The story of America cannot be told without the story of immigrants. For many, the quest to live the American dream began as their ship passed under the watchful gaze and welcoming torch of Lady Liberty on the way to Ellis Island. Our “Coming to America” day traces the steps of immigrants and perhaps even your ancestors, from their arrival in New York through their lives in the overcrowded yet culturally rich Lower East Side. Leading us on this remarkable journey will be Fabrice LeClerq, our quide extraordinaire, who has entertained and educated us on New York history for over 15 years.
After our 6:00 am departure from Baltimore, we’ll be serving a full Diversions breakfast and showing “An American Story”, a documentary produced by the Tenement Museum, before meeting Fabrice and catching the 10:00 am boat to Liberty Island. There, we’ll walk around the island while learning about the history of the Statue of Liberty, a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, and built by Gustave Eiffel, the statue depicts the Roman goddess, Libertas, enlightening the world with her torch and tablet.
From Liberty Island, we’ll take the boat to Ellis Island, arriving at the docks just as over 12 million immigrants did from 1892 until 1954. Fabrice will take us on an intimate tour of the immigration museum while telling the stories of those who passed through the doors. From the grand Registry Hall through which over 5,000 people filed each day to the dormitories to the Hearing Room where individuals pleaded their case, the museum is a poignant time capsule. After the tour, you’ll have time to explore on your own or visit the “American Family Immigration History Center" which contains the repository for over 22 million passenger records (manifests) for those arriving into the Port of New York between 1892 and 1924.
Following in the footsteps of many immigrants, we’ll take the boat to Manhattan and make our way to the Lower East Side. En route, we’ll eat a late picnic lunch while Fabrice chronicles the struggles the newest arrivals faced in the cramped, chaotic tenements. We’ll continue on a walking tour of this diverse neighborhood which includes the Eldridge Street Synagogue, the Forward Publishing building, Essex Street Market, the Tenement Museum and Katz’s Deli (famous for its corned beef and pastrami and Meg Ryan’s memorable date in “When Harry Met Sally”). You can almost hear Al Jolson, Irving Berlin, the Gershwin brothers and Jimmy Durante as we walk the streets.
We’ll depart New York at approximately 3:15, serving cold drinks and snacks and showing a great movie. We’ll arrive back in Baltimore around 6:30 pm.
Sunday, October 29 @ $186.00 (Sold Out)
(Unless otherwise indicated, all Diversions trips require membership. To join, please visit our membership page for more information. )