Like many Americans we had relatives that came over from Europe, presumably through Ellis Island. Therefore, I was excited to go check it out. Those were the days of 35mm cameras and I was into playing with Tiffin filters, so I took some artsy photos. Too bad I didn't get a good scan of them!
The first federal immigrant inspection station opened here in 1892 and was an enormous three-story tall structure built of Georgia pine. It burned down 5 years later and was rebuilt of limestone and brick and reopened in 1900.
The island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, and has hosted a museum of immigration since 1990. (Hurricane Sandy, in 2012, damaged Ellis Island so badly that it was closed until July 4th, 2013.)
(I've read that now you can either go to Ellis Island or Liberty Island, but the ferry doesn't go to both) It was a gift to the United States in 1886 from the people of France. I remember going here once when I was about 6 years old. Many years later and a few renovations, it is still very impressive!
Back on shore, we took a train ride into the city. From Grand Central Station we hopped into a taxi and went straight to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. I remember stepping out of the taxi and looking up in awe at these incredibly huge buildings.
While we were in the city, we also went to the Empire State Building. It is an American cultural icon and is designed in Art Deco style. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. What I remember most about here were the lines to get to the observation deck on floor 86-- the sidewalk line, the lobby elevator line, the ticket purchase line, the second elevator line, and the line to get off the elevator and onto the observation deck.