16 Places to Go When You Can’t Get Tickets to Hamilton
You, like every other theatrically-inclined NYC tourist and resident, are dying to see Hamilton, the new musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda that has drawn in what feels like the entire world. But unless you’ve got money to burn (rear mezzanine side seats for Wednesday matinees are on StubHub for around $400), a lucky streak (10 people win a pair of tickets in the pre-show lottery), or an incredible amount of patience (there are still tickets available for next July!), the forecast doesn’t look good.
Luckily, the Tri-State Area is a dejected Hamilton fan’s paradise, with a bevy of historic sites referenced in the show and once frequented by the Revolution’s key players. Cue up the cast recording, ready your vocal cords, and follow our slideshow to heal your heart with Hamiltunes.
Hamilton Hall at Columbia University
Start your journey, as our hero does, at the onetime King’s College, where A. Ham matriculated in 1773. The spot directly in front of the Hamilton statue is ideal for a rendition of My Shot, which you can sing somberly as you contemplate the fortunes of those lucky bastards who won the Ham4Ham lottery. You may get weird looks from judgey college kids, but stick it out long enough and chances are good a theatre major will eventually wander by to take over lead vocals.
St. Paul’s Chapel
This church was Washington’s Sunday a.m. hang spot—at least until Alexander sold New York City down the river and Washington moved South with the capital—making it a prime location for extolling the virtues of the venerated Virginian veteran/pride of Mount Vernon. But it’s still an operating place of worship, so, you know, don’t be that guy in God’s house. Save the solo performance for God’s backyard.
City Hall Park
This corner of Manhattan was the site where New Yorkers and Washington’s army first heard a reading of the newly-penned Declaration of Independence. The crowd found these wise words (enterprising men quote ‘em!) so rousing, they quickly formed a mob, marched south, and toppled the statue of King George that then stood in Bowling Green. Later in the war, Hamilton and his crew were like, “Yo, let’s steal their cannons!” (that’s a direct quote, ask your history teacher) and managed to haul 21 of 24 British cannons from the Battery to City Hall Park while under fire.
Schuyler-Hamilton House in Morristown, N.J.
This historic site was the home to Dr. John Cochran, Washington’s wartime GP, and his wife Gertrude—the aunt of Angelica and Eliza.* Our girl Gertie was the Yenta behind the whole Eliza-Alexander operation, setting up a series of run-ins in the winter of 1780 until the two finally made it official. That makes it the only fitting location for a Winter’s Ball/Helpless/Satisfied medley. For bonus points, track down the docent, who gave a tour to the Schuyler sisters themselves. If you are lucky maybe she will tell you what universal truths lie in the depths of Renée Elise Goldsberry’s eyes. Probably lots.
The neighborhood takes its name from the bay itself, where British warships set up camp in September of 1776, sending American troops a-runnin’. It’s worth making a detour, if only so you can gleefully shout “WE’RE ABANDONING KIP’S BAY” as you leave. Your next stop should be obvious.
GOTTA RUN TO HARLEM QUICK! It’s the only natural place to go after an afternoon meandering Kip’s Bay. And luckily for you, it’s not as quiet uptown as it was in 1776, when the Continental army retreated to Harlem Heights to avoid getting decimated by British Admiral Howe and his 32,000 troops. (Seems like somebody was overcompensating, no?).
Hamilton Grange in Hamilton Heights
While you’re in the neighborhood, make a stop at Hamilton and Eliza’s Harlem home, where they moved following Philip’s tragic dueling death in Track 40. The home was built by Ezra Weeks, the brother of Levi Weeks, whom Alexander and Burr defended in America’s first documented murder trial. Though the house was moved from its original location (twice!), it’s been preserved as a historic site and both admission and guided tours to the site are free.
Morris-Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights
The Morris-Jumel Mansion is the oldest residence in Manhattan and was home to Washington and his officers for a month in 1776, during which time they showed those Brits what’s what in the Battle of Harlem Heights. Fifty-six years later, the ill-fated wedding of Eliza Jumel and Aaron Burr (by then a widower, disgraced former Vice Prez, and apparently something of a man-cougar since Jumel was 19 years his junior) was held in the mansion. They separated after only a few months, and their divorced was finalized four years later, on the day Burr died. Today the mansion is a museum open six days a week, with guided tours every Saturday.
The Hermitage Museum in Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J.
Across the river in Jersey is The Hermitage, the historic home of Theodosia Stillwell Prevost Burr. Washington and his crew made a visit in 1778, and all the major players visited the place during the Revolution: Lafayette, Hamilton, Burr. After meeting in 1778, Burr and Theodosia became friends and eventually began an affair. Four years later, when he was 25 and she was 35, the two were married at The Hermitage. Theodosia died twelve years later, and their only surviving child, Theodosia Burr Alston, was lost at sea eighteen years after that.
57 Maiden Lane
If you don’t get to be in THE room where it happens (that being the big one at Richard Rodgers Theatre, obviously), a stop here is a close second. It’s the location of the house Jefferson rented during his stint in NYC, and the place where two Virginians and an immigrant forged that infamous compromise over dinner. The house has been torn down, so you can't see the room itself (oh, cruel irony!) but you can longingly caress the plaque on the building façade while imagining how nice it’d be to have dinner with Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Burr, we totally understand how you feel.
A few blocks south at 54 Pearl Street is Fraunces Tavern, where Washington bid farewell to his troops in 1783 and Burr and Hamilton attended a dinner just a week before their duel. In addition to the still-operating tavern, the site now has a museum, which offers free guided tours at 2pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Their current exhibit is about Lafayette (Yes! That one! Guys, I know.) and runs through December of 2016, so you can scope out his calling card and a sash with…um…his…blood on it. Macabre!
17 Barrow Street
Richmond Hill, once the estate of John Adams (sit down, John, you fat mother—!), eventually became the home of our favorite misunderstood villain, A. Burr. The house no longer exists, and unless you’re a Manhattan Mini Storage superfan there’s not much to see where it once stood, but Burr’s former carriage house was moved to this location and is now One if by Land, Two if by Sea, a romantic restaurant with stellar beef Wellington. It’s a nice place, so restrict yourself to gentle humming.
Lafayette Statue at Union Square Park
Everyone give it up for America’s favorite fighting Frenchman! Smack dab in the center of Union Square Park is a Bartholdi statue honoring Lafayette, and it’s well-trafficked enough that you likely won’t be the only nerd rapping Guns and Ships under your breath. One thing Lin-Manuel never mentioned: Our fave Frenchie’s actual full name was Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette. That’d be a bit of a mouthful even for Daveed Diggs, so we’ll let this one slide.
Dueling Grounds in Weehawken N.J.
On a ledge overlooking the Hudson, a bust of Hamilton marks the spot where Lin-Manuel Miranda performed The World Was Wide Enough during his historic 1804 duel with Aaron Burr. It’s the same place Philip Hamilton was killed by George Eacker three years earlier. Just to be clear: Everything is not legal in New Jersey, so duel reenactments are ill-advised, but the wide open space and sweeping city vistas make it a prime local for dramatically running up sobbing “IS HE BREATHING IS HE GOING TO SURVIVE THIS?!”
William Bayard House at 82 Jane Street
After his duel, Hamilton was rowed across the Hudson and eventually died at the home of William Bayard. There’s a plaque outside 82 Jane Street identifying it as the house in question, but the home itself was actually a block north—and it was torn down long ago. Stop by the plaque, then meander over to The Jane, collapse into a velvet-upholstered club chair, and drown your sorrows in liquor while gazing into the disco ball. It’s what Hamilton would’ve wanted.
It’s the Cheers of graveyards—the gang’s all here! Alexander, Eliza, Philip, and Angelica all met their final resting place in the Trinity Church Cemetery, as did Theodosia Burr and HERCULES MULLIGAN, except this time he didn’t get back up again. Womp-womp.