I had the pleasure of visiting some interesting places while in New York a few weeks ago. I got to see some historical sites, some of which were quite sacred to me as well. Experiencing these places for the first time stirred up some emotions in me that I didn’t even know were there.
My second day in NYC, I decided to take a ferry ride over to Staten Island. Why? #1, it was free! And #2, the ferry takes you right past the Statue of Liberty. Win-win, right? I got on the Staten Island Ferry with a few hundred other people; mostly tourists riding the ferry for the same reasons I was. It was overly crowded and I figured I wouldn’t be able to see the Statue with all these people blocking my view. I would just have to be one of the first ones in line for the return trip. That way I could get a spot right in front of the window before anyone else got a chance to. So, I found myself a seat, pulled out my GoPro and started scrolling through some pictures I had taken earlier in the day. After a few minutes, I looked up from my camera, and there she was! Right in front of my face! I wasn’t expecting to have an emotional reaction to seeing Lady Liberty for the first time, but I did. I have to be honest, I even got a little teary eyed. It felt so surreal. Before then, I had only seen the Statue of Liberty on a television or computer screen. Being able to see her up close and personal, was such an ah-mazing experience.
I also got to visit The African Burial Ground National Monument and Museum. Talk about sacred! Something about that place was so magical and moving at the same time. For those of you that don’t know, African Burial Ground is a slave cemetery that was discovered in 1991 when construction began for a federal building in Lower Manhattan. Historians believe that there may be upwards of 15,000 people buried there. That was not a typo; FIFTEEN THOUSAND intact skeletal remains of people of African descent (mostly slaves) were laid to rest in that area. Once again, I became emotional. There’s something so chilling in being aware of the magnitude of slavery and walking across the land where so many African-American ancestors are buried.
I was able to visit some really cool, historical sites while in New York: Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, African Burial Ground, 9/11 Memorial, the East Coast Memorial… I’m so happy I had the time to visit and so grateful for the soul-touching experiences I get to have when I travel. I have so much more to share, but that’ll have to be in another post. Thanks for stopping by, and as always, happy travels!