WALKING AROUND CASTLE CLINTON

This building, which defended New York before there was even a United States and during the War of 1812, sits in the middle of Battery Park.

It’s located right across the way from where tourists pick up the boat to go see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty .

Many people know Castle Clinton as the place where one picks up and buys their ticket for the ferry.

But what many people don’t know that it was eventually named for New York governor , De Witt Clinton, and it protected New York City harbor from British invasion during the War of 1812.

After the war and before there was even an Ellis Island Immigration Center, this is where immigrants checked in when they came to New York City .

Right before you get to Castle Clinton, you’ll notice a statue simply titled “The Immigrants ”

It’s a tribute to those who risked and continue to risk their lives coming here for a better life.

As you enter the fort, no matter if it’s just to buy your tickets or just to kill time, take a look around you at this place .

It’s old and it really shows it.

I’ve visited other forts, such as Fort McHenry down in Baltimore and Fort Jay on Governor’s Island here in New York.

Neither of them are showing their age as much as Castle Clinton is.

There’s no wonder that this place is used mostly for buying tickets to see two if the country’s most important landmarks .

There are park rangers around as this is part of the United States National Park Service , but it’s sad to see the condition of a place that’s as much a part of New York history, as well as United States history .

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NEW YORK WORLD WAR I I MEMORIAL IN PICTURES

This is much smaller than the memorial in Washington DC , but it serves the same purpose .

This memorial honors the soldiers and sailors of all the branches, that’s Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, who lost their lives at sea fighting in World War I I .

NEW YORK KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL IN PICTURES

It was a nice day to visit Lower Manhattan, so I did.

In Battery Park, near where the boats that take you to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island , there’s many monuments and memorials.

One of which is called “The Universal Soldier.”

If you look closely , this is actually part of the New York Korean War Memorial .

Around the statue are the flags from the countries that sent troops to Korea.

Also around the statue are the dead, missing and wounded from some of those countries.

Let the pictures tell you the story.

A VISIT TO THE AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND NATIONAL MONUMENT

“For All Those Who Were Lost

For All Those Who Were Stolen

For All Those Who Were Left Behind

For All Those Who Were Not Forgotten”

These words are inscribed on a granite wall outside of the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City .

The wall is hiden by scaffolding now, but the first time that I walked by it , these words spoke to me as they should everyone, not just Americans.

The monument is located right near New York’s City Hall and the oh so many courthouses that may look familiar to you if you watch the t.v. show, Law and Order .

It’s also close by that bridge that seems to dominate the Lower Manhattan skyline, The Brooklyn Bridge .

The monument is part of the United States National Park Service.

It’s open on Tuesdays through Saturdays and the admission is free.

The building is officially located on Elk Street , but right underneath the Elk Street sign is another sign that lets you know that you’re going in the right direction right after you get off the subway at the Chambers Street Station.

The street sign reads “African Burial Ground Way.”

As part of the building is under construction you have to walk around the corner to the entrance.

The monument was officially open in 2006.

As you walk into the building and see all the exhibits, you notice two things.

One that slavery did take place in New York City, and how the city had more slaves than any city in the South including Charleston, South Carolina.

You’ll also see a West African heart shape figure called a Sankofa.

You’ll see it a lot throughout your visit.

The Sankofa asks you to “learn from your past so that one may prosper for your future.”

Each exhibit makes you think.

You learn that not only did Europeans sell slaves, some of their fellow Africans did as well.

You also learn, sadly, that if a slave was ill on the voyage to the New World, they were thrown overboard .

What shocks you more, if the exhibits weren’t shocking enough, is that many African slaves and free Negroes, couldn’t be buried in the city or New Amsterdam , as it was called then.

Remains of 419 men, women, and even children, were discovered in the late 1990’s, and finally given the prosper burial they deserved.

The seven mounds that you see that are now covered by scaffolding are the remains of the 419.

One might say that this monument is sobering.

Some people might say that, but it opens your eyes to a part of American History that many Americans don’t know or seem to care about.

African Burial Ground National Monument

290 Broadway , First Floor

New York City , New York 10007

212-637-2019

RIDING ON THE J TRAIN FROM QUEENS TO MANHATTAN AND BACK

When I take the subway into Manhattan, the two subway trains that I usually take are the E and F trains.

Today, I took the J subway train, which like the E train leaves from Jamaica Center.

Like the E train, you can connect at JFK Supthin Boulevard to get the Air train to take you to JFK airport if you ride on the J train.

Unlike the E train, the J train goes from Queens to Brooklyn over the Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan .

This train is fairly clean as not too many people ride it.

(Ok, it’s clean by New York City subway standards.)

The final stop on this train is Broad Street , which is in the Financial District.

If you wanted to do some sightseeing , like Wall Street and the famous Wall Street Bull, this is the stop that you would get off at.

As I was going back home and noticed people walking and biking over the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn , I saw a sign in the distance right as you get into the largest borough of New York .

The sign read,

“WELCOME TO BROOKLYN . YOU NAME IT….. WE GOT IT.”

Brooklyn was once known as “the borough of churches” and it seemed as though all the churches that the train passed were now banks.

Not surprising seeing that before it became a part of New York City , Brooklyn was the financial capital .

As my train pulls back into the station at Jamaica Center, I think of how peaceful my ride into the city was compared to the E and F trains.

Maybe from now on I might just take the J train.

MY VIDEO AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN

This is part of the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian down in Washington DC .

This branch in New York City is smaller than the one in Washington DC .

I will be doing an upcoming blog post on my visit to the museum.

This museum used to be the United States customs house.

If you walk around the building you’ll see figures and events that are special to the city of New York City or as it was called before the British took over from the Dutch, New Amsterdam .

Enjoy this little video that I made.

PICTURES FROM MY VISIT TO THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN

This is the New York City branch of the Museum of the American Indian .

It’s official name is the National Museum of the American Indian , George Gustav Heye Center.

Mr. Heye was the person who actually founded this museum before it became a part of the Smithsonian .

It’s not as big as the one in Washington DC , and this branch was once the United States Customs House, where immigrants who made it past Ellis Island were processed as well.

Like the museum in Washington, they just dont focus on Native Tribes in the United States and Canada, but Native Peoples in the Carribean, Central and South America .

As my mother was a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokees from North Carolina , I was excited to look at the exhibit from the Cherokee Nation.

The admission to the museum is free and it’s open daily, except holidays.

The normal business hours are every day 10am until 5pm.

However, the best day to go are on Thursdays when the museum stays open until 8pm.

Don’t even think of bringing a selfie stick here or food or drink.

They aren’t permitted and since this is New York City , you will have to go through security.

The museum is located at One Bowling Green , right down the street from the famous Wall Street Bull.