Travel There – Fraunces Travern & Trinity Church
These two books were were my bibles for NYC. I always like the Top 10 guides. They cover virtually everything, but they organize it into neat little lists of 10 items and they have fantastic laminated maps in a back pocket which fit in my handbag. The Top 10 guides have shown me a good time in a lot of cities.
The Knoff Mapguide was a new one for this trip. I’d never seen one before, but it was a perfect companion to my Top 10 guide and I will be looking for them in the future. It broke New York into 10 sections and then had a detailed map of each section with suggestions. No GPS to go off network. No touching the map and creating a new destination. No losing the screen to a call or a text. Just a map and a good one.
This is my idea of planning a route. For the rest of our time in NYC we’d be up in Mid-Town, so I wanted to see the best of what Downtown offered while I was in the neighborhood. Am I the only one who is confused by Downtown Manhattan being down? Usually, when I talk about downtown anywhere else, I mean down in the center of things, but in Manhattan, that’s actually Mid-Town!
On to Fraunces Tavern
Here’s another site I might have missed completely if it weren’t for my traveling companion and her co-workers. Someone who made a recent visit to NYC told Deb about the Tavern, its ties to Washington and its museum. What’s not to love and it was within walking distance of Battery Park, where we disembarked from the ferry.
So, Fraunces Tavern has been a part of Downtown NYC since the Revolutionary War, such a big part, as a matter of fact, when George Washington had a farewell dinner for his officers, this was where they had it. The tables and chairs from that party no longer exist, but the room where it happened is still there and they have furnished it as it would have been back in the day. That in itself is worth a visit, but there’s more.
Upstairs is museum of artifacts from the Revolutionary War, from Washington, from the Tavern, etc. It’s very interesting and just costs a few dollars to enter. It’s not very big, but well worth the time spent. I was especially interested in everything, because it was founded and still supported by the Sons of the American Revolution.
My dad was a member of SAR and they do an amazing job of protecting our heritage. I spent the whole time of the verge of tears, because I thought about how much my father would have loved to see it and how proud he would have been of his organization. Without actually intending to do so, we visited Deborah’s heritage on Ellis Island and mine at the tavern. All on the same day and both so close to one another. On a day like that, I’m proud to be an American.
A Few Other Stops in the Neighborhood
I’d known that the day’s timing would be iffy. In a perfect world we’d have arrived at the tavern at meal time, but things weren’t perfect. After seeing the museum, we decided to make a dinner reservation for a little later and in the meantime see a few other sites.
Our first stop was Trinity Church. Unfortunately, choir practice was going on and we were not allowed into the church. That was a shame. One of my favorite memories ever is being at Salisbury Cathedral when the organist started practicing. I thought I’d fallen through some hole into the past – perhaps inspired by the visit to Stonehenge which I also did on that day.
Still, the exterior of the church was beautiful and it was haunting to think how many great men and women had walked where we were walking. This had been the church of our founding fathers, long before Washington D.C was a thing.
Our walk through downtown was not through, but things took a slightly different turn at our next site. So come back next week for a bit more irreverent look at Downtown Manhattan.