Click Here for Michael's NYC story: We Are A Nation of Searchers
WHAT IS IT? 152-foot high copper statue of Lady Liberty designed by Frederic Bartholdi and given to the United States by the French people in 1866.
BEAUTY (10/10) She is the most beautiful woman in the world.
HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE (10/10) The most recognizable symbol of the United States. Her name is synonymous with freedom and democracy.
CROWDS (8/10) As Michael described in his article, it is hard not to get swept up in the excitement and awe of hundreds of people rushing to the starboard side of the ferry to get a closer look. It was crowded. What would it say about us as a nation if it weren’t?
EASE OF USE/ACCESS (3/5) Tickets for the Circle Line Ferry are purchased at Castle Clinton. Visitors take their place at the end of a long line to go through security before boarding the ferry. When we saw the queue, we resigned ourselves to a morning spent in Battery Park, but our journey from the end of the line to a prime spot on the upper deck of the ferry took no longer than 15 minutes.
CONCESSIONS/BOOKSTORE (3/5) Souvenirs and trinkets outnumbered books and other informational material. Plenty of snow globes, magnets and memorabilia to buy both in the Gift Shop and a large white tent outside. There is also a café with indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor seating could be quite nice on a sunny day.
COSTS (2/5) $10 is a bargain for what you get. But first, you have to get yourself to Lower Manhattan. An audio tour of Liberty Island is an additional $6 per adult.
RANGER/GUIDE TO TOURIST RATIO (3/5) Two friendly rangers sat in the small National Park Service trailer across from the Gift Shop and Café. They gave us critical information on Governor’s Island, one of the newest additions to the Park Service, directly from an internal email distributed to rangers informing them of the reservations process and tour possibilities.
TOURS/CLASSES (6/10) This score might be higher had we taken a ranger-led tour, leaving from the flagpole every hour or purchased the $6 audio tour. It was enough for us to read the informational panels and circle the large Lady. At the time of writing, the museum in the Statue’s Pedestal was still closed. We didn’t feel as though we missed much since we have seen the Ken Burns documentary.
FUN (8/10) Michael felt like a kid. Maybe it was the ferry ride or feeling dwarfed by the immense size of the statue, or looking at something so famous, so renowned for the first time. Eyes wide, mouth open, every once in a while a “gosh” or “gee” escaping my lips. That was him.
WOULD WE RECOMMEND? (10/10) Yes, it is probably one of the most typical tourist attractions on the East Coast, perhaps the entire United States. For good reason.
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