I’m originally from Brooklyn and Labor Day always brings fond memories of my time in New York. Many of my favorite memories are from the West Indian Carnival/Parade which takes place on Labor Day. People from all over the world and especially the Caribbean descend on the city to take part in the festivities culminating with the parade. The biggest event of the weekend is the parade which would pass right in front of my street. Family and friends would flock to our block to get prime seats and enjoy a tasty plate of food from one of the many vendors along Eastern Parkway. It always made for a great time. I was so sad that I didn’t get to enjoy the festivities last week. However, I did get to visit the end of July and do some sightseeing.
I was so sad that I didn’t get to enjoy the festivities last week. However, I did get to visit the end of July and do some sightseeing. While it was far from the fun of the West Indian Carnival, it was definitely a good time filled with new experiences. I’m sharing what I did below.
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Although I’m originally from New York, I’ve never visited the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island. I loved the opportunity to get to see these beauties in person. I took a ferry to both islands using the official tour service. The views of Manhattan from the Statue of Liberty were absolutely unbelievable. It was an incredible experience to visit Ellis Island as well. I learned so much about this place which served as an entry point to the United States for more than 12 million people. We toured the rooms where they entered Ellis Island, endured medical and mental examinations, and where they were held until family members came to pick them up.
We were aware that my husband’s great grandfather came through Ellis Island. It was a pretty neat experience to find his name as well as the information that they collected at the time (for example, hair and eye color, weight, height, amount of money in their possession).
I have found that everyone recommends Central Park to anyone planning to visit New York. I’m here to tell you that there is another park that you should add to your list – Prospect Park. I have fond memories of this place.
As a young girl, my father would take me to Prospect Park which is located in Brooklyn. We would somehow always find ourselves overlooking folks taking rides on the pedal boats. They always appeared to be having the time of their lives. While there, I would ask my father if we could do the same and I was met with a stern, “no” in response. He never shared why he was opposed to us getting on the boat but I knew that I would ride one as soon as I got the opportunity. I had such opportunity this visit to New York and I can’t tell you how excited I was to live out this childhood dream. It’s so exhilarating to do something that you weren’t allowed to do as a child.
I had the chance to visit Dumbo which literally stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”. This is a neighborhood that has been growing with trendy shops, street art and murals, and features the Brooklyn Bridge Park. I went to go to see what the fuss was all about since I’ve never been. I had a chance to visit one of the most photographed places in DUMBO which is where you can see the Manhattan Bridge peek through between industrial buildings.
Brooklyn is where I’m from which probably fueled my healthy obsession with brownstones. They are beautiful on their own, however, the collective is stunning. I was fortunate to stay in a brownstone during this visit which added another level of excitement to my trip. I also took the opportunity to walk through various neighborhoods to take in the beauty of brownstones.