As a recent tourist out to Ellis Island, I feel I partook of the "huddled masses" experience galore. First, a shot of the real thing:
And then the modern-day "yearning to breathe free" folk waiting in line and actually on the damn boat:
But before I even began my trek out to Ellis Island, I had a scary (albeit in an "I Love Lucy" kind of way) moment in the entry point to the ferry. Where I made the mistake of SNAPPING A PICTURE! A couple of over-zealous guards yelled at me, "NO PICTURES! NO PICTURES! NO PICTURES! C'MERE! NOW!!!!" Completely rattled, I first yelled at the top of my lungs, "I'm SORRY! I DIDN'T KNOW! JESUS!" Then I ran over to the closest guard who was yelling at me to show him my camera: "See---I'm erasing the picture!" Thank goodness for the digital age---I got the impression that in an earlier era, they would have grabbed my camera and ripped the film out of it!
The Lucy Moments continued: After showing the guard my camera and deleted picture, I scurried back in line, just in time to be at the front of it, where the next guard was asking, "How many? How many?!" Freaked out, I yelled at him: "ONE! I just took ONE picture! And I erased it!" Turned out he had no idea what I was talking about, and was just wondering how many were in my party to board the ferry... Oh. :\
After this guy, we in line all made our way to the X-ray machines, exactly like in airports. Where it turned out that both my bracelet and my belt buckle were setting off alarms. When I told the x-ray guy that if I took off my belt, my pants would fall off (seriously---I was a size 12 when I came to NYC, and I'm now a size 8), he got a bit too excited and asked where I was from, and then, when he found out I was new here, asked for my phone number so he could show me around, which caused another big hold-up in the line... I didn't give him my number, and, yes, my pants did fall down and did show my underwear, and then I put my belt back on backwards and...oh, good lord! At this point I did feel like just going, a la Lucy: "Waaaaaaa!"
Ellis Island, here I come, goddammit! ;p