green-wood cemetery

this is how I spent my memorial day – in a cemetery – in BK – at my own leisure.  A family friend was telling me how much she enjoyed her visit there, and although it sounded odd, I knew I had to check it out.

Green-Wood Cemetery is a 478 acre national historic landmark dating back to 1838 when the first person was buried there and is a Revolutionary War site.  It is huge, so much that we needed a map to make our way through.

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Memorial Day being the day to remember those that died fighting for our country, this cemetery was a good place to do so.  It houses significant and beautiful architecture, specifically one below – a chapel which holds weddings and houses a little museum telling stories of those fallen during the Civil War.  One in particular about 2 brothers, one fighting for the North and one fighting for the South, buried next to each other in the cemetery behind the chapel. The chapel also tells the story of a 12 year old drummer boy who was the first death from Kings County.

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The cemetery isn’t home to only soldiers but to New Yorkers and other Americans, some of them famous like Basquiat which you can see is well visited.


Although it’s a cemetery where I’m sure many tears were and will continue to be shed, I couldn’t help but feel like it was a cultural learning experience and adventure of something new.   Seeing these catacombs, from the top, the bottom and the inside was example of that.

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And along the same lines of adventure, the cemetery holds events.  Memorial day they had a concert there where people brought lawn chairs and blankets to sit on.  I just heard about this walking night-time performance during the month of June based on Alice in Wonderland.  THIS sounds perfect for a cemetery – just make sure you don’t go peering into any of the mausoleums.

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Most of all, what we all need in our lives before we pass on, is peace.  Ironic as it sounds, this was the place to get it.  With the acres of grass and hills and century old trees, I totally forgot that I was in the middle of Brooklyn; and couldn’t help but want to snuggle up in the shade and take a nap.

The next time you discuss what to do, mention that you want to go to a cemetery, you might receive an odd look but your experience will be worth it.

About cara protzko

A wanderlust at heart, I believe there is no better city to explore than NYC. With so much culture to experience, both old and new, my mission is to share my under the radar findings to enhance the experiences of the locals and the full-time NYC wanderers. I want my experiences and this blog be your go-to place for insider tips as you travel and explore this great city.
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