Who of the United States Presidents were born in New York City proper?
"Speak softly, and carry a big stick."
(one of my personal favorite quotes of all time, by the way)
Just one, actually. Four were born in New York State, but only one, the legendary Theodore Roosevelt was born in and continued to call New York City his home. The man, the adventurer, the politician, the scientist, the philosopher, the researcher, the mastermind, the president...was labeled the nickname Teddy. What a sweet name for such a figure who aggressively and progressively championed hard work, endurance and knowledge.
TR's birthplace on East 20th street in Gramercy, between Park and Fifth Avenue, was restored to--what most of his family and historians together agree--its original state, gathering up much of the Roosevelt family's furniture, art, and familial possessions as well as other antique period pieces similar to the original furnishings. A great deal of time, money, and effort has been pumped into this National Historic Site. You can peruse the official Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace online if you so feel inclined.I've been in before, browsed the small downstairs gallery, perused the library of books on anything Teddy Roosevelt-related, and even seen the video the park rangers show on TD, which was the nickname given to him by family during childhood. It's a cool place, to say the least, and many New Yorkers have absolutely no clue that it exists. And, yes...duh, duh, duh...it is free. Free! Unfortunately, I have missed the guided tour a few times (they also do NOT allow self-guided tours), because the park rangers are extremely strict on tour start-times, and well, I am almost always late. Today, though, the weather was actually that of a lovely spring day! Our very first here, considering two days ago, it snowed all day, and my ears felt like they were going to break off of my small head. Today, after strolling around the active city on a much-needed warmer Saturday, I attended the 4 p.m. tour.
"Only those who are fit to live do not fear to die. And none are fit to die who have shrunk from the joy of life and the duty of life. Both life and death are parts of the same great adventure."
– Theodore Roosevelt
– Theodore Roosevelt
Again, let me reiterate, the free-ness of this museum. It's phenomenal and such an incredible resource in a city that charges, ahem- overcharges, for absolutely everything and anything. It costs me twenty dollars to walk out of the lobby of my apartment building. Seriously. They should just construct a toll booth outside of my door.
The fact that so many wonderful, unique, entertaining, and interesting opportunities and places exist and for free in not only New York City, but so many other cities as well is, depressingly, unbeknownst to many. Most people, in fact. To learn of these, it takes some digging and some effort, and time is not something that many of us possess in excess, eh? Am I right, or am I right?
Anyway, I learned some new facts about one of our most intelligent and strong-willed presidents, and I saw some pretty fascinating pieces of history. I'm feeling pretty content with Saturday right now.
Also, in a bit of trivia, did you know that Theodore Roosevelt was the victim of an assassination attempt? I, myself, was unaware! On October 14, 1912, in Milwaukee, Roosevelt was shot as he stood in an open car. Speaking of, open cars are clearly a bad idea for celebrities and politicians. Come on, people. Roosevelt, in a testament to his renowned strength of character, stuffed a handkerchief over the wound and then proceeded to speak for an hour and a half in front of a packed townhall. The bullet penetrated his right side, short of his lung, but it was mostly absorbed by his heavy overcoat, a double-folded 50-page manuscript of his speech, and his metal eye glass case. In the Theodore Roosevelt birthplace, they have those items displayed on the wall, and insanely, you can view the bullet holes in each item. See the image on the left, please. I'd say that Teddy Roosevelt proved his place in the Bull Moose party, fittingly, right then and there that day in Milwaukee.
I'll end this post with another appropriate quote by the man himself and my own words of wisdom. Meh, something like that. Darling, get out there and do something. Stroll, and see where it takes you. I'm almost always shocked and simultaneously delighted at what I find when I choose to venture out. I'm feeling more cultured already, now that I think about it, bwaha.
"Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster."