The cold wind blows across my face as I walk up and down the hills of a place where death is at every turn. Green-Wood is located in western Brooklyn in the city of New York City. A huge 478 acres gives you a lot of space to roam and plenty of space to see time go by. Founded in 1838 at a time when Brooklyn was more rural, it was a public park for the then growing city.
I’m not gonna give you a history of the cemetery, there are plenty of places where you can find that, instead I want to talk about some the things I saw on my stroll as a drove from spot to spot. I really didn’t know where I was going, sure I had a map to help me but more often I just drove and got out at random spots and walked around some to take it all in.
There was old graves and some new ones. Ones that were simple and somber in tone to the one above. It was still fairly new as no headstone was in place and in Mexican culture, someone had left some items for the afterlife of the loved one they had lost.
Green-wood isn’t just a cemetery, it also has a connection to American history. Above and below are parts to a monument to those who died in the Civil war from NYC. The 35 foot tall Soldiers Monument sits at the highest point in Green-Wood.
One of the soldiers looks out as the mighty city lives right behind them.
Even from inside the cemetery, the city of Brooklyn is near by of course with all it’s traffic and cars. That section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway might be the worst road in all of the city.
The highest point in Brooklyn is known as Battle Hill, and at this point you will find the Roman goddess of wisdom and war, Minerva. Unveiled on August 27, 1920 to honor the Battle of Brooklyn.
There are many famous people who rest within the grounds of Green-Wood but this is one of the greatest, Leonard Bernstein.
At the end of the day as the sun was sitting down on not only the city but on the grounds of Green-Wood and looked back at the city and wondered what it would have been like to look out across the East River to see the young America back when Green-Wood was first opened. So much has changed and so much will change in the many years to come. How high will will the buildings climb, how many greats of this country come to call New York City their home and how many will come to rest to that long sleep in Green-Wood.