Brooklyn : Green-Wood Cemetery

Wandering around Brooklyn on one of our last new york trips, we decided to visit Green-Wood Cemetery. My obsession with old cemeteries made it a must on our itinerary of the New York borough.

This cemetery has its fair share of famous burials: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louis Comfort Tiffany, William Magear “Boss” Tweed. But even without its famous residents, the architecture of the burials would be notable.
Our visit was on a cold December day. I had to bundle up on that day.

Even the entrance to the cemetery is like an old Gothic church. Notice the stone reliefs.

Calming pathways make their way around the grounds.

 Not sure this is a famous family but you can tell they are a family with money. Look at this mausoleum that looks like a house inviting you over to visit.

The chapel

More notable mausoleums at the cemetery. I couldn’t find information on them, but they are still intriguing to look at.

Nice pretty old mausoleum.

Some choose to have photos etched in the tombs.

Francis Baretto Spinola was the first Italian-American elected to Congress.

Celtic cross.

Finally notice this encryption style crypt. It would be interesting to know what goes through the mind of families when they are designing these for their family. In this case I think one person buried here dedicated part of their life to Egyptian study and inspired the design.

New Orleans Cemetery

There is something about old cemeteries that keep drawing me in. When I visit a town and I find there is an old famous cemetery, I add it to my to do list.
One great place to visit cemeteries is New Orleans. We visited the Saint Louis Cemetery and took part in a voodoo tour.

A man that works in the cemetery told us about how the tombs are reused by families. Bodies are placed in a wooden box in the tomb and sealed up. The New Orleans heat “burns” the body. A year and a day later the tomb is opened again and the remains are pushed back make room for the next in the family…..

Tombs are quite expensive but in the long run it can be quite economical since tombs can be reused over and over again by the family.

Separate but equal

Homer Plessy tomb of the Plessy vs Ferguson fame is buried in this cemetery.

We also did a voodoo tour.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church as part of the tour. It is the oldest surviving church building in New Orleans. It is visited by Catholics and some practitioners of voodoo.

And I saw these Lela dolls. What?!?

We met a real life voodoo practitioner (Sorry no pictures).
We learned about Marie Catherine Laveau, the famous voodoo practitioner. We visited the mausoleum where Marie Laveau is buried, in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1.  Tourists mark X’s on her tomb and leave offerings if their wish is granted. I have yet to ask her for anything but I may someday.

Anyone want some oreos?

Some more cemetery pictures

 Film site of Easy Rider

Notre Dame and Père Lachaise

During our August 2010 trip to Paris we spent some time at both the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery and the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. Below are the pictures from our visit.

Pere-Lachaise Cemetery

 I have a slight obsession with old cemetaries, especially ones with family crypts. A visit to the famous Pere-Lachaise Cemetery did not disappoint me. It felt other worldly. The scenery was beautiful and the gardens were peaceful. We only allocated an hour or two here but I could have spent much more time. Numerous famous greats from literature are resting here as well as the mysterious and talented Jim Morrison.

Jim Morrison’s final resting place.

This one looks middle-earthy.

The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit. -Moliere

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris

The Notre Dame cathedral is amazing as well. This was my second visit and I am still in awe of the stained glass windows here.
I apologize for the blurry photos. The camera was new and I was still learning how to shoot in low light.