in a kingdom by the sea

Hey Crabletta, I made it!

Today I'm using my last use-it-or-lose-it vacation day to spend more time in the ancient world. (I actually have no benefits. My few paid days-off are a "gift" from my supervisor. Mighty white of her.)

So on this rare Sunday off, I finally had the opportunity to visit the Poe Cottage in the Bronx. I documented my many attempts at this literary pilgrimage in this post. Today, I only had to take the subway.

The Poe Cottage was the last home of Edgar Allan Poe, his wife Virginia and her mother Maria Clemm. It's a tiny farm cottage now standing at the intersection of two major Bronx thoroughfares. The incongruity alone makes it worth seeing.

Poe had such a sad life. He was hugely talented, misunderstood, and poor (not just struggling, but impoverished). His literary criticism earned him many enemies and few friends. While he lived in the village of Fordham (now a section of the Bronx), he wrote one of my favorite works of his, Annabel Lee.
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love -
I and my Annabel Lee...
The Historic House Trust of New York City does an excellent job of maintaining the city's oldest buildings. If you enjoy trying to get in touch with history as I do, any of them are worth visiting. I see by their website that, with today's trip, I've been to all the Manhattan locations.


Crabbi said...

Hey L,

Congrats! I'm so glad you made it before you moved. I just knew you would :)

And thanks for the great link - more stuff for me to see on my next NY visit.

laura k said...

It took some fancy footwork, but hey...

I recommend the Moris Jumel Mansion, which is a good excuse to get up to Harlem, look at brownstones and eat urban southern cooking.

Crabbi said...

Thanks again! When I visited in 2003, I went to Harlem briefly, to Sylvia's. I guess it's sort of touristy, but I liked it. I hear there are other spots for a gospel brunch that are worth checking out.

So do you know yet what your first literary stop in Toronto will be?

laura k said...

Sylvia's is kind of touristy (now, anyway) but it's still really fun, and the food is great. There's lots of good food uptown, Southern, and a lot of Central American and Caribbean, too. Yummmmy.

So do you know yet what your first literary stop in Toronto will be?

What a great question! I have no idea. Funny, but I haven't thought much about exploring Toronto yet. I keep thinking about grilling in our backyard. (Ahhh... a real change for us.) Or practical details like getting a new driver's license.

But yeah, literary Toronto! You can be sure I'll let you know.

Marnie said...

Get thee to the Reference Library! It may even restore your faith in our architecture.


If you liked In the Skin of a Lion you could visit the Bloor Viaduct and the Harris water filtration plant. (I live a stone's throw from the viaduct, so if you want to meet for coffee ...)

Anonymous said...

I will totally meet you for coffee!

Listen, Toronto seems like a terrific city, and I look forward to discovering its many joys... but don't try to sell me on its architecture. :-)


Sass said...

my personal poe fave will always be "dream within a dream."

laura k said...

You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream....

Nice choice.