It was cold. We were hungover. And Allison and Katherine could not convince Duncan to join for the Saturday outing. The first stop was for a coffee. Then uptown to the Hispanic Society of America, housed in a beautiful building in Inwood. The building itself was the most impressive, with an ornate double height ceiling and a ballroom with a 360 degree Sorolla mural depicting rural Spanish life. They even had a Goya or two. And an absolutely enormous, studio-sized bathroom (with just one toilet stall). Bigger than Allison’s apartment.
A donut was eaten. It was that kind of day. And up to the Van Cortlandt house where a volunteer docent who was WAY too into his job was giving the most minute detail tour. After going through the biographies of all the van Cortlandts, including which crops were planted by which ancestors, and how the Native Americans cleared the fields (they lit fire to them and then killed all the animals flushed out for meat. Clever.) Allison and Katherine had a REALLY IMPORTANT APPOINTMENT and skeddadled out of there before the docent could tell us again about the mechanism behind the cuckoo clock. Did you know that Van Cortlandt was not his real name? They called him that to tease him. Fascinating.
Ready to throw ourselves under the train, we instead road inside it to the Dyckman House Museum. There was fake food, but, oddly, thankfully, no taxidermy. People used to be shorter. Commodes were in bedrooms. Samplers were the old selfies.
Hispanic Society 3 stars
Van Cortlandt House Museum 3 stars
Dyckman Farmhouse Museum 3 stars