Saturday, December 30, 2006

Grant's Tomb and Columbia University

You may wonder why I would pick General Grant's Tomb to visit of all things on a brief visit to Manhattan. I had seen the exterior numerous times and even heard Dizzie Gillespie perform there for free in the summer of 1981. It was part of the Cool Jazz Festival. This time I went inside. There was not that much to see. The actual tombs of the General and his wife resembled les Invalides in Paris, where Napoleon is entombed. Another benefit of the visit was that I could get a stamp in my National Parks Passport. I have only collected a few cancellations in it since 2004.

The beautiful main campus of Columbia University designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White, is only a few blocks from Grant's Tomb. Low Library is truly grand with what is known as "the steps" that lead down to street level. There were no students on campus as the University was on winter break. But there were many of us tourists admiring the campus. Then I had lunch at Tom's Restaurant. The outside was an integral part of Seinfeld although the inside looks much more like a typical inexpensive Manhattan Greek diner.


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