Jay's one-day trip to New York City - July 28, 2001
Since Danbury is only just across the New York border, I decided a one-day trip to take some photos of the Big Apple might be fun. My first goal, I decided, would be to see the Statue of Liberty. However, since it is on an island, lines to get there are usually long, and viewing the landmark up-close can easily take a big bite out of any trip to NYC. In addition, during the peak summer tourist season, only those on the first ferry are given the prized crown tickets. A crown ticket enables you to gleefully climb 300-some-odd stairs to the crown of Lady Liberty herself.
Now, this is no goal to be idly attempted. I looked up all the train and ferry information and found myself waking up to a blaring alarm at 4:50 am. After a quick (but expensive) taxi to the Brewster, NY train station across the border, I got on the train into Grand Central Station, New York City with a small group of others around 6:12 am. The train arrived at Grand Central about 7:40 am and after yet another expensive, but quick, taxi ride I was waiting in a very long line for a ferry ticket.
This was somewhat disturbing because a large group of people with advance tickets from tour groups and such had gathered, prized-tickets in hand, to board the first boat. However, ferrys are large, and after a short wait, a quick ticket purchase, and a bit of standing in line, I somehow found myself in first ferry to Liberty Island. I found a place on the first floor of the three-story ferry since I didn't want to wait behind EVERYONE on the ferry to get into the head of the metal lady.
Once the ferry arrived, the most obsessed people scrambled out of the ferry, nearly trampling each other. They then began a mad dash for the torch-wielding landmark. At this point, the ferry operator said, over the loudspeaker, "There's no need to run, the statue isn't going anywhere." I got in line soon enough at 8:45 am just behind the crazies. A mere few hundred steps later, at 9:15 am, I found myself at a very tall double-spiral staircase to the crown of the hollow metal statue. After going around the staircase quite a number of times, I spotted the indention in the metal that formed the ear of Lady Liberty. A few more steps and I was in a very small room in the head of our nation's most-recognized tourist attraction. It was 9:26 am, not bad considering that a regular wait in line is 3 hours from the base of the statue to the crown, and that's not counting the lines that form behind the queue system devised to hold the crowds.
Six minutes and 27 photos later I was headed down the other band of the spiral staircase. As I passed the point where those left with crown tickets were standing I felt a bit bad, considering admittance to the crown was supposed to stop at 10 am. However, I'm sure that since at least a few red-blooded Americans were in line, the park rangers would be "convinced" by the crowd to admit the remaining ticket holders.
Out of the 225 or so photos taken during the SOL (Statue of Liberty) portion of my trip, I've included 16 that I particularly liked. On the next page you'll find photos of the rest of my New York trip. Enjoy!
A view from the line for the ferry