Daniela Ortega Aepli
New York city is known for its rich nightlife, fabulous entertainment, shopping, and much, much more. The city is glamorous, eccentric and always avant-garde; however, it is also know for being the world’s biggest melting pot of human races.
I cannot imagine any other city in the world that has more diversity of cultures, sharing lives at peace, in the same city. They share jobs, schools, housing and crowded metro stations! Most importantly, they share their wonderful traditions, food, and uniqueness, giving NYC its magical touch.
So next time you visit the Big Apple, or if you are lucky enough to live there, make sure to visit the place that welcomed the many immigrants that gave birth to the modern city of NYC, and much of the USA, Ellis Island.
This port received around 12 million immigrants from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s; as if this is not intriguing enough the visit includes a stop in Liberty Island, where you can see up close and personal one of the most famous icons in the world, the Statue of Liberty.
Where to Start:
The process to get there is a little long, but it is very worthwhile! The boats depart every hour or so from Battery Park in NYC (Bowling Green station for those taking the subway). Purchase your tickets in advance online at www.statuecruises.com or www.ellisisland.org .
Expect a long line to get in the first boat that will take you there and the trip takes about a 15 minutes. You will experience breath-taking views of the Manhattan shoreline and the Statue of Liberty of course!
Note: Currently you are not allowed inside for renovations, but usually you are allowed to go inside and climb the stairs to the very top of the monument.
Once you are done you can catch the second boat that will take you to Ellis Island, boats depart around every 20 minutes.
There is a lot to see, so this part of the trip will be a little lengthier. There are restaurants at both locations and shops at both locations, so you will be able to rest and regain forces at any time you choose.
Here you will learn in interactive ways the history of all immigrants that formed the US. It is quite impressive to actually see and be at the place where so many emotional and significant moments took place. You’ll learn all about the life and the journey of the immigrants that peopled America and all the hardship they endured just to give their families and themselves a better life.
Through the permanent and seasonal exhibitions, the movies in the theaters and the records you will get a good idea of the experiences of the immigrants, and be surprised to learn famous personalities that came through Ellis Island.
Did you know Ellis Island welcomed Charles Chaplin and Albert Einstein? Isn’t it fascinating?
Once you are finished you can climb aboard in any boat back to New York, they depart every 20 minutes or so.
Tip: If you are visiting during the months of extreme heat or cold, be prepared. Wear sunscreen and take hats and/or umbrellas with you in the summer, and in the winter make sure you are your outfit is warm enough. You will spend quite sometime in the outdoors.
Ever been to these places or did your family go through Ellis Island to get to the US? Tell us below about your experience or story!