My final week in NYC is here

LIBERTY ISLAND & ELLIS ISLAND – As my time here comes to a close I find leaving to be bittersweet, and exactly as it should be.  I am ready to return home but sad to leave my new friends. To all of you here in NYC, you’ve made my time here incredibly special.  As we all know, life is what you make of it and the people around you matter.  Thank you once again for all that you have done for me here.  

LIFE IN GENERAL – I’ve spent this past weekend catching up on a few last-minute museums and some eateries.  I made it to the Transit Museum in Brooklyn and ate at Sarge’s Deli is mid-Manhattan. The transit museum was good but I’ve reached saturation on museums.  It’s sad but true, I reached Museum burn-out!  Sarge’s Deli was very good and the staff was exceptional. Opened in the 1960’s and I do believe it gives Katz Deli some true competition.














Pondering my final week ahead – I’ve thought a lot about these last weeks.  All the things I’ve learned, enjoyed, and will miss.  I’ve also thought about returning home and the blessings of family and friends who I have missed.  Some days I really do ponder about all the pieces and parts of living and how intricate and joyful our lives can be if we allow it.

As those of you who know me can attest, my life has been rich in many ways.  There have been bright days and there have been dark days.  In all of it though, I have been given much and for that I owe much in return.  My desire to experience and learn from others has been a powerful asset.   I’ve always wanted to better understand other people and the lives they live which helps me to live mine more fully.  I believe in a God who has protected me, provided for me, and walked with me through it all.  Even in the darkest of days when losses were all encompassing, my God was still there.  And when I was angry at Him and needed a break, he remained there for me.  You see, life is not easy nor is it simple.  But it can be if we stop to share moments with others, make friends with all, and take time to give back in every way possible. I believe life truly is what we make of it and how we choose to be present with the people and events we share. 

Over the course of these past 14-weeks, I have embraced this new adventure.  I have been blessed to be with people who nourished and accepted me, who allowed me into their lives, who shared a little or a lot, and who will forever be a part of my being.  Here is just a few of the many blessings this journey has provided me.  I have . . .  

achieved success in my ability to make a difference through volunteering.

been supported by family and friends in my endeavors.

been supportive of others.

been reminded of all the silly questions we ask when living the tourist life.

been humbled.

been right.

been wrong.

completed a dream from my bucket list.

developed an added appreciation for our National Park Service and its employees.

experienced the world from a New York point of view.

explored the city, its attractions, and its people.

felt a sense of accomplishment.

helped thousands of visitors find the restrooms.


made new friends who have and will continue to impact my life.

observed the ways and whys of those around me.

opened my mind and heart to new ideas.

To all of you here in NYC, you’ve made my time here special.  I’ve tried my best to understand and appreciate your way of life more fully and I feel I’ve made progress. However, I also realize I can never be a true “New Yorker.”  This great city, rich in history and character, is certainly one I will continue to visit with a deeper sense of appreciation.  

Be safe and stay well. And please forgive any typos or grammatical errors.

Hugs to all,


P.S. My brother had open heart surgery last Friday (9/23/22) and is recuperating. He’s had some struggles but is going to be just fine. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes.

Bringing things to a close . . .

Two weeks left to check off a big bucket list item for me.  My dream to work and live in New York City for 3 months is almost complete.  How great it is to have dreams and I am so fortunate to be able to work to bring them to fruition.  I will always be grateful for how very blessed I am.  

LIFE IN GENERAL – What a fabulous week this was.  I took off Saturday for Troy, NY to visit my grandson Thomas.  He is a freshman at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and I’ve made it a goal to see my grandchildren once a year in their college environment.  Seeing and being with them in their home space is so enlightening, especially in their first year.  I will confess to being a bit of a worry-wart and their first year away can be a big deal.  Knowing they fit in and feel at home is incredibly comforting to me and that is exactly what I found with Thomas.  He loves the area, the architecture, the people, and everything about his new home.  He is content and happy and that means everything to me.   We had lunch, walked about the town and then climbed (and I do mean climbed) to the college campus.  We walked, we sat and we talked about it all and I feel so fortunate that I was able to be there and that he wanted to engage with me.  The campus sits on a hill high above the city.  It’s beautiful, it really is.  Here are a few pictures from the area and our time together:

Thomas & Mara – Grandma’s first trip to RPI   


“THE APPROACH” as you enter the RPI campus.         
The bridge where all events and meetings are posted via fliers.






A look inside the bridge.








Moving on up Campus . . . more steps!
Not sure where we are here but I believe this is looking down toward town as we climbed the Approach.
























Looking from THE APPROACH on campus towards Troy.










The Alan Voorhees Computing Center located next to Library on campus.  Beautiful!


















And we part ways for now. See you at Thanksgiving!





























LIBERTY ISLAND – Another week where visitors are slowing down.  I did take a picture of the quilt on exhibit that is a stunning example of patriotic quality.  Thought you might enjoy seeing it.

Beautiful patriotic quilt on display in the Liberty Museum.










ELLIS ISLAND – It was a Hard Hat Tour week!!!!  Now this experience was enlightening.  I see now why people will take it multiple times.  There is so much history here and so much to learn.  Did you know that:

  • Ellis Island was actually three (3) (mostly man made) islands connected via a long corridor.
  • Irish immigrants were the labor force in building The Brooklyn Bridge and the subway system.
  • The dirt from the digging for the subway system was used to form the 2 additional islands connected to Ellis Island where the 29 building hospital complex was built.
  • From 1900-1954, more than 15 million immigrants came through Ellis Island (12 million were between 1900-1924). During this time 350 babies were born and 3500 died while on the island.  Only 2% (350,000) were returned due to illness or inability to prove they had financial support necessary to keep them from being wards of the state.
  • The major diseases found were Trachoma, Tuberculosis, and dispheria. Favis, a scalp disease, as well as ringworm were also found.
  • Chidlren with Ringworm were sent to the hospital, separated from their parents, and charged $2 per day for their care.
  • The cost for a voyage to America took 40-90 days and cost $30 in 1900.
  • Immigration officials did not change sir names at Ellis Island.

The French artist, JR, superimposed various archived photos onto parts of the abandoned hospital buildings.  They give it an eerie feel as these were actual photos of people who were in the hospitals and their families. 

The doors which immigrants used to enter the immigration center.