New York City has a lot going for it these days: My sister, brother-in-law, and niece, Imogen, all live there, and Michigan has started playing a basketball game there once a year. In addition to those two items, which inspired a weekend trip up to NYC last year, the city also just happens to have my newest niece, Beatrix, and America’s only semi-finalist wonder, The Statue of Liberty.
So with a new Michigan game scheduled for Saturday, December 21st, I let me sister know Becca and I would be heading up that weekend. Even though nothing was set in stone, we had heard that tickets to the Statue of Liberty can sell out way in advance, especially if you want to go all the way to the crown. So in July or August, we bought crown tickets for the morning of the 21st here. It was a gamble, but we thought it was worth it.
As the months sped by, we got our tickets to the Michigan v Stanford game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the trip was confirmed. It was a good thing we had the crown tickets as well.
We rode a DC2NY bus up on Friday and got in early enough to grab a late dinner with my friend Jeremy and his fiance’. We ate at a great taco place a couple blocks from his place, Tacombi.
The next morning we were off to catch our boat ride to Lady Liberty. The ferry ride over to the island is pretty fun in itself. If offers great views of the city and it’s always fun to be on a boat. We also lucked out in that is was fairly mild weather for a late December day in NYC. Be prepared to jockey for space on the boat as pretty much everyone is trying to take photos of the city and the statue as you approach.
Here is some quick background on the Statue of Liberty: “The statue, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886, was a gift to the United States from the people of France. The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States: a welcoming signal to immigrants arriving from abroad.”
Even though we were coming from the continental side, the statute was quite something to behold. Once you’re on the island, there are free audio headset tours, and you can explore all around at your own pace. The statue base features a really nice museum documenting the history and construction of the statue. Be sure to take some photos as any World Wonder experience, even semi-finalists should be well documented. Once inside the statutes base, you can take an elevator or some stairs to the top of the pedestal on which the statue stands. There are some great views from the pedestal, especially with Manhattan in the background.
If you’re lucky enough to have crown tickets, and I highly recommend getting them, you have the pleasure of climbing the tightest, twistiest spiral staircase I have ever been on in a public setting. Just to make the roughly 150 foot climb more challenging, the staircase is very dimly lit to increase your chance of slipping. All in all, I loved the added difficulty of getting to the crown. It made it seem like more of an adventure, because it was tougher than I expected it to be and there was like a 10% chance I might get hurt on the way up or down.
The crown was much smaller than I expected or the opening credits of Perfect Strangers led me to believe. You can only fit about 6 tourist up there with one park ranger to babysit us. The views of NYC were even cooler from the crown, and additional picture must be taken.
After our now successful trip to American’s only semi-finalist Wonder, we cruised back into Manhattan. After a visit with the nieces, we met up with some Michigan people for the game. After the early devotion we poured Nik Stauskas’s way last year, he rewarded us with an impressive 19 pt and 4 assist night. More importantly, it came with a win against the mighty nerds of Stanford 68-65. Robinson and Irvin also had solid nights in the win. The game was fun and a great second showing for our second trip to NYC.