A beautiful post-summer day in NYC, and I went for a walk during lunch. Of course, I spent time in the cemetery of Trinity Church, where they’ve taken to putting up small informative signs for tourists, including one in front of the gravestone shown above. It says Charlotte Temple on it, which is the name of a novel that was wildly popular in late 18th century America, but there is some doubt as to why it’s there. (Reminds me of a recent article about the pseudo-grave of Nick Beef, next to Lee Harvey Oswald’s final place of rest.)
A NYTimes article from several years ago says that a researcher got the church to lift the slab to see what’s under it, but there is no burial vault, however, that doesn’t mean that no one is buried there. The little sign says that the inscription may have been carved by a bored stoneworker during construction work on the church. I like that explanation – the artistically inclined skilled artisan class, and all that.
Further on my walk, I encountered a very odd place for NYC: the sign in the window says as much – “It’s free. We know that’s hard to believe in NYC!” The place is a nice modern storefront called Charlotte’s Place, and it has tables, computers, books, and spaces for sitting, talking, meeting, and other sociable activities. It is completely free, and is maintained as a resource for the community, by Trinity Church it seems. An anonymous grave which might house no one and a free space for anyone, all from Charlotte.
In an interview a few years after the destruction of the WTC, Phillip Roth was quoted on the “kitchification” of the event and its victims. I have commented before on what I feel is a rather ghoulish or morbid preoccupation with this horrible event, so I have not much to say other than that I found the store depressing and faintly nauseating, and, as that phrase I hate goes, “It is what it is…” Seems appropriate for once.
Meanwhile, nearby, the slow, laborious work on Calatrava’s Faberge egg of a transit hub continues… As the article correctly remarks:
It is important to note how the projects within the World Trade Center are unique in the sense that they were, and continue to be, fueled by emotions associated with the 9/11 attacks.