Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn, New York

In September of 2007 Susie and I were staying with our friend Don in Brooklyn -- his wife was in the hospital and we had missed seeing them both during our travels overseas. So, we thought that while we were between gigs so to speak -- Maine was over and Paris redux was about to begin -- that we would drive to the second largest (?) city in America and spend some time with friends.

Well, before we left their house to drive back to Massachusetts -- we were staying with Dick and Dorothy at the time -- I suggested that we check out Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn since I had an Old Third Michigan solder buried there (Edward S. Earle in fact). Don kindly drove us and we spent a couple of hours wandering around this incredibly beautiful cemetery, located on what may very well be the highest point in the city. Anyway, it has a fantastic view of Liberty Island.

The cemetery is computerized and the kiosks are easy to use -- they even print out a map of the burial location you're looking for and what could be easier! Still, we wanted to walk and so we did, past the Civil War memorial and Leonard Bernstein's grave (photo below: Don Archer looking at Leonard).

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the tropical (!) green parrots that have nests in the massive gothic facade at the main entrance to the cemetery. One of the staff told us that about 15 years ago a crate of these birds broke open at JFK airport and they somehow found themselves at Green-Wood where they have been nesting ever since.

And one other thing: the cemetery is presently replacing every single Civil War veteran government stone with a brand new one-- in fact they had them all laid out in a large yard off to the side of the main entrance, just waiting to be put in place. Incredible.

Here are just a few photos from that all-too-brief trip to the cemetery -- just run your cursor over the bottom of the image to bring up the player controls, oh and you can just click on the image itself to access, well, the image itself!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mt. Auburn

It was a gorgeous day on Monday, February 25, so I grabbed my camera and drove up to Mt. Auburn cemetery in Cambridge, MA. I had been to Mt. Auburn some years ago -- OK quite a few years ago -- and had always meant to return. since we live so close now -- about 60 miles or so -- I plan on returning in the spring for a good solid day of shooting.

As many of your know Mt. Auburn, founded in 1831 was the first of its kind: a burial ground in a parklike setting. It was in fact, according to the cemetery's website, "the first large-scale designed landscape open to the public in the United States." Indeed the cemetery is the birthplace of the pastoral cemetery movement in the United States.

It is also the final resting place of Longfellow, Mary Baker Eddy, James Russel Lowell, Bernanrd Malamud, Fannie Farmer, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Juliet Ward Howe, and scores of other American notables. And some of the finest sculpture in New England is to be found scattered along its winding paths and avenues.

So check out the few photos I took -- you can roll your cursor over the bottom to bring up the player controls and click on an image to go straight to the image itself: