Stood Up!

Frozen, actually.

It was a date I was eagerly looking forward to- a photo shoot with New York City’s most popular figure, the most photographed lady in the city, an eligible bachelorette of French descent, the city’s most gracious hostess welcoming everyone from all over the globe to her island (never turning down a single guest no matter what season, not unless she’s preening), she is most admired, and everybody looks up to her. The Big Apple is lucky to have one grand lady. She is Lady Liberty, and no, she is not a drag queen nor a door bitch in the city’s hottest dance club.

Getting up early has become a habit, most especially when traveling. It just means more time to discover- always a wise way to make the most out of any trip. That particular morning was special, I will finally get to meet NYC’s most prominent lady.

Along with the rest of the Davao tourists, we headed to Battery Park, another invaluable part of New York City’s history for the past 200 years. This would be the jump off point of the ferry ride to the lady’s island, the Liberty Island.

Upon stepping-off our ride, we were welcomed by tsunamis of ice-cold wind, talk about cold treatment. In a half-frozen state on the first step and uttering a litany of holy names, some with middle initials, we bravely trekked the path to the dock. With all the layers of clothing worn, we were still inappropriately dressed for the cold.

Should have been on this ride to see the grand lady.

We never made it to the ticket tent where a long line was snaking. Just the few minutes of waiting for the other half of the team to arrive out in the open had been unbearable. A few minutes more, I will be littering the park with parts of my anatomy shedding off unknowingly. Not a very pretty picture.

“Excuse me sir, you dropped your ear.”

Awkward.


“The other ear I passed a few meters back must also be yours.”

Way awkward.

So, trying to avoid what could inevitably happen, I decided to postpone my date with Lady Liberty. So did the rest. If I can’t handle the temperature, made chillier by the wind, at the park, I cannot imagine what it will be for me out in the open water going to Liberty Island. Meeting Miss Hypothermia, with beso-beso and hug to match, on the short cruise prior to meeting Lady Liberty was not in the plan.

This is as close I can get to meet her.

Heading to a warm joint for coffee

But before seeking the solace of the warm environs, the quick tour of The Battery and the photo-ops cannot be denied.

They say that The Battery is beautiful in Spring, Summer and Fall. It hosts concerts on its ground, makes it an ideal spot for a picnic, a stroll, bike ride or just to while you time. For the tourists, its rich history is a plus to the park’s charm.

The memorial.

The 25-acre waterfront park is NYC’s oldest open space created by the Dutch settlers, became a fort during the war and the site of the world’s first immigration depot welcoming millions from around the globe. Today, the number of people welcomed, tourists and not immigrants, has in no way diminished. On a daily basis, the park receives hundreds of thousands either to enjoy the gardens or make their way to the Liberty and Ellis Islands.

A boat ride I never took on a last second decision lest I freeze. I know I stood up my date but it was for a good reason. She knows I will be back in the Big Apple soon and will come to see her.

Stroll, jog, laze, eat, pray, love at the Promenade.

The Sphere & eternal flame, in memory of the 9.11 victims.
NYC’s financial district by the park.

(The swift tour of Battery Park utilized only a few pixels of the megabytes allotted for this day. I have to use some of the photos from Wikipedia and other web sources for this page.)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 17, 2011.

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