Friday, November 9, 2007
New York City
My oldest daughter had a writing assignment earlier this year about what she wished for and her wish was to see the Statue of Liberty. How could I deny her that? So I decided to take all 4 kids into Manhattan for the day on Election Day (no school).
We met up with my sister and my sweet little nephew, Liam while in the city. 5 kids and 2 strollers was quite interesting, especially since there are many places that do not have elevators. Like subway stations. Where we got stopped by an undercover cop because we went through the handicap entrance instead of the turnstile. But how were we supposed to get the strollers through the turnstile? The cop was nice when he stopped us and offered to help us out, so at least he was not angry. (Although I felt criminal when he stopped me and flashed me his badge and told me that I was breaking the law by not scanning my Metro card.) Then we had to navigate steps with strollers in order to get out of the subway. In spite of stereotypes that exist about New Yorkers, many, many people went out of their way to open doors for us, offer seats to us on the train/subway and to help hoist the strollers up and down the stairs. But most of the time I found it easier to just pick up the stroller (including son) and carry it up/down by myself. I might as well get some payoff for all my hours at the gym. Besides, I was counting it as my exercise for the day.
Although it was raining in the morning (and the ferry boat to Liberty Island was pitching so much that people were getting scared), by the time we got to the statue, the weather was starting to improve. I must say that security at Lady Liberty is unparalleled! You have to go through security to get on the boat and then again to get into the statue. But not just regular security; you have to step into a machine that scans your body and then blows puffs of air onto you. This is to blow any explosives that might be on your person up into the fan above your head. Then you have to go through regular security (metal detectors, shoes off, etc.) Not only that, but you cannot bring any items into the monument so you have to rent a locker and you can only access the locker via electronic fingerprint identification! It is probably easier to sneak contraband into prison than it is to take a sippy cup into the Statue of Liberty.
After going through the museum and posing with the Face, we ascended the steps and discovered that you can no longer go up into the statue; you can only go as far as the base of the monument. This is as close as we were able to get:
This is the view from outside the observation deck. I do remember going up into the crown many years ago and asked the guy (park ranger? police officer?) how long it has been closed. Since 9/11. Of course. He explained that this is because it is too narrow in the top of the statue to evacuate people in case of emergency. Fair enough. But really, is this necessary? After going through all that crazy security, I am pretty sure that I am more likely to be blown-up on an airplane than I am of being blown-up in the statue.
After the statue, we went to Times Square for lunch and then to Toys R Us where we rode the giant ferris wheel. It was a great day.
I always ask my kids at the end of the day, "What was your Favorite Thing today?" Here are our Favorite Things about New York:
Mom - getting through the day without losing anyone and without a meltdown
8 year old - everything but especially the Statue of Liberty
6 year old - everything
4 year old - riding the train
2 year old - riding in the Buzz Light Year car on the ferris wheel
Truly, I would rather take 4 kids into Manhattan by myself than take them to the grocery store by myself.