Thursday, February 26, 2009

The not-so-good and not-so-great, number 2

Continuing with Malcolm's stop-gap postings, we are still stuck in the A's:

Annie Moore's

An excellent place of decent refreshment, located in Manhattan's E 43rd Street, nicely adjacent to Grand Central Station.

It bears a name borrowed from the girl who, on 20th December, 1881, left Queenstown on the S.S.Nevada. On New Year's Day, 1882 -- supposedly her fifteenth birthday --, she was the first immigrant to be processed through the new Ellis Island centre. To mark this inauguration of a place of hope and misery she was presented with a $10 gold piece.

She brought with her two brothers, and they joined her parents who had emigrated four years previously. It has now been established that she is buried in the Calvary cemetery, in Flushing, Queens. This was originally the burial place of the poor from the St Patrick's diocese. She shares the space with a slew of gangsters from Little Italy, but also luminaries such as Governor Alfred E. Smith, the 1928 Democratic Presidential candidate (the Irish connection is Smith's mother, Catherine Mulvihill, and his wife, Catherine Dunn), and Mayor Robert Wagner.

On the water's edge at Cobh there is a statue of the Moores. Annie is depicted as the only one looking back. It is matched by another, solo statue inside the main hall at Ellis Island. Malcolm has to admit, having
stood by both, he found the connexion elegiac and emotive.

Anna Livia

The personification of
Abhainn na Life, the River Liffey, whose characteristic brown colour comes from the peat-water of the Wicklow mountains (and not, as the credulous tourist would still be told, from St James's Gate brewery). Joyce celebrated Anna Livia Plurabella, and in return the powers that be renamed Chapelizod bridge in her honour; but for Malcolm, for now, it's Eavan Boland every time:
Tell me,
Anna Liffey,
Spirit of water,
Spirit of place,
How is it on this
Rainy Autumn night
As the Irish sea takes
The names you made, the names
You bestowed, and gives you back
Only wordlessness?
To celebrate Dublin's millennium year (1988) the magnate "Doctor" Michael Smurfit presented the City with a statue of Anna Livia, supine in a fountain. This allowed Dubliners to continue the long-standing tradition of awarding each new public artwork an alliterative address: she was the "Floozie in the Jacuzzi" when not the "Hoor in the Sewer". The authorities shifted Anna to make space for the Spike: she's supposed to be relocated at Croppy's Acre, before the old Collins Barracks. Meanwhile, her nickname lives on for the thing in Victoria Square, Birmingham.

Arthur Itis

The bane of many an ageing Dubliner, who, in part thanks to a damp climate, complains loudly of suffering appallingly from Arthur Itis.

Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Patricia said...

Hi Malcolm, I agree. The food and company are very good at Annie Moore's Pub in NYC. I've been there several times since my family were identified as Annie's great-granddaughters in 2006. Juat to set the record straight, Annie was 17 when she set out of Queenstown on the SS Nevada on Dec 20, 1891 (not '81)and arrived at Ellis Island on Jan 1, 1892. It was not her birthday. It was the birthday of the "wrong Annie" for over 100 years. For the correct info,see:
Thanks, Patricia McCann Smith DeHesus, wife of Annie's grandson, John Joseph Smith (deceased).

Subscribe with Bloglines International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Add to Technorati Favorites