A trip to New York – Part 3

Day 4: Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island

I was up at 7.00am this morning, ready for our trip to the Statue of Liberty. Our ferry ticket was 11.00am that morning, so I got Aidan up around 8.00am, and we left around 9.00am.

Castle Clinton

Castle Clinton

Unfortunately, the weather had taken a definite turn for the worse after the nice weather we had had for the last couple of days – it was grey, misty and much colder than it had been. I was grateful that we had been up to the top of the Empire state and Rockefeller centre yesterday, as you couldn’t even see the tops of the buildings today, so we would have been able to see very little if we had gone up today.

We were going to find somewhere to have breakfast this morning, but in the end we couldn’t decide where to eat, so we decided to just get the subway down to Battery Park instead.

The closest station to Battery Park appeared to be South Ferry, which is on the 1 line, the station on 50th street, just a couple of blocks from our hotel was on the that line, so we made our way there. There are 2 entrances to this station, one you have to use if you’re going uptown, and one which is on the other side of the street if you’re going downtown, which was the one we had to use.

The metro cards worked without any problem, and a train arrived within a couple of minutes. From watching TV and films, I expected the trains to be covered in graffiti, but there was absolutely none of that, and they were in fact just as good, if not better than the London underground.

When we first got on, the train was reasonably full but after a few stations, it emptied out, and by the time we got to South Ferry it was pretty much empty.

When we came out of the station, we were right in front of the Staten Island ferry terminal, and Battery Park was only a couple of minutes’ walk away.

There are nice views of Liberty Island from the waterfront at Battery Park, but as I mentioned, the weather wasn’t the best, so the view was a bit hazy today.

We had a walk around Battery Park while we were waiting for our time slot –

We had a look round castle Clinton, which was a fort built in 1812 to keep the British out.

World Trade Center Sculpture

There is also a sculpture by in the park, which was originally in the plaza of the World Trade Center and was damaged on 9/11 and was moved to the park in 2002. There is also an eternal flame that burns there in memory of all the people who were killed.


Statue of Liberty

When we first got to the ferry terminal, I saw a huge long line waiting for the ferry, and thought that it would take forever to get to the islands, but there was also a much smaller queue next to that one, which turns out was for people who had booked tickets for a certain time.

We looked around until 10.55 then joined the reserve ticket queue, again we had to go through a security check and then onto the ferry, our ticket time was 11.00am, and the ferry finally left the dock around 11.30.

They did announce that the standby line to get into the security check was an hour – so if you’re planning on visiting, I would definitely suggest booking a reserve ticket for a certain time (the earlier the better) online before you visit.

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creativeLIVE and my photographic exploits

Red ArrowsA year or so ago I decided I wanted to learn how to take better photo’s, I have always been interesting in photography but never really taken an active interest or used many of the options on my camera other than the shutter button.

Deciding I needed something or someone to push me in the correct direction of how to use my camera and it’s functions I had a hunt around on the internet for things I could do.

LizardAt first I was considering joining a local camera club, but having little spare time decided this wasn’t for me. Also I think I was slightly intimidated by how the other people at a club might treat a complete amateur such as myself.

I looked around for other options at the time including things like open university courses on photography, but after reading a lot of peoples opinions on photography courses decided I would probably be wasting my time trying to learn by my self at home, Especially if it cost me quite a bit of money.

AbbeyIn the end I stumbled across a web site called creativeLIVE. The basis of the web site is to provide live courses about all sorts of things to do with Photography. Including everything from how to take better photographs, maintaning your body and how to run a business and make it profitable.

The courses take place with real people who visit the studio to take part in the course live, they usually send an email out before the course asking people to volunteer to come and take part.  Usually after sending a little video interview or something. The fact that the whole course is filmed live makes the whole thing feel a lot more like having a one to one tutor.

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