Originally published July 3, 2012
That is how long I recently had the pleasure of spending in Manhattan. It was one of those trips where everything went right. Connections were made, transitions flawless, plans wholly accomplished.
Since it’s the eve of the Fourth of July, I want to spotlight 180 of those NY minutes that were spent getting to, from and visiting the Statue of Liberty.
The weather looked like it might not cooperate, but in the end it all worked out and even provided me with two different backdrops for the Statue: cloudy and partly cloudy/blue sky mix.
If you’ve never seen her before, I can just say one thing. You cannot fully appreciate how big she is until you are standing next to her. She is enormous (151 feet tall, 305 feet including the pedestal and foundation – a little less than a football field if you include the end zones). Her feet measure in at 25 feet long. Her face is over 8 feet and her nose is 4 feet 6 inches long. The arm holding the torch is 42 feet. Notice how small the people look in this image – they are walking around the bottom of the statue:
People used to be able to climb inside the statue all the way up to the torch but access was closed in 1916. The next highest interior access was the crown which offered 25 windows viewing out to New York if you could climb the 354 steps. Unfortunately it was closed after 9/11 but reopened on July 4, 2009. Then they decided to close it again last year for upgrades and to improve safety. It should be open again by the beginning of next year. It would be pretty awesome to have a look out of those windows.
It really makes me appreciate the work that went into designing, building and transporting her, how long she has been standing there, how many millions of people have photographed her, the people for whom she was the first sign of making it to America (12 million immigrants viewed her as they arrived at Ellis Island). Also the times she has stood through and watched and I thought of the people who were standing there when the World Trade Center Towers were hit. Now riding back on the ferry, another change in the skyline. The new World Trade Center being built. Signs of hope, perseverance and optimism.
To all those celebrating it, I wish you a safe and fabulous Fourth!
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.