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Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00 p.m. The location of our Road Scholar meeting room will be posted in the lobby. Come to the meeting room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your envelope when you check in. Orientation: In the meeting room, the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Dinners are early in order to have plenty of time available for engaging in evening activities as a group and individually. We will be walking a lot and using the New York City subway system that involves going up and down flights of stairs, long corridors, and often crowded conditions. It’s what New Yorkers do every day! Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: 5:00 p.m. In the Tick Tock Diner just off the lobby of our historic hotel, we’ll have our first meal together and order from a select menu. This 24-hour diner features American cooking and “comfort food.” Dinner in the diner is included even if you arrive late. You may eat later but please attend Orientation first. Or, get “take out” and bring your plate to the meeting room.
Evening: We’ll be joined by a local expert to learn about the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, setting the stage for our field trip tomorrow. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Taking the subway to the ferry and traveling to/from the islands; walking approximately 2-3 miles.
Breakfast: 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.
Morning: 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!” Our tickets provide access to the pedestal and the museum inside where audio guides tell the statue’s incredible story. Then, when you are ready, take the ferry to Ellis Island.
Lunch: 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.
Afternoon: 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.
Dinner: 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.
Evening: 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.
Activity note: Taking the subway; walking approximately 2-3 miles.
Breakfast: In the Tick Tock Diner, we’ll order from a select menu. You can choose eggs with sides, waffles or pancakes, or if you prefer healthier fare, fresh fruit and yogurt.
Morning: An art historian will join us to provide an overview of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We’ll get tips on navigating its galleries before heading up to the museum. On the way, we’ll traverse Central Park as our expert talks about its history and points out areas of interest. Some 42 million people visit Central Park each year. Its 843 acres are managed by the private, not-for-profit Central Park Conservancy, formed in 1980 to improve and restore the park to prime condition after a period of decline. Central Park today is America’s greatest and grandest public green space, providing respite and inspiration for residents and visitors alike.
Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like. At the Metropolitan, there are choices from the cafeteria to the elegant Petrie Court Café. There are also numerous restaurants and other eateries in the vicinity of the museum.
Afternoon: A variety of docent-led explorations are available to take you through the collections of your choosing. The Met, founded in 1870, is one of the world’s greatest museums with a collection spanning more than 5,000 years of creativity. Its artistic treasury from every corner of the world includes paintings, arms and armor, costume, decorative arts, musical instruments, photography, works on paper, and much more. There are 26,000 objects from ancient Egypt, the largest collection outside Cairo; 2,500 European paintings, one of the most extensive collections anywhere; and the most comprehensive collection of American decorative arts, paintings, and sculpture in the American Wing. The Beaux-Arts façade and Great Hall of the iconic flagship building — designed by architect and founding museum trustee Richard Morris Hunt — opened in 1902. Today, tens of thousands of objects are on view at any given time.
Dinner: At a characteristic local restaurant, share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.
Evening: We’ll walk over to what may be New York's most acclaimed new park, the High Line. Written about in Smithsonian, National Geographic, and AARP Magazines, the High Line Park is built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets — a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike. We’ll stroll above the traffic below, through the gallery district of Chelsea and into the trendy Meat Packing District, with an expert leading the way. Returning to the hotel, prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: In the Meeting Room. This concludes our program.
Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!