August 27, 2010

Moher, Moore, More

Been traveling a bit lately. In June I went to Ireland, the land of my impoverished potato-farming lineage. When we visited Cobh in County Cork, the departure point* for most Irish emigrants to the US, we saw this statue depicting Annie Moore and her brothers out on the former site of the pier. Ms. Moore was the first person to pass through Ellis Island. Someone shoved her to the front of the line saying "Ladies first!" and an official gave her a $10 coin. Her brother is oriented so as to be pointing directly at New York City. So naturally, there is a picture of me with it, looking like a zombie:

It is a bit weird then that there should be a statue of her in Ireland, since her importance seems primarily Ellis Island related. But that is because this is just one half of a pair of statues, with the other one being in New York! So somewhat by coincidence, when I was in New York last week, we went to see the other one:

I'm trying to imitate her pose, but it just looks like I'm saluting -- an appropriate compliment to the other inexplicable photo. We expected the NY statue to be a mirror image of the Cork version, but disappointingly, she isn't even facing her twin. And where are her brothers? I want a $10 coin.

*My ancestors likely spent their brief time there nervous and heartbroken, I wandered around taking pictures of goofy wax figures and having a lovely toasted sandwich. Isn't history fun! (Advice: Get a sandwich at the Cobh Heritage museum, they're dynamite).