New York Day 1: The Statue of Liberty

As a citizen in the United States of America, I can proudly say that I have now finally visited the Statue of Liberty. Over spring break, I had the chance to visit my cousins in New York. Even though we only had two full days of the city to enjoy, it was a great experience and bonding time with my family. We arrived at Liberty Park (I think that’s the name?) where we found a beautiful memorial wall for 9/11 with the names of hundreds embedded, and an old train station/rail terminal where immigrants used to use.

rail terminal

The antique building contained all the rail tracks from back in the day, and it was actually quite fun to explore around before purchasing our tickets. We had bought city passes beforehand, but the process of buying a ticket was the same – line up and wait. We actually went back and forth multiple times because no one actually told us that we need to purchase physical tickets.

view of the city and the freedom tower

We were able to see the Freedom tower from where we stood, along with the many tall and glamorous buildings of New York. If you don’t know already, I come from a small town in California where you can see the whole neighborhood if you jump high enough (that’s a joke) and you have to drive a few miles to see a building that’s more than five stories tall. It was a scenery I gawked over for quite a while since it was so different and breathtaking for me. My cousins, of course, were confused at my reactions to the city – after this, they started teasing me about my face which I still don’t get why it was so funny.

statue of liberty from the ferry

After taking in the new atmosphere around us, we used our city passes to buy tickets for the ferry to Ellis and Liberty Island. When I researched about New York, I found out that there is a free ferry you could ride that left every 30 minutes. However, I was unable to find the dock in which the ferry departed, so we ended up getting the tickets instead. Thanks to my brother and my cousin for their seasickness – we skipped Ellis Island and went straight to Liberty Island.

in front of lady liberty

When we arrived on Liberty Island, I was astonished at how many people there were. Not only were the lines unimaginably long, the prices of everything from food and drinks to souvenirs were heavily priced. Moving along, we walked around the island and stood right in front of the Statue of Liberty – the symbol of freedom and liberty. I’ll admit – I actually expected the statue to be so much bigger. It was big, of course, but I guess I had this delusion that the statue was going to be bigger. Despite the unexpected, my family and I spent a good thirty minutes in front of the statue taking photos. “Why did it take so long?”, you may ask. Well, if you wait until no one is walking in front of you to take a picture, it actually does take pretty long.

We walked around the island after we finished taking pictures in front of Lady Liberty. There were so many fun things to do such as going into the Statue of Liberty building – I actually never went in so I have no idea what it is.

The back of the island has much less people – since people like to take pictures in front of Lady Liberty rather than her facing the back to you. It was a nice place to just stroll around and not be stuck in a crows of hundreds.

The peaceful atmosphere of the island really allowed everyone visiting to relax and spend time with their family. Thankfully, the photo hotspots were not as crowded as in front of Lady liberty; we were able to take a good amount of photos as much as we wanted.

When we came back from the island, there was a beautiful hill next to the 9/11 monument wall. I personally love this picture because the green hills pair beautifully with the cityscape of New York and its Freedom Tower.

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New York day one was a success! I was worried that I won’t like the state as much as California because I love photographing natural landscapes, but New York came in like a wrecking ball and changed my mind.

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