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.








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,



My final month begins . . .

 LIFE IN GENERAL – The week began with a wonderful cool day, including a breeze over the water that felt perfect.  That was Tuesday.  The rest of the week warmed back to the upper 80s and higher humidity.  Ugh!  I’m kind of tired of the heat and so so ready for fall.  This week rain is projected as I start my week and expected to continue through Wednesday evening.  That’s going to be fun on my walking commute!

LIBERTY ISLAND – Things are slowing down some, but visitors are still coming in by the thousands.  We had a couple slower moments during the days this week, but they were minimal.  I’m anxious to see if it trails off more by mid-September.

Island EMT staff – a bunch of great people for sure!







ELLIS ISLAND – I continue to spend Thursdays on Ellis Island and getting to know the staff there.  One day a week is more like a normal volunteer, and I see why it takes a few months to feel connected.  It’s different when you are there multiple days in a row.

 CHURCH:  I attended Trinity Episcopal Wall Street this week and it was delightful.  The service was wonderful, the music glorious, and the homily better than ever.  It wasn’t St. Thomas in San Antonio (my all-time favorite) but it is now my 2nd most loved experience.  There were several things unique in this service that I had not seen before and found refreshing and inspiring.








For my fellow Episcopalians, take a look at these changes:  At the beginning of the service, they included a Gathering Prayer directly following the Acclamation.  It reads below:

Dear God,
Thank you so much
for bringing us to this time and place.
Please be with us
as we listen, pray, sing, and learn.
And help us remember that
you will always love us.

The Confession and Absolution reads as follows:

Loving God, Sometimes we do things we shouldn’t do. Sometimes we don’t do the things we should do.  We are sorry.  Forgive us for our mistakes. Help us make good choices.  And remind us that you love us.

During the Fraction and Invitation for communion, it was as follows:.                 Celebrant:  The Gifts of God for the People of God.  Behold what you are.             People:  May we become what we receive.

 Closing Prayer and Dismissal:  God be in my head, God be in my heart, God be in my left hand, God be in my right hand, God be in my whole life. 

The Museum of Mathematics (MOMATH) – Last weekend I ventured out to visit the Museum of Mathematics.  What a great (albeit small) museum for some hands on experiences with math.  Young and old alike will enjoy their time here.  A great stop and a great find!  







St. Paul’s ChapelSkip and Ginny and I visited St. Paul’s Chapel while they were here.  A beautiful church which stood so close to the twin towers on 9-11 and yet not a window was broken.  Protected by God for sure.

South SeaportMy friends Skip and Ginny Thomas from New Jersey came up to visit with me and we were able to visit the South Seaport (thanks to Ginny’s navigation skills!).  How South Street Seaport Began: Some NYC History (copied from an internet website)For almost 400 years, the seaport has served the city as a hub of commerce and entertainment. When New York was first discovered by Henry Hudson in the 17th century, the neighborhood acted as an outpost for the Dutch West India Company. The trade that started here helped New York’s economy grow to be one of the most successful in the world. As time went on, the South Street Seaport continued to transform as a gateway for international shipping, the wholesale fish trade, and the printing press business. A new urban renewal plan was even pioneered for the neighborhood to preserve historic buildings while modern construction could continue alongside it.  Things took a turn for the worse after Hurricane Sandy hit New York in October of 2012. South Street Seaport was left heavily damaged and flooded in seven feet of water. Many businesses closed and Pier 17, the hub of the entire neighborhood, was torn down. But, as New York has done time and time again, the city was able to rebuild and bring the neighborhood back to its former glory. South Street Seaport was the city’s first 24-hour neighborhood, and today it still fits right in with “the city that never sleeps.” From the former Fulton Fish Market to the modern mall filled with shops and food, the South Street Seaport has so much to offer.  







Historical Walk through the West End and Greenwich Village– My friend, Eric Byron, took me on an architectural dream walk through the west end of lower Manhattan and Greenwich Village.  Some of the most famous homes and historical sites are around here and it was really interested.  I was so fortunate to have my own private tour and am so grateful to Eric for making it happen.   

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory:  Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, on Saturday, March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city, and one of the deadliest in U.S. history. 146 women died in this tragic event.




Stonewall Forever:  In the summer of 1969, brave individuals from the LGBTQ community marked a monumental change.  The gay bar, The Stonewall Inn, was raided on June 28, 1969. The confrontations continued for several days in nearby Christopher Park on adjacent streets.  This uprising catalyzed the LGBTQ civil rights movement. 








Historic wood framed homes are a rarity:  Amongst the rise of big tall buildings you will occasionally find a small wood framed home that was built in the 1800’s still standing.  Here are a couple.
















New York’s ‘narrowest’ home – 75½ Bedford Street is a house located in the West Village neighborhood of New York City that is only 9 feet 6 inches (2.9 meters) wide. Built in 1873, it is often described as the narrowest house in New York.  It’s also known as the Millay House, as famous poet Edna St. Vincent Millay lived here with her husband in the early 1920s.










Cherry Lane Theatre – Located in Greenwich Village, Cherry Lane Theatre is New York City’s oldest continuously running off-Broadway theatre. The Cherry Lane officially opened to the public in March 1924, but the building was originally constructed as a farm silo in 1817. Kim Hunter, acclaimed actress who created the role of “Stella” in “A Streetcar named Desire” lived above this theatre with her playwright husband, Robert Emmett, from 1954 until her death in 2002. 





Northern Dispensary, West Village – This landmark was built as a clinic for the poor in 1831 with a third floor added in 1854.  It’s one of those Village paradoxes – a triangular building, and the only one in New York with two streets on one side (Grove and Christopher where they join), and two sides on one street (Waverly Place, where it forks to go off in two directions). 









Washington Park and the Washington Monument – In 1797 the City’s Common Council acquired the land for use as a “Potter’s Field” and for public executions, giving rise to the legend of the “Hangman’s Elm” in the park’s northwest corner. The tree still stands today.

The site became a public park in 1827. Following this designation, prominent families, wanting to escape the disease and congestion of downtown Manhattan, moved into the area and built the distinguished Greek Revival mansions that still line the square’s north side.












Have a wonderful week.   Forgive any typos or grammatical errors please.

Hugs to all,  Mara

It’s the halfway point . . . only 7 weeks left in NYC

EMBARRASSING REALITIES – I’ve actually been really good this week!  Grace followed me around and there were no spills, falls, or face plants! However, I did share this gift with my grandson Jack.  He inherited his grace from his Granny and I am so sorry about that.  As he was getting ready to get on the bus for his 2nd day of school this week he fell and skidded under the bus steps. He’s doing well now though as he brushed himself off and went back to school the following day!





FOOD – It was a quiet week foodwise other than the Danish bakery I found! Lagkagehuset is a Danish bakery chain with over 100 branches in Denmark, London, and New York City.  It was founded in the 1990s and it is incredible.  These types of special places are all over here.  You just never know what golden treasure you will find around the next corner.  I love that about NYC.  The cinnamon role missing was mine.  And it was sooooooooo good.  They are called Cinnamon Swirls and the thin layers of pastry flake with every bite! 







Spotted Lanternfly –  Remember this from last week.  Here are the tracking kills . . .







CHURCH:  My place of worship this week was St. Clements.  Their website provides: “Welcome to St. Clement’s Episcopal Church – A congregation that has always celebrated the ministry of women, of gay and lesbian people, and those of all walks of life; a longtime center of service to the poor, celebrating social activism and creative liturgy, we are one of the most diverse Episcopal parishes in New York City.  St. Clement’s celebrates and serves the theatre district community, symbolized by our famous Mass in the Theatre (most Sundays). We remain the third oldest, continually operating Off Broadway Theatre in New York City.”













What a quaint little church and a very welcoming group.  The sanctuary is on the 2nd floor of the building, and they are able to continue operations due to income received from their theatre rentals.  You’ll notice in the pictures of the front of the church that this Sunday was the final showing of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in their theatre.  The congregation was small (only 6 of us this day) plus 2 choir members and a pianist.  However small, they were mighty as they sang and played with gusto.  I am happy to have had this experience. 

LADY LIBERTY –  This week Liberty Island went from unbearable heat to the most beautiful of breezy waterfront days. Check out one of the Ferries coming into the dock on a beautiful breezy day.









One thing I will share with you this week has to do with our wonderful visitors.  These people make us who we are and their interest in the monument allow us to continue doing what we do.  We appreciate and respect them and I’ve yet to see an exasperated ranger.  However, I have been an exasperated Volunteer.  Allow me to share some insights.  As we begin our day the arrivals are happy, calm, eager to see the Lady and visit the museum. 







The original torch as it now stands in the new museum.












My first station is the Torch Room on most days and I stand ready to answer questions about the original Torch on display in the room and the replica of Liberty’s face mounted on the wall.  There are many pleasant conversations with guests as they learn about these items.  As the day progresses, the conversations lessen and the need for direction increases.  You see, there is no food or drink allowed in the museum (can you think of a museum that even allows food or drink inside the building?) nor can you climb on any of the exhibits. 

It seems the parents begin to close that mindful eye and kids begin climbing on the rails, trying to enter the exhibit by going under the rails (normally 2–3-year-olds along with an occasional crawler let loose on the floor), or the adult who decided the rail is really a bench and climbs to sit and relax a bit. “I’m sorry” I say “but you are not allowed to sit on the rails.  It can be dangerous, and we want to protect you and the exhibit.”  Those words are met with apologies, blank stares, or simple disgust that you would dare say such a thing to them.  I continue to smile and move along.

By afternoon, poor Lady Liberty’s face has been slapped, smacked, kissed, and thousands of pictures have been taken with heads and hands up her nose.  I did have to ask the parents of a 4-year-old to remove her from the face as she was using Liberty’s lips as a climbing platform.  They were not pleased with me.  (We always try to find a parent first to address as opposed to the child as that never seems to go well.)

The same is true for food & drink.  More open cup lemonades find their way into the museum requiring direction.  Again, apologies, blank stares, or just ignoring your words seems to work equally well amongst them.  Food issues are rare until the 3-4ish crowd when you’ll see children carrying open bags of chips, some folks trying to have a picnic inside the building (it is air conditioned, so I guess that makes it the most desirable location), or the occasional muffin coming straight out of the backpack for an afternoon snack. 

So, the next time you go to a museum where there is a ranger or volunteer available, ask them a question.  That’s what they are there for and that’s what they love doing.  And be sure to thank them for all the work they do with a smile on their face to maintain the exhibits.  And please, no food or drink inside the museum. Ha!

ELLIS ISLAND – My first day on Ellis Island was last Thursday.  To start my day there I met Charlie DeLeo, known as the keeper of the flame.  He climbed the torch every day and completed maintenance of the torch from 1972 to 2002 with no harness. And then, after retirement, followed this as a Volunteer for the next 22 years. He definitely loves Lady Liberty and what she represents. 

Charlie cleaning the glass on the torch
Charlie cleaning the new torch installed in 1986.



















Click on following for a video about Charlie:  Charlie DeLeo Video











Ellis Island or Liberty Island?  Which do I like better? –  There is a very distinct difference between Liberty and Ellis Islands.  Not only is the pace slower (only about 30% of visitors who come to Liberty Island make a stop at Ellis Island), but the amount of information Rangers can share is greater because it is so much less chaotic there.  You may find this difficult to believe but not all people are interested in the history of our country or the history of immigration. 


My first day there was all about learning the mechanics – – – how this and that works, where to go to find x or y, and, naturally, where the restrooms are!  There are lots of questions about the Wall of Honor (which I learned is a donation based wall that anyone can be listed on for a donation) and the “Book” many think exists with the signatures of the immigrants.  Unfortunately there is no “book” with signatures.  There are records of immigrants from 1892-1924 maintained by the American Family Information History Center (AFIHC) and anyone can search these records here at Ellis Island or online at






The Hard Hat Tour, which is talked about with great respect, is a walking tour of the Hospital area of the island.  The tour is $50 which goes to the restoration fund to upgrade these buildings. I hope to attend one of these this week or next. 











Now that I am ‘trained’, I will go there every Thursday and learn more and more I am certain.  Because of the slower pace there, it is a great opportunity to glean more information from the Rangers who have a huge depth of knowledge after the history of this island and immigration as it occurred in the past.  I also find it interesting and enlightening to gather their thoughts on immigration today.  All in all, an incredible learning opportunity for me.

 WEATHER – Finally, a reprieve!  “HELL” arrived early in the week with temps near 100 (and heat indexes over 100). I know I live in Texas but I must say this is a different heat and it was miserable!  By Thursday though it had cooled and we had a wonderful end of the week.  Temps in the low 70’s for the morning walk and the high didn’t go beyond the upper 80’s with a very nice breeze.  I was happy to be walking the streets of NYC again.

MAIL – Daughter Melissa,  who never fails to send me a card or package each week,  sent a mug that says “MAMA” to me this week and I just love it.  The little things can warm your heart and make being away so much better.  You’d think I was too old to be homesick but not true.  I thank her and everyone else for their calls and notes.  You make it so much easier for me to do and enjoy these crazy adventures.  I appreciate you ALL more than you know.  

Have a wonderful week.  I’m off today and am heading off to see the Whitney Museum of Art and find a new lunch place to try.  Hugs to all,





Moving on to Week Two!

This past week was my first FULL week of work at Liberty Island.  Tuesday, July 5 through Saturday, July 9 found my routine much more settled and I was much more in sync with the city and my travels.  Each day the schedule changes and your order of stations is never the same.  This uniqueness keeps energy levels high and the days go by so fast!

By Friday this past week I was settled in to the routine and my travel to and from Liberty Island gets easier each day.  There will be more stories in the weeks to come I’m sure.  For now, I’m just pleased to be finding my groove.  

Thought you might like some pictures of the Ferries.  First we have the New Jersey Ferry arriving from Liberty State Park.  Each Ferry can carry approximately 800 passengers each.  The Ferries operate approximately every 30 minutes!  That’s a lot of people being moved.

The New Jersey Ferry



The New York Ferry
Rolling up to the Dock

I did some fun things this past weekend on my days off. My friends, Skip & Ginny Thomas, who live in New Jersey came to have lunch and visit. Ginny’s father was a New Jersey police officer and she knows the area well. They rode here on the train and spent the afternoon. It was such a treat! We had lunch and then walked to areas I had not seen before. We visited the Moynihan Train Hall where the New York trains run. It’s a beautiful hall and houses Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road. It has been a visionary project – a generation in the making – Moynihan Train Hall is the city’s newest grand civic icon. The $1.6 billion project transforms the 100+ year-old James A. Farley Post Office Building into a modern, world-class transit hub – an idea first proposed by the late United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan more than a quarter-century ago. So beautiful and so interesting. We didn’t quite make it to the Chelsea Market but I ended up going there today. Lots of arts and craft markets, clothing shops, and eateries. Had the best fish tacos ever for lunch. Thanks Skip & Ginny for making my weekend!

A few random pictures below to keep you abreast of family stuff!

7th from the left is Michaela Jenkins (Melissa’s youngest)
Skiing time for Michaela and Thomas in Michigan. Fifth pair from the left is Thomas Jenkins (Melissa’s middle son) and his sister Alexandra.
Family picture of Jennifer & Ceasar and all the kids. From L to R Maya, Reid, Jack, Jennifer, Ceasar, Jack, and Marisol.

Remember to keep me up to date with your life and happenings. You can email me at anytime. I’d love hearing from you. Take care and stay safe!

My first week is in the books.

June 28, 2022, Day 1:  18,876 + steps.  –   I thought I was a pretty good walker . . . but walking in NYC takes on new meanings, especially if you are unsure of where you are going!  (Did I mention I suffer from Topographical Disoriention . . . more about that later!) My first day here included a trip to the the main Metro office for my senior metro card.  I also thought I would learn about the available mass transport in the city from them.  Well, I did get my senior metro card but the ‘learning’ part was up to me!  They provided a metro map and off I went.

New Shoes – I’m going bold!

June 29, 2022, Day 2:  13,215+ steps.  –   Today was my first meeting with the Park Service and orientation.  I took the subway, I walked (mostly in the wrong direction)  – and I met several of the park rangers.  A good day and a full one.  I start work tomorrow!




June 30, 2022 – Day 3:  13,215+ steps.  –  Today was my first day on Liberty Island to work.  I got up early and left around 7:00 a.m.  Rode the subway to South Ferry, picked up the Ferry to Liberty Island and was ready for work by 9:00 a.m.  Left the Island at 5:20 and walked into my apartment at 7:15.  I had a few challenges getting back.

The New Jersey Skyline. That’s Ellis Island in front of the skyline.






New York Skyline












The white structure is the ferry screening building











July 1, 2022, Day 4:  9,670+ steps.  –  Today is Friday and I have my second full day at the Island.  We move locations every hour.  Stations are located at the Dock, greeting people and answering questions, the Museum Information Desk, The Theatre Line, The Torch Gallery (where the originally Liberty Torch is on display), The Pedestal tour screening line and the Elevator inside Liberty.  I have not done these last two stations yet but hopefully will do so in another few weeks.  

July 2, 2022, Day 5:  9,708+ steps.  – Saturday and my last working day for the week.  The day went quickly and work was busy.  Visitors are arriving to celebrate 4th of July in New York.  I managed my assignments well while making many new acquaintances.  All the rangers have been helpful and encouraging.  I felt like a member of the team from the very beginning.  Coming home I got a little turned around getting to the subway and exiting the subway.  I was so tired I plunged head first into bed and didn’t get up until Sunday morning.  I have 2 days off (Sunday & Monday) and will get lots of rest and be ready for next week!

July 3-4, 2022:  My days off!   Having slept off and on most of Sunday I didn’t see much.  I did Laundry in our provided laundry rooms which were really nice.  


Laundry Room Washer and Dryer







Dryer (there are more than one) and an ironing board comes in handy.








I thought a lot about my week and how very lucky I am to be able to do this adventure.  Lots of family support and encouragement help me on these adventures and I am most appreciative of each one of them.

There are always challenges, of course,  but mostly they were directional challenges these last few days.  In theory, directions are clear and everything is marked well here in NYC.  I have my phone with maps apps and I dial up where I am going every time.  However, the reality is when you combine actual “feet on the street” with someone who does not have an intuitive sense of direction at all (Topograhical Disorientation), it can become a challenge.  I’ve never been able to identify North, South, East or West in new locations.  I’ve also never had an automatic sense of left and right.  If I’m thinking left I often point right.  Plus, I’ve always had a strong desire to travel in an opposing direction.  These are just challenges, not failures.  However, coming out of a subway in a different place each day can pose issues.  Exiting the subway isn’t a one-way street.  There are many exits, all leading in different directions.  For someone such as I, they can pose a challenge that includes a lot of corrections and many extra steps.  

The good news is that I now have a better sense of where I am directionally thanks to practice and some great tips from a local police officer who works as an EMT with the Park Service.  She made my day with some simple instructions.  In Manhattan, if you are on a numbered avenue and the numbers are going down you are heading East.  If they are going up, you are going West.  On Streets, if the numbers are going down, you are heading south, going up you are heading north!  Great insight (and one that I can remember and use.)

My days off are Sunday and Monday.  Theoretically, I’ll have Sunday to go to church and Sunday afternoon and Monday to explore.  This Sunday though I hardly moved and Monday wasn’t much different.  I did walk to Hell’s Kitchen and Times Square on Monday and put my name in the lottery for broadway shows.  I’ll keep you posted on that front as the weeks go by.

A walk through Hell’s Kitchen.







Hell’s Kitchen Deli







I ended my July 4 sitting in my room watching the local Fireworks.  I’m sure many of you watched them as well.  The live event was not too too far from me but I opted out of going alone knowing it was night and I would not be back to my room until close to midnight.  So I listened to the chatter of folks outside and watched online in the comfort of my room.

Till next time . . . stay well and be safe.  Hugs from New York.


Arrival in New York City

Tuesday, June 28:  Suitcases packed and headed to airport.  My flight left San Antonio at 5:30 a.m.  I hardly slept the night before I was so excited (and nervous too!). Just me and my carry-on . . .

Me and my carry-on







I arrived in New York around 2pm local time after a few hour layover at Chicago Midway airport.  This was the sign out my airplane window as we taxied upon arrival at LaGuardia.

Welcome to New York!














Then it was off to baggage claim to pick up my suitcases and on to the taxi stand to head to my new home for the next few months.  The picture below shows you the front of the taxi line. 

There are a lot of us in the taxi queue.

     What you can’t see (or hear) is the slight little woman yelling directions to all to move here and move there.  She was quite the director. 

     I was so captivated by her yelling I didn’t realize she was pointing at me until she yelled louder for me to move. 

     Well, I moved then. . .  following her out in the middle of the street and 6 taxis down where she pointed at a car and told me to get in. 


As I was moving my luggage back over to the side of the curb she yelled again, and I thought it was at me.  I looked over, tripped over my suitcase, and did a face plant on the passenger side of the taxi.  Fortunately I landed on top of my suitcase so no damage done.


The taxi driver, a sweet older man, came around the side of the cab asking where I went and what was I doing.  By that time, I was up and casually said “oh nothing, just taking it all in sir”.  Only I can show my true style so quickly!

My taxi driver








I did not get his name, but he’s been driving for 45 years, and is now pushing 70 years old.  He has no plans to retire and says he works a full day (7am to 8pm) and then takes a day off so he can keep up with his wife’s “honey-do” list!  I arrived safe and sound and was well entertained along the way.

My New Home

The Webster Apartments will be my home for the next three (3) months.  It’s a beautiful old building and serves as a women only residence.  Because the building has been sold (and everyone must be moved out by December 31, 2022), they are only taking females doing temporary internships, college classes, or special work assignments.  However, prior to the sale, some of the residents have lived here for as long as 3-5 years.  One lady I met has been here 4 years and she really does not want to leave.  She works in Manhattan and says it is all the space she needs.  She’s a native and advised me the true natives of New York do not need much space as they spend little time inside.

I even have my own sink.

By the way, the phone on the wall does not work!  Lol.


Small but so adequate!







That’s it for arrival and my new home.  Tomorrow I will be up and exploring.  I’m going to the Metro office to get my senior Metro pass.  Yeah me! And boy do I have more stories to tell.  

Have a great evening and I’ll share more about my experiences in the next post. Here’s a teaser – Day #2 included walking over 19,000 steps!