I decided to finally try my Key to the City out at Trinity Church while I happened to be in Lower Manhattan. One of the many places that my key was said to unlock was the gate to the cemetery. However, it was already unlocked when I got there, so I guess that was anticlimactic. But still, I love to walk around old cemeteries, so it was a nice visit. Actually, I’d been there before, but I had not documented the cemetery’s most celebrated occupant:
Yes, Trinity Cemetery is the resting spot of Alexander Hamilton, the “PATRIOT of the incorruptible INTEGRITY, the SOLDIER of approved VALOUR, the STATESMAN of consummate WISDOM, whose TALENTS and VIRTUES will be admired.” After his fatal duel with Aaron Burr, he died in New York and was buried at Trinity, where we assume he has remained since.
I walked down to National Museum of the American Indian, which is always free and located, appropriately, in the beautiful beaux-arts Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House. I had also been there before, but had not seen the new exhibits. One was called Song for a Horse Nation, and had lots of horse costumes and masks, with a narrative centering on the introduction and important role of the horse for Native Americans. I don’t know if a horse could actually wear this glass mask, although I’m sure a horse would look quite festive in this beaded and feathered one. Much like other exhibits of clothes and masks, I think it’s always more interesting to imagine how the pieces would move and be transformed by their wearer. But I guess it’s not possible to have an exhibit of live horses in costumes. I guess that’s kind of a parade, not an exhibit.
Across from the horse exhibit was HIDE: Skin as Material and Metaphor, which actually wasn’t too metaphorical, as it exhibited contemporary artists working with animal skin as their canvas. Some of the art hovered very delicately on the line between intriguing and nauseating, with translucent hides stretched over wood frames, holes cut out, hairs sewn on. There’s an online exhibit if you want to judge for yourself.
After the museum, I met a friend for the ferry to Governors Island. But I’m going to save that artsy adventure for another post.