Friday, March 25, 2011

Lady Liberty

Photo by Debbie Egan-Chin / NY Daily News
There really isn’t much to recommend the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Potholes pock the surface, traffic clogs the thoroughfare, and the roadway cuts so close to some buildings I wonder how those people get any sleep.
Photo by Michael Nagle / Getty Images
But one thing it does offer, however, is a pretty amazing view.

My absolute favorite is down by the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights, looking across to downtown Manhattan, the New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.
Photo by Roy Tennant
Back in my chauffeured days, I loved that portion of my morning commute. The Lady in the Harbor lent a little bit of magic to an otherwise ordinary day.

Which is why my eyes bugged a bit as I barreled down I-459 in Birmingham a few weeks back. There she was – torch, tablet and all.
Uh, what?

Turns out the founder of Liberty National Life Insurance commissioned the statue to go on top of the company’s headquarters in downtown Birmingham. Miss Liberty left downtown in 1989 and has been lighting the interstate ever since.
She is just one-fifth the size of the original, and her small park is far more petite than Liberty Island. However, there is no boat to board, no lines to wait in and no admission to pay.

Just a ring of cherry blossoms, their trunks providing starting and finishing lines for kids racing, their arms spread like wings.
Running is a great pre-nap activity.
And the best thing is that the only airplane buzzing this statue is this one:
Livvie asked me to play "airplane."
My safety record is extraordinary: I only crash on couches and beds.

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