Riverside Drive
Between 120th Street and Tiemann Place
Riverside Drive is famous for its luxury apartments, which begin a little bit to the south. But I like this stretch of road the best.
One of my favorite Manhattan skyscrapers is disguised as the bell tower of Riverside Church. You can take a yoga class up there.
Across the street is Grant's Tomb. This was the major tourist attraction in New York when it opened in the late 19th Century. If you go on a weekday today, you'll probably have the place to yourself.
It's peaceful inside. Ulysses is buried next to his wife, Julia.
You Bet Your Life
On his 1950's game show, You Bet Your Life, Groucho Marx famously asked "Who's buried in Grant's Tomb?' It was supposed to be an easy question, but the contestant couldn't think of the answer. Today, the question is probably more famous than the tomb itself.


the kids are alright

An often-repeated story is that the album cover for The Who's The Kids Are Alright was shot here.
I was about to repeat the story again on this page, when I took a closer look - that ain't Grant's Tomb. It's the Carl Schurz monument, which is nearby, on the corner of 116th St. and Morningside Drive.
There's a beautiful enclosure across the street. It's abandoned now - scaffolding holds up the roof.



I'm going to let you in on a secret: a sweet raccoon family lives up here. They slowly, quietly emerge as the sun goes down. Please don't bother them.
The Amiable Child
Walk a little to the north and you'll see a small monument down some steps to your left. A rose bush blooms here in the summer.

The Pollock family used to own this land in the 1700's. Their five year old son, named St. Claire, died in 1797. He probably fell down some steep cliffs nearby. His dad, George Pollock, laid a marble monument over his grave. It said "Erected to the memory of an amiable child." When Pollock sold this land in 1800, he wrote this in a letter to the buyer:

There is a small enclosure near your boundary fence within which lies the remains of a favorite child, covered by a marble monument. You will confer a peculiar and interesting favor apon me by allowing me to convey the enclosure to you so that you will consider it a part of the estate, keeping it, however, always enclosed and sacred.

All of the subsequent owners of this land have honored Mr. Pollock's request. The original monument was replaced by this one in the twentieth century, with the same touching inscription to the "amiable child".

I love Grant's Tomb and Riverside Church, but they seem a little pretentious and overblown next to this simple grave.





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