The first major battle to take place during the Revolutionary War after the United States declared independence took place in Brooklyn on August 27, 1776. During the Battle of Brooklyn, fighting took place across the borough, including throughout present-day Prospect Park, Fulton Ferry Landing, and Green-Wood Cemetery. To commemorate the 245th anniversary of the historic struggle, Green-Wood Cemetery is hosting a family-friendly event this month with Revolutionary War reenactors, music, demonstrations, and other activities.
Green Wood Cemetery
All photos: NYC Parks / Daniel Avila
The New York City Parks Department on Tuesday reinterred the human remains of early New Yorkers found during construction in and around Washington Square Park. The skeletal remains were placed in a wooden box and buried five feet below grade within a planting bed, with an engraved paver marking the site at the southern entrance of the park near Sullivan Street. The remains were uncovered between 2008 and 2017, including the unearthing of two 19th-century burial vaults in 2015 that held the remains of at least a dozen people.
Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery threatened to close its gates last week after some visitors ignored the 478-acre-site’s rules and regulations. In an email to supporters, the cemetery’s president Richard Moylan said people have biked, climbed trees, and even taken flowers that were placed on graves, all actions prohibited by the organization. “The conduct of a small percentage of our visitors has created an unacceptable situation,” Moylan wrote. “If things don’t change we may be left with no choice but to close our gates as many other cemeteries have done.”
What do Jean-Michel Basquiat, F.A.O Schwarz, Horace Greeley, Samuel Morse, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Boss Tweed, Peter Cooper, Leonard Bernstein, and Susan Smith McKinney-Steward have in common? All these notable New Yorkers are spending eternity in Brooklyn, specifically Greenwood Cemetery, the stunning 478-acre “rural cemetery” that’s home to 560,000 “permanent residents” (and about as many truly spectacular mausoleums.) Since the best secrets are the ones you take to the grave, come dig up the dirt on Green-Wood, and read on for 10 things you didn’t know about Brooklyn’s most sensational cemetery.
The weather has finally gotten the memo, the city’s beaches, parks, and urban islands are open for the season and you’ve got a day off. There’s no need to get complicated; just head for the nearest beach with a picnic for two, attend an outdoor concert, find a BBQ bash or a rooftop rave–or celebrate the day with a parade. What you do with the long weekend is up to you, of course, but you’ll find some ideas below to get you started.
Photo via Wiki Commons
It’s usually the tours and events at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery that get people talking, but the national landmark has its own chatty group that’s attracting a lot of attention. The group happens to be a flock of lime green parrots from Argentina, appropriately named “Monk Parrots” since they are hanging out in the cemetery despite Green-Wood’s nonsectarian nature. But how did these loud and exotic birds get all the way from South America to Greenwood Heights?
Statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims in Central Park. Image: Wikimedia Commons.
New York City’s Public Design Commission voted unanimously Monday in favor of removing a statue of 19th century surgeon J. Marion Sims from its Central Park pedestal, the New York Times reports. It was recommended that the statue of the controversial doctor, who conducted experimental surgeries on female slaves without their consent (and without anesthesia), be removed from its spot at 103rd Street in East Harlem after Mayor Bill de Blasio asked for a review of “symbols of hate” on city property eight months ago. 6sqft previously reported on the request by Manhattan Community Board 11 to remove the East Harlem statue of Sims, who is regarded as the father of modern gynecology. The statue, which will be moved to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery where the doctor is buried, represents the city’s first decision to make changes to a prominent monument since the review.
You may have noticed when driving from Queens to Brooklyn that at some point you find yourself surrounded by a sea of headstones in every direction. The city’s “cemetery belt”–reportedly visible from space–stretches for two and a half miles along the Queens/Brooklyn border and is so populous that there are more than twice as many dead people in Queens than living ones. What’s up with this cemetery city?
- Stereotank’s heart-shaped urban drum in Times Square known as Heartbeat will turn into a “heartseat.” [Inhabitat]
- A Kickstarter campaign is raising funds for a documentary film about Horn & Hardart’s iconic Automat. [Gothamist]
- Mapping the 53 new Citi Bike stations coming to Williamsburg and Greenpoint. [BK Paper]
- A small shop in Ridgewood, Queens is the reason NYC still has neon signs. [Animal]
- Take a black history tour at Green-Wood Cemetery this weekend. [Brownstoner]
Images: Heartseat via Stereotank (L); Citi Bike (R)
Expect conditions to be a little more, um, icy. Photo courtesy of Green-Wood Cemetery
What could be more romantic than a cozy mid-winter afternoon trolley ride through one of NYC’s most interesting national historic landmarks, Green-Wood Cemetery? Celebrate this most romantic of holidays with a bit of a gothic twist: Expert guide Ruth Edebohls will lead a tour highlighting historic power couples, romantic monuments and tales of love everlasting, both triumphant and grim.
You can also view Civil War love letters from the Brooklyn Historical Society’s historic archives on display in the Historic Chapel and have some coffee, tea or hot chocolate before the trolley tour begins. The event is on February 14, 1-3 PM; $20 for Green-Wood and BHS members/$25 for nonmembers.
Find out more and buy tickets here: Love Set in Stone: A Valentine’s Trolley Tour.