Ellis Island is definitely one of the most important places in New York City and played a huge roll in how the city developed into what it is today. Ellis Island was basically the gateway into the city for immigrants from all over the globe in the late 19th century and the early 20th century. I’ve visited the Island multiple times but this was definitely the my best experience there. I’m not sure if I have any relatives that came through Ellis Island because my grandfather’s last name was most likely changed from the original when his relatives came to America.
The main reasons that this trip was the most enjoyable for me was because of the great weather we had, and the opportunity it gave me to socialize with my peers. The previous times I visited Ellis island it was rainy and cold which kind of took away from the experience of the ferry ride to the island and the Statue of Liberty didn’t look as majestic in the rain. Another thing I notice was different was that they had finished up the construction that was being done when I went there originally. I do have some complaints with the construction they did. I think they did a great job of making a museum out of the main building, however I think that it takes away from the experience seeing all the newly finished displays. I wish they would have left more original rooms to look into and explore. My favorite parts of the building were definitely the large hall and the sleeping quarters. These two exhibits were extremely eye-opening, especially the dorms where these massive bunk beds were shown. I was shocked at the living conditions in the buildings, and seeing the bunk beds made of metal did not seem to be the most comfortable living quarters for those immigrants.
Another thing that was different about this trip was different encounters I had with peple on the trip. On the bus ride to the island I got a chance to talk to some of my classmates who I had not talked to yet. Also, while standing on line to board the ferry there was a man playing music for the crowd and he decides to pick on me. He asked me if I had a “lady” and when I responded no he said he had a sister for me living out in Brooklyn who was about my size. This was definitely a moment I will remember from that trip because it was so funny and random, and also made the long wait a little more bearable.
This trip to Ellis Island was definitely the best one. We got to take some great pictures of the statue of liberty and got to examine some of the great artifacts they had on display.