Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Washington's Birthday

Happy Washington's Birthday

By George, if you're a theatre junkie, you know that most New York theatres, particularly those on Broadway, are dark each Monday.

Not only does it enable shows' casts and crews the opportunity to catch up on some much needed rest, but it leaves Big Apple visitors scrambling for other touristy things to do.

So what better time to celebrate the annual national observance of George Washington's Birthday (otherwise referred to, incorrectly, as Presidents Day) than by visiting the New York City site where the first United States President was inaugurated for his first term? If only.

Down close to the far end of Broadway on Wall Street is the Federal Hall National Memorial, which quite ironically, not to mention confoundedly, is closed because of today's national holiday.

But since the original Federal Hall -- along with its historic second floor balcony where Washington first recited the oath of office -- was razed in 1812, it may not really matter much that the present building isn't open to visitors on this holiday, which comes six full days in advance of Washington's actual birthday. Originally built in 1842 as a Customs House, the current memorial features John Quincy Adams Ward's statue of George Washington on its outside steps.

Still, I can't help but wonder why the National Park Service wouldn't keep the memorial open on the day specifically designed to honor Washington. Unless, of course, all the craziness of late directly across the street and in the town named to honor him has sucked up every last available dollar bearing a flipped version of his likeness necessary for keeping the place open today.

Happy Washington's Birthday, indeed!

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 16 February, 2009, Blogger SarahB said...

George Washington is my favorite president. Federal Hall is wonderful, although it's very small and curiously inauspicious. There is on display the Bible that Washington used when he took the oath of office. And George's real birthday is February 22nd.

At 16 February, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Yes, yes, and yes (as I pointed out in my post).


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