Taking the subway to the ferry and traveling to/from the islands; walking approximately 2-3 miles.
In the hotel meeting room, we’ll have bagels, muffins, bananas, hard-boiled eggs, cold cereals, cream cheese, jelly, butter, plus milk (regular/low-fat), orange juice, coffee/decaf, tea, water. During breakfast, we will register with the MTA for a senior citizen MetroCard (if you are 65 or over). A representative from the MTA will take your picture and a copy of your driver’s license to process your permanent MetroCard application. They will give you a temporary card to use for the week, enabling you to ride for half price. A few weeks after you return home you will receive a permanent card in the mail — your official invitation to come back to New York and ride around for half price. If you have been on a previous program and have a senior citizen's MetroCard, please bring it with you.
We’ll head straight out this morning to take best advantage of our time on Liberty and Ellis Islands where you may explore both iconic islands at your own pace to see and do what interests you most. We’ll begin by taking our first subway ride to the southern tip of the island where we’ll board a ferry and visit the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty — officially “Liberty Enlightening the World” — was a gift to the people of America from the people of France, our oldest ally. It was the biggest event in the country on the Fourth of July 1884. Later, these words of poet Emma Lazarus were added: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Then, when you are ready, take the ferry to Ellis Island.
This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. Both Liberty and Ellis Islands have cafeterias, with larger facilities and selections available on Liberty Island.
On Ellis Island, we’ll explore the National Museum of Immigration. From 1892 when the immigration station opened until it closed in 1954, more than 12 million people coming to America passed through Ellis Island. This was their “golden door” to new lives. Today, the descendants of these immigrants make up almost half of all Americans. The museum tells the story of where people came from and what their experience was like. Museum exhibits chronicle Ellis Island’s role in the context of centuries of immigration to America. After our field trip, we’ll take the ferry back to Manhattan.
At a neighborhood Chinese restaurant, we’ll have a family-style meal with choices of soup, appetizers, and entrées; tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase.
We’ll be joined by a local expert and begin to gain an understanding of New York’s five boroughs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island — each with its own history, personality, and appeal. Elective: We will walk over to the Empire State Building. From the 86th floor observation deck, we’ll have a bird’s eye view of the Manhattan street grid and all five boroughs with New Jersey in the distance (weather permitting). It’s a great way to orient yourself to New York’s geography and get your first “big picture” look at the city.