The Land of Dreams

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
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Trip End May 05, 2011


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Flag of United States  , New York
Monday, March 28, 2011

This comes via the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. Truly there is not peer to this steel and glass masterpiece.  These basic ingredients are crafted like the colours from an artists brush to create its exterior brilliance.  Among the teeming masses of the observatory I am swept away by immeasurable sentiment. If Times Square beat as the heart of the great city, then the Empire State must be its eye, for it is the window into the city's soul and nowhere else does her beauty seem so complete.  And in the outdoor observatory the buffering winds give a true sense of the power that surrounds you.  Even the building itself testifies to the spirit of the city. Meticulously planned and rapidly constructed during the height of the depression, its grand Art Deco style has stood the test of time and its engineering marvel stood singularly until the ascension of the twin towers. And it has stood since.
My other destinations today were the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  After a ticketing snafu I had to again stand in the cold line for two hours before I realised my mistake. That was compounded by the fact that Lady Liberty was not as grand a sight as I had imagined despite the crystalline backdrop New York provided for me.  I suppose to truly admire her one must have to gain access to the crown and interior (these required long awaited bookings).
Far more captivating was Ellis Island Immigration Museum. More than 12 million would be Americans made their way through the Grand Halls of Ellis and indeed the residual history of the building provided a moving backdrop for the stories told there.  I was particularly touched by the plight of the immigrants and can only imagine the hardship and persecution they faced to abandon their most loved for the hope of something more - that was America.  So they arrived with nothing in hand and must have found the streets were not paved with gold as they had hoped.  Yet they stayed, bouyed by the newfound freedom, given the opportunity to experience and create new lives through hard work so that they in turn could provide for the avenue for their families to experience then same.  It is no wonder that these naturalised citizens came to love the country they now lived - they had built her.  All because she gave them hope, she gave them freedom.
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