10 Days of Heat - New York, New York

Welcome back to 10 Days of Heat's Travel Trilogy!

Last episode we were slowly backing off Mama Bear and her babies in Alaska. 

Today it's going to be a different pace because we are exploring the Big Apple! Still a couple more items to track down...

I haven't been lucky where NYC is concerned. 

Back then we spent four days in the city, and even though it was early September it was cold and rainy, and the top of the Empire State Building was completely in foggy clouds the entire time. 

Also as tourists we felt we were being taken advantage of. Like why were we expected to tip a waiter 30% (as suggested by him) if he didn't even act concerned when we complained about a giant cock roach on our breakfast table, just trying to crawl onto my plate stacked with pancakes?

Some mishaps were our own fault, though, check out my long list of travel fails. 

Even though the city and its skyline is certainly impressive, it would not be the first place I'd chose to live at. I'm a California girl, remember. 

However, vloggers I follow just moved to New York city, and before they left, they did this quiz for fun:

Photo Source

I got: Staten Island

The largely suburban Staten Island is a bit isolated from the rest of the city – it's only accessible by bridge or ferry – so the borough has a way of feeling like an enormous small town. If you want to have a backyard, a car, and proximity to a mall but still live in New York City, this is the place for you. Plus, all the world class pizza you can handle, and you can call the island "Shaolin" like you're in the Wu-Tang Clan.

That actually sounds nice! 

For now I'm only visiting though, and I am in luck. The taxi driver who takes me from JFK to Downtown announces that I am his 100,000th customer and therefore not only get a free ride but a miniature yellow toy cab, yay! I'm making good progress on my props!

Now that I was on a roll I looked up "pressed Penny", and apparently there is a penny press machine in the gift shop at Ellis Island

During my ferry ride over there I brushed up on the events that went down on Ellis Island. It was serving as immigration inspection station for about 12 million people between 1900 and 1954. Northern and Western Europeans were among the first ones to arrive, trying to escape poverty and unemployment, followed by Southern / Eastern Europeans and Middle Easterners for political reasons, including persecution and violence. 

My Grandma's cousin who lives in California today must have been among them.

If you have 48 minutes to spare, watch, respectively listen to this program, relatives are telling their (great-) grandparents' stories upon immigrating:

When they first arrived they spent an average of two to five hours at Ellis Island. They were asked 30 questions (actually I counted, there are 37 of them), some haven't changed until today - even though you're only visiting:
  • What is your name?
  • How old are you?
  • Are you male or female?
  • Are you married or single?
  • What is your occupation?
  • Are you able to read and write?
  • What country are you from?
  • What is your race?
  • What is the name and address of a relative from your native country?
  • What is your final destination in America?
  • Who paid for your passage?
  • How much money do you have with you?  the equivalent of US 600 was expected, otherwise you were likely to become LPC, likely to become public charge. This, among a dozen other abbreviations like L for lungs or K for hernia were chalked onto your clothes after a superficial medical exam by immigration officials. 
  • Have you been to America before?
  • Are you meeting a relative here in America?  Who?
  • Have you been in a prison, almshouse, or institution for care of the insane?
  • Are you a polygamist?  Are you an anarchist?
  • Are you coming to America for a job?  Where will you work?
  • What is the condition of your health?
  • Are you deformed or crippled?
  • How tall are you?
  • What color are your eyes/hair?
  • Do you have any identifying marks? (scars, birthmarks, tattoos)
  • Where were you born? (list country and city)
  • Who was the first President of America?
  • What are the colors of our flag?
  • How many stripes are on our flag?  How many stars?
  • What is the 4th of July?
  • What is the Constitution?
  • What are the three branches in our government?
  • Which President freed the slaves?
  • Can you name the 13 original Colonies?
  • Who signs bills into law?
  • Who is the current President of the United States?
  • What is America's national anthem called?
That must have been super tough for those people whose command of English was less than fluent. On the other hand, they had two to three weeks to practice during their voyage, and if their answers plus their physical appearance in terms of "fit for work" convinced the officers, they got the papers and therefore American citizenship. 

Today the process is harder and much slower. The good news is I would pass the

US Citizenship Test - Could You Pass?
Have you heard of the  Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act, or RAISE Act., introduced by Republican Senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton, and supported by Mr President? 

It's a point system that lets them evaluate whether you're worthy to apply for a visa. Here are the questions:

Find Out If President Trump Would Let You Immigrate to America

None of my American friends who took it were successful, and of course neither was I:

I took the liberty to do the same quiz answering as if I was Donald Trump. Looks like his wallet is his only asset. He is older than 50 years old, holds an economics degree, speaks and writes English poorly, is neither a Nobel prize nor an olympic medal winner, I am not sure if anybody would actually hire him, but let's assume they did, and his salary was above 156k, he'd still only score 25 points. Simply his ability to invest over 1.35 million into new U.S. business is an actual asset. 

Let's get back to New York, though. Upon my visit to the immigration museum on Ellis Island I got a pressed penny for my collection, so I am good to move on. 

Not before I get to my meeting spot, though. I have an appointment with Lissa, Leo and two pandas on the Brooklyn Bridge! 

Photo Source

Lissa, Leo and two pandas? Who are those characters? Check them out here.

I need more items! And I think I can't actually get them in the Big Apple.

I have to hop onto yet another flight to Las Vegas! 

That's right, I am checking into the New York, New York Hotel & Casino! I am not a gambler, so the only appeal they have on me is the people watching part. 

However the fact that they are allowed to smoke while playing blackjack, roulette and craps, makes that experience not too pleasant for me. As soon as I got myself the required casino chip I could focus on the gift shops and soon enough found the 100$ pouch. Done!

From Mt Fuji to Alaska, on to New York and Las Vegas, what a whirlwind kind of trip! I hope you enjoyed traveling with me! 

Before you take a vacation from the vacation, make sure to check out the other posts.