Lower Manhattan

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Initially we decided to visit La Liberté éclairant le monde (or the Statue of Liberty as it’s more generally known) but then we saw the queue.  We’re near the end of it here and it stretches out to the right, then back in the distance to the left and then zigzags through the distant building in the far left.  That building is where the ferry leaves and when you eventually get to the Statue you get to stand in a succession of queues again.  So we decided to move on.  You can see the Statue on the horizon in the distance above the runner’s head and the white shape in front of it is a ferry.

National Museum of the American Indian

So instead we found the National Museum of the American Indian, a branch of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.  This was much more interesting.  The building was originally the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House which accounts for the maritime decorations in the main halls.

National Museum of the American Indian

This is a feather headdress or cape of the Mebêngôkre tribe from Brazil.  It is quite recent, dating only from 1990.  The collection is quite wonderful but I took few photographs, deciding at the time there was no point recording objects that I could do no justice to.  I did pick up a useful souvenir, though:  a book by Thomas Mann 1491 which offers an eye-opening account of native American societies prior to the arrival of Columbus.

New York

We wandered through Lower Manhattan and found a nice café for a bite to eat.

New York

Lower Manhattan Docks

On the other side of the island we came out at an historic docklands area.

New York

The smaller buildings behind the tall ships are a restored historic area.  The restoration doesn’t quite achieve authentic ambience however.  There is a curious absence of grime, drunken sailors and brothels.

Lower Manhattan Docks

The yellow flag at bottom right (just above the copyright notice) is a water taxi sign.  I think the catamaran coming in on the left is the water taxi though I’m not sure where it’s coming from.

Lower Manhattan Docks

This of course is a parking meter for gulls with Brooklyn Bridge in the background.  And in a clever piece of design flexibility, it doubles as coin-operated binoculars.

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