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Travel to New-York City, Part I - Statue of Liberty

By Armie Hareyan

Seen from above, Manhattan Island looks like a ship determined to break loose from nature's hold and head for the open sea and the world beyond. Instead, the great wide word has come to her, in the form of millions immigrants who through the years have totally changed her physiognomy, bringing new languages new colours, new tastes and even a new shape. The bow of this imaginary vessel is lower Manhattan but first, signaling the presence of the great ship herself, come a tender and a figure-head: Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty.

Between 1892 and 1954 some 17 million people passed through Ellis Island. For many it become, with good reason, the Island of Tears: the Italians, Irish, Poles and Russinas who disembarked with their meager possessions were "processed and - if medical examination revealed suspicion of contagious disease - turned away. From here however many made their way to the vast interior or took the great leap towards California. But large numbers headed for Little Italy or Brooklyn, perhaps awaited by relations and friends who had come on earlier ships and were now fully-fledged "Americans".

In 1990 the long-abandoned island was reopened to the public. After major restructuring at a cost 156 million dollars, it is now a huge museum in which the story of millions of lives is old. From Ellis Island you can see the Statue of Liberty. Nowadays the great figure is generally regarded as a kind of non-sectarian immigrants Madonna (a perception endorsed by lines from Emma Lazarus's famous poem, engraved on the base at the beginning of the century: "Dive me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free").

In actual fact, Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi's statue was conseives as a gift from the French to the American people, intended to "glorify Liberty and the Republic, in the hope that these values will not die". Unveiled on October 28, 1886, the statue underwent a rejuvenating facelift before its 100th anniversary. Lady Liberty is a real giant: the statue proper weights 221.5 tons, soars to a height of 305 feet. Leading from ground level to the crown (its seven rays representing the seven seas and seven continents) are 354 steps. A visit to the Statue of Lberty is a great way to start a tour of New-York: from high up in the crown the whole city is spread out before you, and even the stunning skyscrapers appear dwarfed by her presence.

About The Author

Armine Hareyan is the publisher of which provides Travel Destination Articles.


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