Straus Park

What I love the most about New York City are the palimpsests that haunt every corner just waiting for you to trip over them.

One day (Sunday-April 15th, 2012) you’re living your life, getting some groceries, minding your own business and suddenly you realize you live next door to a monument erected for Isador and Ida Straus, the famed couple who opted to go down with the Titanic together.


It is also the 100th anniversary-to the day-that the ship went down and their great-great grandson is standing in front of the monument giving a speech.

Since we just moved into the neighborhood, we haven’t really been out exploring yet.  So now we know you walk out onto 106th St…cross Broadway…and there it is…a sweet little park with trees and benches and a statue of a lovely woman dipping her toes into a fountain.

Isidor and Ida Straus Memorial, Upper West Sid...

I’ve seen her before this day, but I missed what was engraved in gold behind her.  It reads:

In Memory of Isidor and Ida Straus.  Lovely and Pleasant Were they in their Lives.  And in Their Death They Were Not Divided.   Book 11 Samuel  1:23

Mr. Isador Straus owned Macy’s after Mr. Macy passed away.  He turned it into what you see on 34th St. today, for the most part.  Needless to say, he had a lot of money from that particular venture.

Plummer & Associates

When the Titanic sank, the men, even the wealthiest, even Isador Straus, helped to get the women and children into the life boats first.  Mrs. Ida Straus refused to leave her husband’s side and gave her place on the life boat along with her fur coat to her maid, Ellen Bird.  Mrs. Straus is quoted as saying to her husband, ‘We have lived together for many years. Where you go, I go.’  What a refreshing and romantic reminder of what life was like before the Real Housewives franchise.

Nonetheless, they were last seen sitting in deck chairs, holding hands until the ship went down.

In James Cameron‘s film, Titanic, they were depicted as the older couple holding each other on their bed while the cabin filled with water.

About a year after their deaths, their house on 105th and Broadway (a very rural area 100 years ago) was sold and torn down to build the apartment building that stands there today.

On the ground level of that very apartment building is our very favorite neighborhood restaurant, Henry’s.

What?  Henry’s!?  That is amazing.  Am I the only one who finds that amazing?  I love stuff like that.

The Straus Memorial dedication…100 years ago…almost.

One comment

  • what an interesting life you live, the things you find so close to where you live, you will never run out of stories and I impatiently wait to see your next “find”.
    You go Girl/ GG

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