New York is full of wonders. Here is a short selection of places around town that are worth a visit.
The Strangest Gravestone in Trinity Church: From 1846 when it was built, until 1890, Trinity Church was the tallest building in New York. Reaching to a height of 280 feet, it was finally overtaken after over 40 years by the New York World Building. The church is built adjacent to New York’s oldest graveyard, containing the oldest carved gravestone, that of Richard Churcher. The five-year-old died in 1681. Not far from Churcher is the city’s strangest gravestone, that of James Leeson. He was an innkeeper and mason, and died in 1794. His stone is carved with mysterious symbols across the top. It was many years before anyone could figure out what those weird markings symbolized until someone finally understood that the markings were written in obscure masonic “pigpen” cypher. The mystery was solved and the inscription simply reads, “REMEMBER DEATH.”
Meet the Real Winnie the Pooh: In the Children’s Center of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue is something special to anyone who has ever been, or still is, a child. The real Winnie the Pooh, the stuffed bear purchased by A.A. Milne for his son Christopher is on display, along with his companions Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga and Tigger. Pooh Bear was bought in Harrods in London in 1921, and then presented as a gift to the library by Milne’s American publisher E.P. Dutton in 1987, along with the other beloved characters from the Hundred Acre Woods.
The Walk of Fame: Move over Hollywood Boulevard! New York has its very own star-studded street, located at Theater 80, St. Mark’s Place, East Village. Opened in 1971 by ex-actor and movie fan Howard Otway, Theater 80 showed films from the 1930s to the 1950s, Hollywood’s Golden Age. On opening night Otway asked a few film stars to a fancy party and then to leave their hand and footprints in softened cement, along with their signatures on the sidewalk right outside the theater. Go take a look and see the prints of d Dom DeLuise, Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy and Gloria Swanson. Some others, like that of Joan Rivers, came later.