Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France, ironically in response to the repressive nature of the Napolean government. It a symbol of freedom that has been said to have caused immigrants entering New York Harbor to burst in to tears upon seeing her.
The famous poem about Lady Liberty was written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 for an auction to raise money for the statue's pedestal construction. The poem is written for the millions of immigrants who came to America through Ellis Island and who would pass by the Statue in the final moments of their journey to new opportunity.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "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!" - Emma Lazarus, 1883
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New York from the Hudson
It may be uber cheesy or classically touristy to take a dinner cruise on your first visit to New York but there's a reason so many people book a ticket and sit through the terrible food upon a boat with other pushy tourists looking for that great photo of iconic New York.
New York is a gorgeous city to be seen from the water. Any architect fiend or relaxed landscape enthusiast would be thrilled to sit atop of a boat, with a breeze, a glass of champagne and a camera while marvelling at the classic New York City sights.
An excerpt from a poem to commemorate the city in which I live:
'Like a divine answer to a selfish prayer, the moving vessel slams to a halting, screeching, shaking, screaming stop and you are swept up in an exiting flow of sheep or salmon or city dwellers and commuters as you make or brake your way back into the city and feel the sweet sting of fresh air in your lungs.'
One of the best times to see the Statue of Liberty is at sunset. The Circle Line has a 2-hour cruise where you get a close-up view of Lady Liberty and also see the amazing New York City skyline as the ship sails down the Hudson and up the East River.
Being a New Yorker, I rarely join the tourists for the $17 boat ride out to Liberty Island itself but I see Lady Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry, Battery Park, the Brooklyn Bridge and other vantage points throughout New York City and Northern New Jersey.
An interesting little known fact about our green lady in the bay, via Wikipedia: The statue is situated in Upper New York Bay on Liberty Island, south of Ellis Island. Both islands were ceded by New York to the federal government in 1800. As agreed in an 1834 compact between New York and New Jersey that set the state border at the bay's midpoint, the original islands remain New York territory despite their location on the New Jersey side of the state line. Land created by reclamation at Ellis is New Jersey territory.