deny it, though I’ve lived in NYC since I was a teenager, there was still a thrill to see the skyline of the city from the middle of the river.
Once we got to the island, I even learned a few things from the National Park Rangers (Liberty Island is a National Park on federal land) who give tours:
– The real name of the Statue of Liberty is “Liberty Enlightening the World”
– The statue was originally intended to go to Philadelphia, but was too difficult to transport.
– In the hand that’s not holding the torch, she holds – not a bible, not the ten commandments, not an ipad, but a Keystone. (as in Pennsylvania, the keystone state.)
– She’s bigger than the Colossus of Rhodes.
– Two people live on Liberty Island: The Superintendent of Liberty Island, and his wife. (Now that’s a backyard)
But what I really learned is that no matter where you are from – from across the world or just uptown, there is nothing quite so moving, quite so thrilling, as seeing the Statue of Liberty from the water, than walking under her enormous presence, than feeling like a tourist in New York City.
Liberty Island is open 364 days a year. Statue Cruises runs several cruises a day, and some evenings, to Liberty and Ellis Islands. My ticket and my husband’s were provided by Liberty Cruises as part of a press/media event.