Monday, April 23, 2012

New York City Day 2

In my notes from day two of the trip is the name Deborah Samson.  So I had to look her name up.

According to Wikipedia, Deborah Samson Gannett impersonated a man to serve in the American Revolution.  She served under the name Robert Shurtlift for 17 months. She served in the 4th Massacusetts Regiment and took part in the battle of Tarrytown, New York.  She will later marry a man named Benjamin Gannett and they will have four children (one by adoption).  Not sure why her name came up on the tour.  I have no pictures to go with this tale.

The group walked to Battery Park to board the boat to Ellis Island.  Along the way we came across a Roman Catholic shrine to Elizabeth Ann Seton.  She was the first American-born saint. Elizabeth Ann Seton was born in New York City on August 28, 1774.  She married William Magee Seton in 1794 and together they had five children.  William died in 1803 and she never remarried.  In 1810, she created the St. Joseph's Academy and Free School in which Catholic girls could receive an education. (This was the first Catholic school in the nation)  She also founded the first American congregation of Religious Sisters.  She died on January 4, 1821 of tuberculosis.  She was only 46 years old.

Here is a picture that Ms. Edwards took of the Shrine to Elizabeth Ann Seton.  It is also known as the James Watson House.  James Watson was the first speaker of the New York State Assembly.  The house was built in 1793.

To get to Ellis Island we had to take a ferry out of Battery Park.  Battery Park consists of 25 acres that is located at the southern tip of Manhattan Island.  Within the park are several statues and monuments.  One statue is called the Sphere.  This statue once stood at the center of the plaza of the World Trade Center.  It statue was moved to the park and an eternal flame was added to honor those who have died.

Within Battery Park is Castle Clinton. Construction began on the structure in 1808 and it was completed in 1811.  It was originally known as West Battery but was renamed in honor of New York City mayor Dewitt Clinton.  Before Ellis Island was built it was used as an immigration processing location from August 1, 1855 to April 18, 1890.  It is estimated that over 8 million immigrants came through Castle Clinton.

Within the Castle is a museum.  There are three pictures that showed the growth of lower Manhattan.




We took a ferry to Ellis Island with a stop over at Liberty Island.  We were not able to get off the ferry.  It appears that things have changed at Liberty Island since Ms. Edwards and I were last in New York.  I heard something about timed tickets to go up the Statue of Liberty.  The last time I was on Liberty Island was when Ms. Edwards and Mr. Rowley brought some students to Washington and New York City.  We were not able to climb the statue due to the fact that we were not scheduled to stay on the island for a long period of time.  Below you will find a picture of me on the ferry and a picture of the Statue of Liberty.

Facts about the Statue of Liberty
  • Actual name is Liberty Enlightening the World
  • The statue was designed by Frederic Bartholdi
  • Libertas - was the Roman Goddess of freedom
  • On the tablet is the date July 4, 1776
  • Joseph Pultizer was instrumental in the funding of the pedestal.  He announced that he would publish the names of anyone who donated money in his newspaper World. Over 120,000 people contributed.
  • New York Cities first ticker-tape parade marked the dedication of the statue.
  • President Grover Cleveland presided over the dedication on October 28, 1886. (He was the former New York Governor)
  • The original name of the island was Bedloe's Island.
  • After September 11 the statue and Liberty Island were closed to the public. They reopened the island at the end of 2001.
  • They reopened the statue on July 4, 2009 for a limited number of people per day.
  • October 29, 2011 - the statue was closed down because they want to install new elevators and staircases.
  • The statue is 151 ft 1 in tall
  • With the base the statue is 305 ft 1 in tall
source:  wikipedia

We had the opportunity to spend several hours on Ellis Island.  We were first given a mini lesson about the island and the immigrants who traveled through in by Ed O'Donnell.
  • The average person spend 3-5 hours on Ellis Island.
  • There were four reasons why a person would be refused entrances into the United States
    • Illness
    • Poor
    • Criminal Record 
    • Radical 
  •  2% of all people who passed through Ellis Island were sent back to their homeland.
  • If you were believed to be unfit they would put a white chalk mark on you and send you to see a doctor.
  • Ellis Island opened in 1892
  • 1815 there was a mass migration movement
  • 1820 - 200,000 people came over
  • 1850 - 1 million people entered the United States.  They mostly came from Northern and Western Europe.  
  • 1840 - Carnegie entered the country.  He was the son of a weaver who made the American dream come true for himself.
  • 1880 - People from South and East Europe entered.  (1 in every 25 was Irish)
  • Between 1880-1920 - 1/3 of the worlds Jews entered the United States
  • 1921 - 1924 - Immigration restrictions were put in place.  It was the post WWI climate, Scopes Trial, KKK.  A quote system was put in place per ethnic group.  This lasted until the 1960s.
  • People were considered to be cargo.
  • No names were changed at Ellis Island.  The names could have been shortened in Europe before leaving port.
  • Fiorello La Guardia served as an interpreter on Ellis Island from 1907-1910.  He would later become the mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945.
  • Ellis Island was like a little city.  People could get a meal, exchange money, and purchase railroad tickets on the island.  
Below are some pictures that Ms. Edwards took of Ellis Island.  See if you can find the one that I am in.  Ellis Island has a database that allows individuals to find their family members names if they passed through Ellis Island.  Since Ms. Edwards family did not enter through the island we did not take a look at the registry.

Ms. Edwards and I attend a presentation on the Titanic while on Ellis Island.  I didn't realize that the passengers on the Titanic who were not American citizens would have to pass through Ellis Island.  I also learned the following interesting facts from the presentation:
  • People were considered to be part of the cargo at this time period
  • Non-Immigrant Aliens were people who were visiting the United States with no plans to stay.
  • The nationalities that were on the ship were the British, Irish, Swedish, Syrian, Finnish, Austrian-Hungarian, Bulgarian, Norwegian, Belgian, and Russian
  • On the C deck were common rooms, a recreation room and the men's smoking parlor.
  • On the D deck in an open air area
  • On the F deck were cabins as well as the Dining room
  • Ladies had access to a reading room
  • Another name for third class is steerage
  • 3rd class passengers stayed in cabins with 2, 4, or 6 beds
Below is chart that was presented that gives a pretty decent estimation of the people on the boat.  It is only an estimate through

                               US               Non-Immigration Alien               Immigration
 First Class               222                              96                                     6
 Second Class            65                               93                                  125
 Third Class               21                               50                                  637
 Total                      308                             239                                  768

Total number of people who survived.

                              Women                    Children                    Men

 First Class             113 (97%)                 6 (86%)                  55 (34%)

Second Class           78 (86%)                25 (100%)                13 (8%)

Third Class              88 (49%)                25 (31%)                  59 (13%)
Total                     304 (72%)                56 (50%)                129 (18%)

It was really cool to be on Ellis Island around the anniversary of the Titanic's sinking.  We were informed that the survivors of the sinking were not required to go through Ellis Island because the people of Ellis Island went to them.  They were cleared while on the boat in the harbor because people felt that they had already gone through too much.  Everyone who was seeking a home in the United States was allowed to enter the country.  Normally about 2% of each ship was sent home.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

New York City Day 1

We had an uneventful ride down to NYC on the bus.  I as usually traveled inside a backpack in the overhead compartment.  Ms. Edwards curled up in one of the seats and slept for the majority of the trip down.

The group of about 32 people checked into the hotel at the Seaport Inn Best Western at 33 Peck Slip.  The hotel was amazing.  It was right near so much interesting buildings and places to visit.  Ms. Edwards and I got our own room.  Below is a picture of the room.

At the end of the Seaport is a monument for the RMS Titanic.  The Titanic was supposed to sail from Southampton UK to New York City.  It set sail on April 10, 1912 and hit an iceberg on April 15, 1912.  It is estimated that 1,514 people died.  There were 885 crew members and about 1,317 passengers on board.  Passengers at this time period in history were considered to be part of the cargo.  There were 324 people in First Class, 284 people in Second Class, and 709 in Third Class.  More on the Titanic later.

We took the metro or the subway system to Brooklyn and walked to an area called Fort Greene.  We met up with Charles Calhoun who has been a part of the program since the beginning.  We walked around Brooklyn some and heard about some of the different buildings.  We also stopped in a park and heard about the area.

Fort Greene was named after General Nathanael Greene who fought during the American Revolution.  This area became Brooklyn's first park due to the help of people such as Walt Whitman.  It was originally called Washington Park.  Within the park is a monument to Prison Ship Martyrs.  During the American Revolution any prisoner of war that the British captured was put on ships in the harbor.  Around 11,500 American prisoners died from disease and malnutrition.  Soldiers were buried in shallow graves that over the years were discovered.  The bodies were reburied in a crypt below the park and the monument was put up to honor those who served and died.

 After learning about Fort Greene we started to walk towards Charles' house.  Along the way we learned about Brownstones.  They are made of a sandstone that came from New Jersey.  

 Here is a random picture that Ms. Edwards took of a group houses in Brooklyn.  
 We had a nice gathering at Charles house in Brooklyn.  Below is a picture of the garden that is attached his house.  The group was able to relax and get to know each other better.  Some of the group was even able to talk to Martina through skype.
 After the gathering Ms. Edwards and members of the group took the subway back to the Seaport and had dinner at a Restaurant called Red.  It was a Mexican restaurant.  Ms. Edwards had nachos.

Below are some pictures of the flowers that were in bloom in the Brooklyn area.

Here is a picture of a clock tower in Brooklyn.  It is the landmark that the group used to get back to the subway.  Interesting story....while walking to the subway stop a few members of the group were talking about going to a Polish restaurant.  They figured that it was about one stop up from the metro stop.  A lady walking near the group overheard the conversation and told the group that it was a fifteen minute walk down a certain road.  She seemed shocked that the guys decided to take the metro for one stop and not just walk the 15 minutes.  Walking seems to be such a part to living in New York.  In Maine, people hop in their cars to drive down the street (less then a mile) to pick up a gallon of milk.
 After dinner, Ms. Edwards and a few of the ladies walked down to the Seaport to admire the view.  Below are pictures of the Brooklyn bridge and the skyline at night.

New York Trip in April

So Ms. Edwards and I are going on a trip to New York City with the Maine Humanities Council.  Ms. Edwards has been a part of the program called Teaching American History for the past few years.  The focus of the program was to read biographies and start using the stories of peoples lives in the classroom.  The final activity of the program was a trip to NYC.  The agenda appears to be very complete.  We are going to see the following:

Saturday, April 14, 2012
  • Bus ride to NYC
  • Check into hotel
  • Fort Greene Park
  • Visit Charles Calhoun's Apartment
Sunday, April 15, 2012
  • Statute of Liberty and Ellis Island
  • Trinity Church
  • Zuccotti Park
  • St. Paul's Chapel
  • 9/11 Memorial   
Monday, April 16, 2012
  • Tenement Museum
  • Katz's Deli
  • Lower East Side walking tour
  • Joe's Ginger
  • Walk across Brooklyn Bridge
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
  •  Harlem Tour
  • Miss Maude's 
  • Central Park Tour
  • Museum of the City of New York
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
  • Grant Memorial
  • Museum of choice
Thursday, April 19, 2012
  • High Line Tour
  • West Village Tour
  • Strand Bookstore

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Domincan Republic Day Three

Today was a relaxing day around the beach house. There was no agenda and no planned activities. Everyone just sort of did what they wanted to. A lot of time was spent relaxing on the beach, walking, reading, napping, playing cards and just sitting and laying around.

Ms. Edwards woke up around 8:00 AM and went for a swim before breakfast was served. Breakfast was made by the group of boys on the trip as well as Luis IV. We had bread, butter, bacon, eggs, and fruit prepared by the "Crew". Luis IV would not allow any of the women to help with the preparation of meals. He just wanted the assistance of the four boys who became known as the "crew" very quickly. They had to help prepare all the meals as well as clean up the kitchen.

Ms. Edwards spent some time relaxing in the beach house finishing a book and starting to read a book about the Korean War for TAH program that she is going to participate in this summer.

Ms. Beane made it possible for each individual in the group that wanted to to ride around the bay on a banana boat. Ms. Wood and Ms. Edwards went on the first ride and one of the students took pictures of them out in the bay. Upon returning to the starting point the group of students in the front decided to fall off. When they fell everyone fell off.

It was a nice day for a nap and Ms. Edwards took about an hour nap in the afternoon. Dominican time is completely different then time here in the states. Lunch was not served until 4:30 PM. Lunch was amazing. They took their time cooking the meal. There was pork, beans, and salad.

Ms. Edwards and a group of people walked down the street of the town. Ms. Edwards purchased two diet pepsi's for 50 pescos. On the walk back a child from the town tried to take the diet pepsi. The town had all types of different buildings. Below are some pictures of Ms. Edwards' walk through the town. There were a lot of people sitting outside their houses and talking in small groups. Some of the kids were playing on a tree near the beach. There was also a group of teenagers playing on a basketball court.

Ms. Wood search for a shell paid off. She found a conch shell for her mother. Check out the picture of her with the shell.

At the camp was a group of students working on on some sand castles. Near the beach was also a group of townspeople who were creating some sand castles to impress the girls. Below are both castles.

The plan was for a relaxing evening. Ms. Edwards, Ms. Wood, Mr. Swan and Mrs. Ray played spades. Dinner consisted of sandwiches. Ms. Edwards had peanut butter. The kids seemed to enjoy talking to the boys on the beach and relaxing around the fire.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dominican Republic Day Two

We had to get up early because we were traveling to the beach house via a stop at La Isabella. Ms. Wood and Ms. Edwards went over to breakfast at the hotel with a bunch of students. They left Kennedy and myself in the lobby with the rest of their luggage. I guess we were suppose to stand guard

It was decided the night before that 1/2 the luggage would go to Luis's house and that people would only bring what was necessary to the beach house. This was due to lack of space in the bus. Thank goodness the bus company brought a small container to attach to the back of the vehicle.

We had to wait in the lobby for the group to come back with the bus from Luis's house. Here is a picture of my new little buddy. His name is Kaedan. He is sporting our logo for the trip. Can't wait to see him walking.

The driving of the vehicle was really nice to me. He let me ride up at the very front looking out the window. I was hoping for a seat belt but it appears that they don't wear them down there like we do in the States. The driver was great though. Every time I feel over he would pick me back up and set me in the window again.

It was a long drive to La Isabella. We made a stop at a small store and picked up snacks and used the restroom. Had Ms. Edwards known how long it was going to be she probably would have ordered lunch instead of just a small snack. I was good though. I had bear snacks in the backpack.

On the way to the beach house we stopped at La Isabella. It is believed to be the first landing site for Christopher Columbus. We were able to walk around a see what was the outline structure for the town hall, graves, a dead guy (Spanish), Columbus's house, trees, a burrow owl and his nest and the museum. The reason we knew that the skeleton was a Spanish was because of how he was positioned. Natives were buried in the fetal position and Spaniards were buried with their arms crossed over their chest. We had a tour guide walk around with us. Ms. Beane had to translate for him because he only spoke in Spanish.

The tour guide walked us around the museum and showed us different artifacts that were found during an archeological dig. There were examples of Native American jewelry, carvings, and pottery. There were also artifacts from the Spanish.

At one time there might have been more structures at the site. It appears that the Dictator in charge of the country wanted the area cleaned up. Someone took that to mean totally destroyed. Needless to say that person did not live long. All that remains now is the grave sites and the outline of the structures.

After leaving La Isabella we got back into the bus and headed to the beach house. We were in the car for a total of six hours. The bus driver kept indicating that the beach house was a lot closer then it actually ended up being. Ms. Edwards napped in the car so she didn't realize that it took almost six hours total for us to reach the beach house. A lot of many animals were seen on the ride to the beach house. The group was able to see dogs, cows, donkeys, horses, goats, roosters, and chicken on the side of the road.

Right before we got to the beach house we came upon an parade. It was a political rally for the purple party. We ended up in the middle of the parade while trying to drive down the street. There were a lot of people riding around in the back of trucks and on motorcycles.

After getting passed the political rally and driving down a short road we finally made it to the beach house at 5:30 PM. The group worked at setting up the camp and deciding where people would sleep. The Swan's were given a room for themselves and Kaedan. The kids slept outside in tents that were set up by the group. Ms. Beane and Mrs. Bolduc stayed outside as well. Ms. Wood, Ms. Edwards, Kennedy and I crashed in one room and the ladies crashed in a second. The men were given the living room space.

Everyone quickly made their way into the water and enjoyed swimming around in the nice blue ocean. Dinner was prepared for the group by Luis IV with the assistance of some of the men from the town. It was an amazing meal. They cooked pasta and a sauce with sausage, onions, garlic and other herbs.

After dinner people walked on the beach and relaxed around the beach house. On the beach were a lot of stray dogs. Some of the girls in the group took an interest in the dogs and feed them the scraps from dinner.
Ms. Edwards played a card game of Phase 10 with a group. Everyone sat around the fire enjoying the night air and went to bed when they were ready.