After a luncheon at the Waldorf, the royals fit in a couple unusual stops. The first was a spot of afternoon tea at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Harlem, accompanied by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Afterwards, they sped downtown for a tour of Bloomingdale’s, not only stopping traffic, but reversing it on Lexington Avenue, to allow the Queen to exit her vehicle from the right side.
She quietly moved from floor to floor, admiring the many displays of products of British make, particularly the pottery and furniture. She was also greeted to a private fashion show, as Her Majesty was led through a room of mannequins garbed in the latest stylish trends from 1976. Along the way, a few American designers made appearances to greet Queen Elizabeth, including Calvin Klein.
I recall it was in the mid afternoon and many office workers made it a long lunch to see the famous couple. I got there several hours early to get a good viewing spot on one of the upper floors where a museum exhibit had been set up. The aisles were narrow here so therefore the best spot to snap a picture with my little instamatic camera with the square flashcubes. The buzz on the floor was heightened but polite, no shoving or pushing – after all, it was the Queen! She graciously perused the exhibit but her eyes and his swept across the crowd as they truly tried to connect to the people of New York, it was quite remarkable. (Remember, this is before John Lennon’s 1980 assassination and security was still very lax in those days.) A representative of Bloomingdale’s remarked, “we thought — and the Queen agreed — that it would be a very American experience for her to go amidst all the crowds and just pretend she might be shopping.”
SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUR $10. BILL! – Take a look at an American $10. bill and you will have Alexander Hamilton staring right back you! So what would you give your dad on his 258th birthday? For Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, it will be a couple of open house celebrations in upper Manhattan.
Born on January 11, 1755, on the Caribbean island of Nevis, Alexander Hamilton, ascended from humble beginnings to become one of the most influential figures in United States’ history. He was a protégé of the country’s first president, George Washington. But in his own right, Hamilton was a distinguished statesman, soldier, economist, newspaper founder, lawyer and the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, therefore his place of honor on our $10 bills. A scandalous extra-marital affair clouded his reputation; a political rivalry led to his violent death in a deadly dual with our third vice president Aaron Burr, sound just like politics in 2013! He is buried in the cemetery at the oldest Episcopal church in New York City the Trinity Church located at the entrance to Wall Street.
On Saturday, January 12, Alexander Hamilton’s birthday looms over two great uptown houses. As one would guess, the Hamilton Grange National Memorial (seen above, his summer home) will toast its original owner on West 141st Street between Convent and St. Nicholas Avenues. But a concurrent tribute will take place at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, at West 160th Street between St. Nicholas and Edgecombe Avenues as well. It is there that both men planned their defeat of the British. So happy 258th birthday Mr. Hamilton, you don’t look a day over 40!
(Did you know you can’t xerox/photocopy money, newer copy machines have some sort of block built into them.)