Wednesday night's performance of Fiddler On the Roof was a great prelude to our visit to Ellis Island National Park. Many of the immigrants that came through Ellis Island shared a common story with the characters in Fiddler: Russian Jews suffering under the pogroms fled to America. The Ellis exhibit picks up where Fiddler ends so it was a great way to contextualize what we were seeing. We learned there were also lots of Italians that came through Ellis Island. One of our students looked up his family's name and found that his relatives might have come through. Pretty neat!
Our afternoon was spent in lower Manhattan island. Many of us know this area as one of the great financial centers of the world, Wall Street. What was new to me was lower Manhattan's key role in U.S. government. As we stood on the corner of Wall St. and Broad these worlds intersect, seeing both the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall. Federal Hall is our first capital building, the site of Washington's inauguration and the centerpiece of many other important events in our early history.
This is the first upper school trip to NYC where most of the kids were born after 9/11. It was good to pause and reflect on this important event. In addition to visiting the waterfall memorials of the two towers, we included a walk through nearby Trinity Church, a refuge for the rescue and cleanup workers.
Before dinner at Buca di Beppo we walked part of the Brooklyn Bridge to get some spectacular views of the East river and the city.