Posted by: Lizzie Ross | April 15, 2012

Centennial memorials

I can’t resist joining the mega-memorial for the century-old tragedy. For my first 11 years in NYC, I lived just a few blocks from Straus Park, built in memory of Isidore and Ida Straus, two of the victims when the Titanic sank 100 years ago today. For a while, Straus Park Café was right there. You could sip a cup of tea, nibble on a scone, and watch the homeless sort through their belongings next to Ida’s statue.

That was in the gritty 1970s, before this little park was replanted, fenced, and generally made presentable. Now it’s an oasis between Broadway and the top of West End Avenue.

I cycled down on a gorgeous day. A few children with parents/child-minders played around. Men from a nearby homeless shelter sat on one of the benches. The tulips were just a few moments past their peak.

Candlelight vigil 3:30-4:30, but I’m going to skip that. I prefer just a quiet moment for myself, to remember all those people, and to wonder why, 100 years later, we’re still fascinated by that doomed ship. If no one rich or famous had died heroically (an Astor and a Guggenheim, along with the Straus couple), would we be marking this date?

What about the Maine (1898), Lusitania (May 1915, so we’ll see what happens in 3 years) or even the Battle of Hampton Roads (Monitor v. Merrimac, March 1862 — 150th anniversary last month)?

Well, it’s a mystery. BTW, despite Cameron’s titanic Titanic, A Night to Remember is still moving and desperate. Whenever I watch, I hope they’ll miss the berg.


  1. 1) lovely 2) check your dates on battle of Hampton Roads. Did you mean eighteen62? 😉

  2. Also, nice to see you posting again as well. You go, Lady!

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