Chapter X - The Statue of Liberty
When our eyes relaxed a little, we caught the ferry boat to Bedloes Island to see the Statue Of Liberty. I never dreamed it was near as big as it was. An elevator took us up thirteen stories to the level just above her waist.
Then we had to climb a steel circular stairs that wrapped around a pole it went up to a landing in her head just below he eyes. Her eyes were windows that you could look far out to sea. The spiral staircase was rather difficult to climb. There was a little seat built into the stairs every few steps for people to rest. There was another spiral staircase going up to the torch, but it was blocked off
We caught the ferryboat back to the mainland. Then it was time for another sandwich and a cup of java, and each had an apple from a fruit stand. Then we went to the famous Museum of Natural History. After about an hour, poor little Bob started whining. He didn't care about seeing dinosaur skeletons or mummies. We walked over to the aquarium near by. It had large tanks built into the walls, with windows so you could see the fish swimming. They had tiny sea horses that were only about one inch long, squid, and octopuses. I told one of the Curators, that I would like to see a shark. The Curator said they just couldn't keep sharks in a tank for any length of time - they just couldn't survive in captivity. He said they really didn't know why. The afternoon seemed to fly by in no time, and we still had a million things to see and do. We strolled back to a subway station, and went to Wall Street to see the stock market that crashed in 1929. I was disappointed with that. I thought it was a big pike-like place, but it turned out to be a little, narrow, dirty street with tall buildings on each side. There was a building near there in the shape of a triangle. Dad said that was called the Flat Iron Building. From there, we went to Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Dad wasn't Catholic. He didn't go to any church, but he always insisted that we attend Mass because he made that promise when he and mom got married.
I won't attempt to describe Saint Patrick's Cathedral. It was as though we had walked through the gates of heaven! Never before had I seen anything that would remotely compare to the magnificent, breath-taking beauty. All I could do was gasp, with my mouth wide open, as my eyes took in the altar and the panoramic view of the ceiling.
It was time to head for the hotel, and get some supper. Then we could find some place to lay our exhausted bodies. As the sun went down, we all went down with it. It was stifling hot in the hotel, and the street noises were simply unbelievable. Our brain tuned out the noise, eventually, and we zonked out. We were up at the crack of dawn. After a light breakfast, we headed for Coney Island. I was surprised to learn that New York had a Coney Island, too. I thought Cincinnati had the only place with that name. Dad said, "The one in Cincinnati was named after the one in New York City.
They had theirs long before we did. I didn't like the one in New York as much as ours. They had a few rides, but it was mostly a just big bathing beach on the Atlantic Ocean. I liked ours better. Their Roller Coasters were named the same as ours. The beach at Coney Island was really crowded. Hundreds of people were swimming, and playing in the surf. We didn't have any bathing suits, so we just jumped into the ocean with our clothes on. Getting knocked over and tumbled by the waves was really thrilling. Bill and I had a wonderful time playing in the surf. Bill said, "When are we going to the Empire State Building? Dad said, "Well, stay out of the water until you dry off. Then we can go".
We messed around for half an hour until our clothes dried. We caught another subway train, and went to see the tallest building in the world. The dark tunnels were sort of scary. They were very noisy, and the electric trains went about sixty miles and hour. When they came to a screeching stop, the doors flew open. Some people poured off, and others got on. The doors slammed shut and SWOOSH - you were flying through the tubes. The conductor called out several stops, and then he yelled, "Next Stop - Empire State Building." We stood in front of the sliding door. Dad said, "You kids stay close to me now". He didn't need to repeat that. We had no intention of letting him get very far away. Everybody in New York was in a great hurry to get where they were going. No one walked like they did back home. We had to climb two flights of stairs, and walk several blocks from the subway station. When we got in sight of the building, it looked like it went half way to heaven.
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