Photography, Stories Told

Cruising by the Statue of Liberty

My first visit to New York City was in 1988 with my friend Gary. He grew up across the Hudson River in New Jersey and trips to the city were a regular part of his childhood. He knew his way around Manhattan; he knew how to work the subway. He was a great tour guide.

Except that he had no interest in all of the first-time tourist stuff that he’d already seen a million times. Well, except for the tour of NBC in Rockefeller Center. We’re both broadcasting geeks. We actually tingled with excitement as we passed through those halls where so much radio and television history had taken place! The highlight for us was when the tour group reached a studio with a replica of The Tonight Show set. “Can I get volunteers to play Johnny and Ed?” the page asked. Gary and I shot our hands up — “ooh! ooh! pick me! pick meeeeeee!” — and we were selected. Gary took the desk, I took the couch, and we hammed it up. And because we both had radio chops, we weren’t half bad. We even impressed the page.

Approaching the Statue of Liberty

But I couldn’t talk Gary into a visit to the Statue of Liberty. I suppose that was too touristy for him. We saw it in passing from afar, but that was that. And I really wanted to see it.

I’ve been to NYC a handful of other times, always on business. There was the time I was working my company’s booth at a conference, and a fellow who took a shine to me sent the biggest bouquet of flowers I’ve ever seen to my hotel room, and left his phone number on the card. (I was flattered, but I don’t swing that way, so I didn’t call.) And there was the time when I was still editing tech-guru David Pogue’s books and he invited me to his apartment just off Broadway, where I met his soon-to-be-and-now-ex wife. They took me out for a very nice dinner. Thai, I think.

But I never got to see the Statue of Liberty. Until this trip.

Approaching the Statue of Liberty

Margaret booked us on a slow cruise along the Hudson River, from Chelsea Pier to the bottom tip of Manhattan and back. Lunch was served below, but I spent most of my time on the upper deck, leaning against the railing, taking pictures. I shot a whole series of Liberty as we cruised by her.

Approaching the Statue of Liberty

She seems so small! Yet she’s 151 feet tall, base to tip of torch. I suppose I’d have a different impression if I were standing on the island looking up at her.

Approaching the Statue of Liberty

Even though Liberty is thought of as a New York City icon, she’s actually in New Jersey. Believe it or not, I learned that while idly watching an old game show on television the other day.

Approaching the Statue of Liberty

I had always envisioned visiting the island on which she stands, but I think I liked cruising by her even better. I got such a good, protracted look at her from so many angles. She is riveting; I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

Canon PowerShot S95, shot RAW, processed in Photoshop.

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10 thoughts on “Cruising by the Statue of Liberty

  1. I spent a day as a tourist in lower Manhattan around 1986. The Statue of Liberty had recently been restored, but the elevator was out of order. I climbed to the top and was ready for a place to rest once up top, but the single file line slowly moved to the down staircase.
    My other memorable stop was atop the World Trade Center, which I remember with sadness after 9/11.

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    • I remember Liberty being restored. But even more, I remember NBC News changing all of its opens to feature the statue after it reopened.

      We stopped by the new WTC. I didn’t enjoy the memories.

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  2. Bill Bussell says:

    Great story and pictures. I climbed to the head of the statue in 1975 on July 4. The next year, my wife and I married. I gave her a honeymoon tour of the subway, drove into the city across the GW in rush hour, went to the top of the World Trade Center. For some reason, I laminated the tickets from the World Trade Center. My wife hated New York. I like the movie where the actor is passed out, and wakes up looking at the Statue of Liberty through the top of a boat. The viewer then finds this is the miniature version of the Statue in Paris. Very cool part of that film with clever editing. I used to be fascinated with New York. Not so much now.

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  3. hmunro says:

    I never got to see Lady Liberty, either, until my trip a couple of years ago — and my goodness, what a sight! As you say so well: It’s impossible to take your eyes off her. You’ve certainly done her justice with your images.

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