It is likely impossible to say anything new about New York so I am not going to try. This post is a placeholder and an apology for not being around the blog very much, something likely to continue for the rest of this week while I see the sights.
Briefly, I attended a conference in Washington DC and rather than catch the red-eye express back to London, I am staying with a fellow BCL graduate in New York (a city I have never visited before) until Friday. Today (my first day without the effects of jet lag) was spent tramping around Liberty and Ellis Islands.
Unfortunately, the US hasn’t had a great deal of practice at responding to home terrorism (unlike the British) and watching this basically friendly and welcoming people enforcing Tower of London style security (badly, I might add) at the base of the Statue of Liberty was quite distressing. I particularly felt for the young chap from the National Parks service who had to keep shouting the same information (no water bottles, no back-packs, take off your shoes etc etc) over and over again until he was hoarse. No-one had thought to put up a sign, or prerecord the announcement. No-one had even thought to give him a megaphone.
As I mentioned in the comments to this thread, the Statue of Liberty is a rather fetching green, something I hadn’t appreciated fully until now. A photograph of her in all her greenness is therefore included in this post.
Presumably because it is less symbolic and thus less likely to be a target for loonies, Ellis Island (the main processing centre for US immigrants between 1892 and 1924) was not overburdened with security. It is a striking piece of Victorian architecture, lovingly restored (comparable to Kings Cross-St Pancras in London). I have included a photograph of the vaulted reception hall. It also contains within a museum that I recommend to anyone with even the most passing interest in statistics.
It is one thing to present masses of data in an economics paper to an audience with some training, and another thing entirely to make that information accessible to those who can but add and subtract. The thought that has gone into conveying statistical information in a three-dimensional visual form in the Ellis Island museum is second-to-none and very informative. Highly recommended if you haven’t seen it before.