Posted by: Ernest Barteldes | October 16, 2015

The Statue of Liberty Cruise + Lady Liberty Cocktail

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

By Ernest Barteldes

Last October 5th marked my 15th anniversary of living in New York City. It is the longest I’ve lived anywhere – I recall moving around a lot when I was a kid, and that tendency stayed with me for the longest time until I got on that flight out of Brazil after prospects for a one-year contract to teach in South Korea did not work out as originally planned.

Though I did go to the Statue of Liberty during a visit in ever since I relocated here I have mostly avoided tourist-y stuff. I can’t remember the last time I walked through Times Square, and during my daily crossings on the Staten Island Ferry I pretty much ignore the scenery that so many people travel from afar to see (if you happen to see me there, I’ll be reading or listening to music).

However, I do enjoy exploring the city I call home and doing things most locals I know would probably twist their noses at. On my New York anniversary weekend, Renata and I took the Water Taxi Statue of Liberty Cruise, a one hour long outing that kicks off at the South Street Seaport and then towards the iconic statue. The cruise doesn’t actually take you to the island itself but instead circles around to give you a chance to get a decent shot and then returns back to the starting point.

Lower Manhattan

Lower Manhattan

It was actually Renata that found this one – it was a Groupon offer for a half-price ride, and I agreed to buy it on the spot. As it goes with offers like that, we kind of forgot about it until the last minute, and we finally made plans to go.

We arrived quite early and picked up our tickets for the 7:45 cruise on one of the yellow Water Taxi boats. We killed time at a nearby pub and had a glass of wine, and at the appointed time we headed to the boat, which was the same kind used for the IKEA crossing and other commuter boat runs. We found a seat in the front and waited until the tour began.

As the ferry made its way, we sailed through Lower Manhattan, sailed by the Staten Island Ferry and got a close-up view of One World Trade Center and Battery Park.  A guide talked about the historical significance of each location and chatted on the microphone with several tourists (it seems Renata and I were the only locals on board). When we reached the statue, the ferry lingered as people took their shots to the soundtrack of cheesy patriotic tunes like Neil Diamond’s “America” or Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud to be an American.”

I am not sure how long we sat there, but after a while we started heading back. The guide started an impromptu quiz on information on the Statue – I answered one of the questions (“Why is the statue green?” – “Oxidation”) and in just a few minutes we were back at the pier to the tune of Frank Sinatra’s “Theme from New York, New York.”

I chatted a little with the guide, who told me he’d had the gig for a while. He was a slender man with a shock of graying hair and thick-framed glasses. He had a ready smile and seemed to be really friendly.

We left the boat and walked back to our own ferry back to Staten Island. We once again sailed by the Statue of Liberty, and realized we’d had the opportunity to check out this city we live in with fresh eyes – those of someone with much less time to admire it than we all do.

The Statue of Liberty Cocktail Recipe

Source: Dirty’s Cocktail Recipes

1/3 oz grenadine

1/3 oz white crème de cacao

1/3 oz blue curaçao

1/8 oz 151 rum

First you pour grenadine into a shot glass then follow by gently layering, in sequence, white crème de cacao, blue curaçao and rum. Using a match {DO NOT USE A LIGHTER to avoid lighter fluid contamination}, carefully light the cocktail in the shot glass. Hold the burning red, white, and blue shot/torch high, like the Statue of Liberty. Sing the first few bars of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” blow out the flame then drink.

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