Now: March 28, 2015.
Then: August 2001.
A few weeks ago, I traveled to Ellis Island for the first time in nearly 14 years. Back then I remember being able to buy a ticket around Castle Garden and hop right on the Liberty Island Ferry. Today, however, after having my ticket checked by a security guard, I had to pass through an airport-like screening facility to get anyway near the dock.
Due to these bomb threats recently leveled against the Statue of Liberty, I guess the National Parks Service has no other choice but to keep its protective measures in place. Maybe it’s a throwback to the kind of scrutiny immigrants first arriving in New York Harbor faced 100 years ago. Then again, maybe it’s just a sad reverberation of the September 11th attacks.
Yesterday, I rediscovered an old shoe box of photos I once took with a disposable camera. Among the wizened prints was a handful of shots collected from my last time on the Liberty Ferry. They’ve grown a bit pinkish and vague since 2001, but what still shines through is the unmistakable skyline on a beautiful day. (And the weather, back then, always seemed beautiful.)
I found one snapped from about the same spot as my latest capture, so I wanted to share it before it degrades any further. Also, its skyline just feels more complete and even more New York than today’s. Maybe that’s because I’m one of the few people I know who still can recall the sense of the city before 9-11. Then again, maybe it’s just that I still really miss seeing the Twin Towers.
Photos by Rick Stachura. New York Harbor as seen from the Liberty Island Ferry.
(NOW) March 28, 2015.
(THEN) August 2001.
(This story was first published to my old Tumblr site on May 3, 2015.)