My Melting Pot
One of the many great benefits of living in New York City is being able to go to Battery Park anytime I want to gaze out over New York Harbor and see the Statue of Liberty. She is one strong woman, never tiring of holding her torch without the slightest bend in her elbow. Standing all alone on an island, she welcomes people from all over the world to America, the greatest country on Earth. There’s something about the feeling I get just looking at her. I can’t explain it, I’m sure it’s different for everyone who witnesses her never faltering while surrounded by all that turbulent water.
When I heard that my friend Tabitha had never had the chance to even get to Battery Park since moving to the city two years prior, I was like WHAT? We’re going Sunday.
After emerging from the subway, we bought our ferry tickets at the Clinton Castle, no, not where Bill and Hillary hold court, but the old fort from the war of 1812 turned welcome center for over eight million immigrants in the 1800’s, turned aquarium, turned Liberty Island ticket office and off we went to stand in line for the ferry.
“Isn’t she something?” I asked as Tabitha finally caught a glimpse of Lady Liberty from the dock.
“Wow, she’s more wonderful than I imagined.” She replied sighing in awe.
“Just wait till we get closer, she’s even more thrilling from the harbor and the island itself.” I said, excited to share this experience with my friend.
“And so alone out there. I didn’t realize anyone could be more single than us, but look at her…there’s zero chance of her meeting her Lord Liberty.”
“Yeah, I know, it’s too bad.” I responded, “I think it’s too late for France to send over her male counterpart. So thoughtless of them to leave her out there without a partner. But she’s been single for over 120 years, it would probably be too difficult for her to start sharing her island with a man now.”
Funny I had never thought about it before but the Statue of Liberty, she was an immigrant herself. Traveling across the ocean to a new, foreign land where she would be responsible for welcoming other immigrants just like her.
“Hey,” I said to Tabitha as the massive ferry rocked from side to side filling with people. “She’s an immigrant, who welcomes immigrants! Ha!”
“Yes! She’s the quintessential single French immigrant woman welcoming people from all over the world to our fair city and country.” We both smiled.
Geez, I thought to myself. I wasn’t that different from the Statue of Liberty. I wondered how many foreigners I had welcomed across my borders since settling in the Big Apple. I quickly tried to sum up all the foreign men I’d had the pleasure of engaging. I literally had representatives from all over the world with their very own nicknames.
It took the entire time we meandered around Liberty Island and the journey to our next stop to establish a complete list in my mind. By the time we arrived on Ellis Island and had a chance to rest in the great hall I confessed my manifest to Tabitha.
England: Henry the 8th: Thank goodness he vanished before I lost my head.
Kenya: Amadou: And yes, Amadid.
Ireland: Dublin Dave: An actual Soap Opera star from the Emerald Isle with a talent for demonstrating a perfectly choreographed Irish Exit.
Italy: The Italian Tornado: Blows in, touches down, wreaks havoc then before I know it he’s on his way again.
France: Frenchie: Always wore a beret, was good with his baguette but drank all my wine.
South Africa: Peter Pan: This boy who never grew up could play a mean game of tennis, but always ended up with a score of Love Zero.
Pakistan: The Duke of Manhattan: Why be sad when you can be with Saad?
Australia: Prince Jason: From the land down under and very good at going there often.
Latvia: Latka: My sweet natured, lovable potato pancake who kept a ferret for a pet.
Cuba: Desi Arnaz: I had my very own missile crisis to deal with.
Germany: The Chancellor: He always got my vote for another term in office.
Canada: The Mountie: A well dressed metrosexual with a pension for wine, women and expensive clothing.
Republic of Georgia: Comrade: A young Renaissance man who could light me up like a shot of absinthe.
“Well that’s a fun way to see the world! And get your pussport stamped!” She blurted out. Our whispered laughs echoed off the walls in the empty hall that was once filled with the hopes and dreams of people entering the United States for the first time. Now there was nothing but a few benches in the great room, which was lit by sunlight streaming in through the paned windows that offered a view of the Statue of Liberty.
“Yeah, you could say I have my own melting pot!” I added with pride.
“Or your own United Nations!” Tabitha snorted as I nodded my head saying, “Yes! I could be the Ambassador of Foreign Affairs!”
The reality was I had been with more men than Lady Liberty would ever know in her long, long lifetime. Yet, had it not been for her and the immigration laws in this great country, I may have missed out on so many fond menmories.
We boarded the ferry back to Manhattan staring at the real melting pot that grew in size as we slowly approached its shore. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed and wondered what effect our new President’s regulations would have, not only on people who needed to come to our great country to escape hardships too difficult for me to even imagine, but what about the effect they would have on all the single women residing in New York City?
Their melting pots were waiting to be filled with exciting and unfamiliar experiences that could only be provided by people from foreign lands. Besides, there aren’t enough men in New York to begin with, what if a large part of the population was sent away from this land that is your land and my land?
If the new administration mandates their policies not only will families be separated but there was the risk of them not even beginning at all.
Once back on dry land I looked at Lady Liberty for some comfort, but she had none. I sensed a sadness on her face even from Battery Park. What if she wasn’t allowed to do her job anymore? Where would she go, back to France?