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.








This is the original bench from the main entryway. You will see it in the picture below of the immigrants.







One of the French artist JR’s postings of actual immigrants.













These pictures are a little creepy to me. But they are actual immigrants.















LITTLE ITALY STREET FAIR – The Feast of San Gennaro began this week.  It’s a celebration of the life of San Gennaro of Naples who was the bishop of Benevento, Italy and martyred in 350AD.  The link, for more information, can be found at

Food was absolutely OUTSTANDING!  Meatballs the size of softballs, cannolis of every variety, and gelato that was better than anything I’ve tasted!  Spent Friday afternoon here and had a wonderful time, especially with the street vendors.

It’s a Street Fair!
Gelato – oh my. Yum yum
And more Cannoli’s








STATUE CITY CRUISES – The one obvious thing I have not mentioned is that the ride to work every day includes a ferry trip.  I’ve posted pictures of the boats but have failed to mention the incredible crew that work these ferries every day.  There are crews at Battery Park where we begin our journey and then more at Ellis Island and Liberty Island to assist with loading and unloading these ferries.  Each one has capacity for 600-800 people.  That’s a lot of people, a lot of questions, and quick turnarounds to keep these ferries on time.  (There is one every 25 minutes!). These folks are quality people and I have enjoyed their professionalism each day in my travels as well as those they serve all day long.  Part of the work we do on the islands is to help folks ascertain the right line for the right ferry to get them where they want to be.  That can have its challenges, especially when you consider all the varying languages from our guests and visitors who are not familiar with the city and often forget where they started their journey from.  Kudos, and I really mean giant Kudos, to the entire staff of Statue City Cruises for providing such excellent services. 













MAIL – Sweet letter from my friend Katelyn this week.  She made my day!   For my prayerful friends, please keep my brother (Mickey) in your prayers.  He will be having heart surgery on September 23!  

I wish all of you a wonderful week.  Be safe and stay well. And please forgive any typos or grammatical errors.

Hugs to all,