START SPREADING THE NEWS – NEW YORK CITY , NEW YORK – A VISIT TO GOVERNOR’S ISLAND .

 

 

It’s  a  cloudy  day  here  in  New  York  City  as I  leave  my house  in Queens  for  a  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  New York  City .

I’m  taking  a  day trip  to  Governor’s  Island .

People  do work  here until  October  or so ,  but the majority  of  us can only  get there  by  ferry  from  Lower Manhattan  , also  until October .

I was born  in  and raised  in  the  city ,  but I  never really  knew anything  about this  island  that  sits in  the  East  River.

When I  returned  to  New York  City  in 2010 ,  I  still  had no desire  to  see Governor’s  Island .

After  all ,  if you’ve  seen  one  island ,  you’ve  seen  them  all.

Sort  of .

Now that  I’m  back in New York  City  with  oh  so  much  time  on  my hands, I  figured  why not  visit  Governor’s  Island ?

They make  it  oh so very  easy  to  get  there .

There’s  two  ferries  that  can get you  there .

One is the  New York  Waterways  Ferry  where you  can  either  purchase  your  tickets  online  or at  the  Governor’s  Island  Ferry  Terminal ,  which  is  next  to  the  Staten  Island  Ferry  Terminal .

For  some  strange  reason ,  if you  buy  your  tickets  online ,  that doesn’t  guarantee  you  a seat  on the  ferry .

For the  New  York  Waterways  Ferry ,  the prices  are   $2 for  adults ,  $1  for  seniors ,  and it’s  free for children  under 13 as well as those  who hold a  card that’s  called  the  NYC ID ,  which is  only  available  to  those  of  us  who live  in  the  five boroughs .

(  Thank  you  for  thinking  about  us, Mayor  DiBlasio ! )

There’s  also  another  Governor’s  Island  Ferry, which  happens  to  cost zilch, nada, that’s  right ,  free.

This  particular  ferry runs a little more often than  the  New York  Waterways  Ferry .

Guess  which  one I’m  getting  on at 9am ?

The  ride  is very calming ,  even though  I’m  not at all  a ferry  person .

On the  ride back, though ,  I was brave  enough  to  sit  on  the  top and watch the waves ripple ,  along with  a  couple  of  other  passengers .

When you  get off the  ferry ,  which  is only  a  seven  minute  ride, by the  way ,  there it is .

No, not  just  Governor’s  Island ,  but part of  the  skyline  of Lower Manhattan  is right  behind  you  across  the  water .

Most prominently  in the  skyline  is  One  World  Observatory .

It’s  beginning  to  rain ,  but  now  that  I’m  here ,  there’s  no  turning  back  now .

I’ve  never  seen  Governor’s  Island  before  and I’m  not  going  to  blow my chance now because  of  a few raindrops .

Do  you  remember  in high  school  reading  about  how the  Indians  sold the Island  of  Manhattan  to the  Dutch to what  basically  would  be   $24  now?

This  is  the place where they did  it, although  it wasn’t  known  as  Governor’s  Island  then.

It became  that name  when the  British  took  over  New  York  and  established  this  area  for  the  royal  governors  of New York .

Walking  around  some  of  the  buildings  reminded  me  of  some  of  the  colonial  style  houses  of  Boston  and  Philadelphia .

Looking  at  two  of  the  buildings ,  Fort  Jay  and  Castle  Williams  confuse  me just  a  little  bit .

Am  I  doing  a 30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  New  York  City  or Baltimore ?

Both  of  these  forts  look  so  similar  to  Fort  McHenry  in  Baltimore  that  it’s  really  hard  to  tell  them  apart .

If you  happen  to  go  to  either  place ,  you’ll  see  what  I  mean .

All three  of  these  places  were  built  to  defend  the  United  States  from  the  British  and  their  allies  during  the  War  of  1812 .

Even  though  it’s  now  a steadier  rain ,  I’m  really  getting  my exercise  here .

There’s  not  that  many  cars or bikes  around ,  but  just  like  me ,  people  are walking ,  admiring  the  view .

Wait  a minute ! !

What is  that  in the  distance ?

It’s  Lady  Liberty  and far  off to  the  right  it’s  Ellis  Island .

I  didn’t  realize  how  close  it is  to Liberty  Island  either .

(  Liberty  Island  is going  to  be  another  stop  on my  30  Plus  Teams  Tour  of  New  York  City ,  but  not  today . )

Governor’s  Island  is  technically  considered  part of  Manhattan  and while  it’s  just  a  small  part of the  borough  of  Manhattan ,  visiting  Governor’s  Island  is a great  way  to  pass an  hour  or  two  right  in  the  shadow  of  Lower  Manhattan .

LIBERTY TALES – PHILADELPHIA , PENNSYLVANIA – VISITING THE MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION .

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Philadelphia  is  known  for  just  as  many  museums  as  New  York  City .

Everyone  knows  about  all  the  historical  museums  in  the  city  as  well  as  the  Liberty  Bell  and  Independence  Hall .

I recently  visited  Philadelphia  and  went  into  the  newest  museum  in  the  city .

It’s  called  the  Museum  of  the  American  Revolution  and  it  opened  on  April  19th  of  this  year ,  which  just  happens  to  be  the  day  the  colonists  fired  ”  the  shot  heard  round  the  world  ”   at  Lexington  and  Concord .

The  museum  in Philadelphia  is  located  at  South  Third  Street ,  not  that  far  from  Independence  Hall .

Before  you  enter  the  building ,  you  notice  the  cannons  pointing  towards  you ,  right  above  the  name  of  the  museum .

Also  above  you  on  the  wall ,  is a copy  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence .

When  you  enter  the  lobby ,  which  is  very  impressive ,  including  the  marble  staircase ,  you  pay  your  admission   fee.

Hold  on  to  your  ticket ,  because  if you  come  the  next  day ,  that ticket  is your  admission .

Believe  me ,  you  will  need  two  consecutive  days  to  see  everything  in  this  museum .

Even  then ,  two days  just  isn’t  enough  to  see everything .

As  you  can  gather  by  the  name ,  this  museum  tells  the  story  of  the  American  Revolution .

But  it  doesn’t  start  from  the  events  at  Lexington  and  Concord ,  but  what  LED  up  to  those  events  and  what  happened  to  our  country  after  we  achieved  independence.

This  museum  may  seem  boring  to  you  and  possibly  your  children .

However ,  if your  children  are  old  enough  to  know  about  the  Revolutionary  War ,  they  really  need  to  see this  museum  even  if  you  aren’t  doing  a 30 Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Philadelphia .

You think  that  you  know  all  there  is  to  know  about  the  Revolutionary  War  because  you  learned  it  in  school  all  those  years  ago .

After  you  visit  this  museum ,  you  realize  that  you  really  didn’t  know  ANYTHING  about  the  Revolutionary  War .

In  school ,  the war  was  only  talked  about  from  the  Colonists  and  British  side .

There  was  actually  two  other  groups  of  people  whose  point  of  view  we  were  never  told  about .

The Native  Americans  and  the Slaves .

This  museum  makes  you  look  at  the  Revolutionary  War  from  four  different  sides ,  something  a lot  of  American  children  didn’t  learn  in American  History  class .

In every  room  of  the  museum ,  there  are  exhibits .

Children  will  definitely  enjoy  seeing  the  life size  replica  of  John  Paul  Jones’   boat  and  what  it  was  like  to  be  a  sailor  during  the  war .

I  particularly  liked  the  story  of  George  Washington’s  headquarters  at  Valley  Forge .

It was  a  tent ,  just  like  his  men  had .

You  are  allowed  to  take  pictures  at  the  museum ,  but  for  the  exhibit  on George  Washington’s  headquarters ,  no photos  are  allowed  at  all .

Once  you  see  the  exhibit ,  you’ll  understand  why .

I  was  saddened  to  see  the  exhibits  showing  that  while  the  colonists  were  fighting  for  independence  from  England ,  half  the  population  in the 13  colonies  were  slaves .

To  say  that  I  really  enjoyed  myself  at  this  museum  would  be  an  understatement .

As  a  history  major  in  college  oh  so  many  years  ago ,  seeing  the  exhibits  on  Lexington  and  Concord ,  Yorktown  and  all  those  Revolutionary  War  battles  fascinated  me.

I  even  liked  the  exhibit  showing  the  slaves  who  fought  for  the  British  side  because  they  were  promised  freedom .

I  would  strongly  advise  visiting  the  museum  of  the  American  Revolution  while  you’re  in  Philadelphia .

The  museum  gives  you  a  perspective  of  our  history  from  a  different  view .

One  that  is  very  refreshing  to  see .

Spending  two  or  three  hours  in  the  museum  won’t  bore  you ,  nor  will  you  be  disappointed .