Statue of Liberty.
Well, thanks France. I bet you folks never knew how famous we would make your epic gift. We really took that statue and RAN with it. Well, due to the intense fundraising efforts of Édouard René de Laboulaye and Joseph Pulitzer, with the design by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and Gustave Eiffel (yes, that Eiffel) our sweet Lady of Liberty stands proud atop Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor.
I've never really given it much thought, but have you ever wondered WHO she is? After visiting (and doing a bit of research), I learned that Lady Liberty is actually Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who was especially worshiped by emancipated slaves in ancient Rome. Not totally sure how I feel about that. Why erect a Roman relic, created by the French, to inspire the American people towards a better tomorrow? It's just a bit jumbled for me. But alas, does it matter? Because here she is: our red, white & blue symbol of freedom. Well, more like coppery-green. But you get where I'm going with this.
// I mean, it's not too shabby. //
Staten Island Ferry.
My savvy friend Jenna told me to do this. In order to see the statue close up (but not so close so that you have to actually pay to see it) you can ride the free Staten Island Ferry across the harbor for a 15-minute viewing of the lady. Then you simply get off the ferry and board the returning ferry that takes you back to Battery Park. And if you really want to enjoy your viewing session, you can order a glass of wine on the boat. That's right. That's the kind of freedom that we Americans enjoy. A good seat and a good beverage.
// For safety purposes, we had an armed guard accompanying the ferry across the water. 'Merica. //
It's historic. It's French. It holds significance for every American who embraces the gift of freedom. And... you can pound your wine while pondering this inexplicable privilege. I'm sorry, do you need more reasons to visit??