Friday, July 3, 2009

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

The Statue of Liberty's crown has just reopened to tourists, albeit bagless, guided by Park Rangers, and limited to 30 at a time. While this might significantly improve the experience, let me tell you right now: it ain't worth it. I was about ten years old, I think, when we took my aunt and uncle to see it. I remember the interminable climb, which was not so much a climb as a standstill. I was sitting on the stairs at my uncle's feet, suffering in silence till the next time we got to climb a few feet. Then when we got to the crown, they were shuffling us through, so I got a quick glimpse through the small windows, which I recall not even being perfectly clean, and that was it.

In contrast, the pedestal is still a great view, it's open so you can smell the sea breeze, it's elevator-equipped for the handicapped, and you can walk all the way around. No contest.

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