By Edward Epstein
August 11, 2021
Abraham Lincoln's name and image are ubiquitous across the United States. You'll never know where you'll bump into him, but his presence shows how interested Americans are in his life, wisdom and empathy.
In the first of what we hope will be a series of blog posts about bumping into Lincoln in unexpected places, we take you to Keens Steakhouse, 72 W. 36th St., in New York City. It is one of the oldest restaurants in New York, first opening in 1885.
The food and drinks are great, although the steep prices are those you'd expect at a top Manhattan steakhouse, and the place is just as much a New York history museum as a restaurant. One of its historical features is the Lincoln Room on the second floor, as the picture at left indicates.
Once you get upstairs, there is an extensive collection of Lincoln likenesses set amid tables. Lincoln fans can probably request a table for dinner or lunch amid the memorabilia.
One of the items in the collection is a handbill for Ford's Theater fateful April 1865 run of "Our American Cousin."
Further south in Manhattan, is the massive Strand Book Store, a busy spot at 12th Street and Broadway. Its motto is "40 miles of books," new and used, and that doesn't seem to be an overstatement.
The Strand is the sole survivor along what was once called "booksellers' row," home to dozens of book dealers. Among its treasures are aisles filled with American history books and biographies. Guess whose likeness is used to symbolize the Americana section?
Incidentally, the Americana section has lots of out-of-print Lincoln volumes, and plenty more on the Civil War Era.
The Lincoln Group would like to hear about unexpected places where our members and friends have bumped into Lincoln. We'd especially like your pictures. Send them to LincolnianDC@gmail.org and we'll be in touch about adding your contribution to our blog.