Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor…


Mary and I visited our friend Carrie in New York City last weekend. I also saw two college friends who live in the area. They were all game for visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island so I could geek out in my genealogical way and check off two birthday list items.

Being a genealogy geek, it was quite moving to see the Green Lady and read about the history of the statue and what it meant to millions of immigrants. We spent about three hours walking around the grounds, taking in the views from the pedestal portion of the statue as well as the front of the statue.


The pedestal view

The pedestal view





















Unfortunately that left us with less an hour to walk around Ellis Island. We walked straight to the Immigrant Wall of Honor so I could try to find the names of my second-great-grandparents, Jacob and Sarah Howell. A distant relative of mine had paid to have their names engraved on the wall. Strangely enough, we found their names on the first panel that we stopped at.










I got a chill when I walked into the Registry Room of the building. This is where immigrants were interrogated by inspectors and were asked to confirm the information that they had provided to the ship staff (name, age, occupation, their final destination, etc.).

Registry Room

Registry Room










I hope I can find some time this summer to continue my genealogy research. I haven’t worked on it in months. My current task is to make my way through a microfilm of birth certificates from Gioia Tauro, Italy, where my great-grandmother was born. I spent an hour looking through it a few weeks ago. I probably have a few more hours to go. There are hundreds of certificates, which are all handwritten in practically illegible cursive. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

We ended our NYC trip with a lunch at Junior’s, near Times Square. It’s most famous for its desserts. We split a couple of divine slices of cheesecake.










I’ve decided that I should visit NYC more often. At least once a year. It’s a fairly easy 4-hour bus ride from Boston. Next time I visit, I am headed to Brooklyn. There’s so much buzz about it that I just have to check it out. If you’ve been to or live in Brooklyn, tell me what I need to see and do there!




T Minus One Month


One month left to finish the birthday list and 10 items to go. I’ll knock off a few this weekend when I visit NYC and go to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island for the first time. I’m excited to check out the Immigrant Wall of Honor because a distant relative paid to have my 2nd great grandparents’ names on the wall.

I still have some empty slots in my list, so feel free to contribute some ideas! This is the list as it stands:

1. Make cream cheese mints                      January 1

2. Try a sake cocktail                                   January 4

3. Watch Shane                                           January 11

4. Visit Larz Anderson Auto Museum     January 19

5. Try okra                                                    January 19

6. Watch The Deer Hunter                       January 25

7. Make soft pretzels                                  February 2

8. Learn how to frame pictures               February 14

9. Watch All Quiet on WF                         February 14

10. Buy Herbie Hancock CD                     February 14

11. Do a juice cleanse                                  February 15

12. See a show at the Sinclair                   February 19

13. Eat at Marliave                                      February 26

14. See Sam Adams Barrel Room            March 1

15. Watch Bicycle Thieves                        March 1

16. Attend Holi party                                 March 8

17. Make lip balm                                       March 9

18. Read I, Claudius                                  March 13

19. Eat at Grotto                                         March 19

20. Get donuts at Twin Donuts              March 22

21. Visit Twining tea shop                       March 25

22. Try electronic hookah                       March 25

23. Visit Winchester, England               March 26

24. Visit art exhibit with live animals   April 12

25. Visit Waterworks Museum               April 13

26. Make mosaic art                                 April 19

27. Try hair tea                                          April 19

28. Watch Close Encounters                 April 19

29. Visit Grolier Poetry Shop                April 26

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40 things to do on the birthday list!

BirthdayJune 1st, 2015

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