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Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn

New York City
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Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn
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Linda is always telling people to go to Greenwood Cemetary in Brooklyn, I decided to take her up on her offer. Its actually one of the highest points in Brooklyn, Its quite hilly, not something you might think of when you think of NYC. So the Hill has some excellent views of the NYC Skyline (I didnt take pictures of it) Because of its height, it was the site of the largest Revolutionary War Battle , The Battle of Long Island (Or the Battle of Brooklyn).

They give trolley tours of the cemetary for $30 a person, but there is a free map you can get and it was pretty easy to navigate in the area of the Monuments, I didnt try to really find any graves except one. I think the trolley tours takes you into a Crypt as well.

Here are some photos (None of the NYC Skyline)

https://imgur.com/gallery/ldVSseV

14 replies to this topic
United States
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1. Re: Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn
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Actually, I believe it is THE highest point in Brooklyn. And when you go, please remember where you are and try to behave yourselves. It always annoys me when I go over for a few quiet moments with family there and encounter groups of loud, smoking, joking tourists wandering around. It is not just another public park where you can do whatever you want. It is a private, active cemetery. At the beginning of the lockdown they decided to extend open hours to give local people another place for some quiet outdoor time. But they had so many problems with people taking advantage they first asked members of their historical society (including me, though I didn't do it) to volunteer to provide "guidance" to visitors, but am not sure that worked as I believe they went back to regular hours and stopped extending community invitations.

Edited: November 30, 2021, 10:07 am
New York City
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I belive the highest point in Brooklyn is Called High Point, Its in Cypress Hill I think , Its on the Interboro Parkway, You can see the Manhattan skyline from there too

United States
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3. Re: Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn
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You can also see the Manhattan skyline (and the Statue of Liberty) from Green-wood

New York City
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I googled it and it said Battle Hill (The spot in Greenwood Cemetary where the NY Civil War Monument is) is the Highest Point in Brooklyn at 216 Feet high, I have seen elsewhere that Highland Park (The name of the park I mentioned in Cypress Hill) was the highest. I saw an article in forogotten NY and it said its basically an unknown park to most New Yorkers as its in a rarely visited corner of the city (Not counting those who drive by on the Interboro)

Brooklyn, New York
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Both Greenwood and Cypress Hill are wonderful cemeteries to take a walk in and look at the headstones.

Highland Park is probably the smallest park in NYC. It encompasses the memorial and nothing else.

One cemetery of note is located by the Brooklyn-Queens border and has Harry Houdini's grave.

Took a walking tour of the different cemeteries in both Brooklyn & Queens before with my walking group.

Brooklyn, New York
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>>> But they had so many problems with people taking advantage they first asked members of their historical society (including me, though I didn't do it) to volunteer to provide "guidance" to visitors, but am not sure that worked as I believe they went back to regular hours and stopped extending community invitations.<<<

Yes, I remember the problems all too well - not from tourists (there were none at the time), but from locals skateboarding, riding bikes, bringing dogs, feeding geese, climbing trees, etc…all this at a time when grave diggers were working overtime and the smoke from the crematorium was hanging in the air. I’m happy to report things have settled down (the docents were super helpful), and the extended hours remain in effect.

Green-Wood actively encourages visitors and has extensive arts/historical programming in addition to the trolley tours.

So do go. Just remember that even though not all funerals are solemn - I’ve seen mariachi bands playing at some - people are still grieving, so be respectful.

Edited: November 30, 2021, 8:46 pm
Flushing, New York
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Many years ago, I visited the graves of some members of the Roosevelt family for a book I was writing. Navigating the cemetery was almost impossible without the map that was kindly provided at the office. The place is a maze of curving roads and small circles with mounds that prevent vision beyond. The roads all are named after trees, fruits, and flowers that can be confusing. Some roads have since been filled in to make additional burial places. The place is well worth visiting, but you have to prepare if driving on your own.

Brooklyn, New York
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_burials_at_Green-Wood_Cemetery

^

A list of notables buried at the cemetery.

As someone who grew up on 49th Street, I would pass the cemetery several times a week:

-Going to McDonalds or BK after my mom took us to the movies

-Jogging around the complex

-Visiting my aunt/uncle who lived on Caton Ave.

-Passing by in a cab

The cemetery was/is a central part of the Park Slope/Sunset/Kensington area.

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Green-wood (opened around 1849) predates Central Park, as do a couple other famous cemeteries of its type in eastern US, like Mt Auburn, in Cambridge MA. I think there's a name for that type of cemetery, maybe "rural" cemetery? In the 19th century it was apparently popular for people to go for Sunday rides at Green-wood in their horse-drawn carriages, as there were few parks or other places for them to get fresh air. So those roads started out as carriage roads. You don't have to have a car to visit Greenwood's hillier parts, though if you aren't particularly fit or have any mobility issues you may have to find an alternate way up.

Another historic cemetery, only about 15 years younger than Greenwood, that may interest is Woodlawn, in the north Bronx, and final resting place of, among others, Irving Berlin, Miles Davis and Herman Melville.

Greater Sydney...
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Nice pictures, Howard. I see you have a picture of Minerva. Did you go to the back of her and see her waving to the Statue of Liberty across the water? (Interesting tidbit courtesy of the Ziggy Brooklyn tour).

Owl's Head Park and Sunset Park (the park) are also elevated but I don't know how high. Owls Head has views toward Staten Island (and distant Manhattan), and Sunset Park you can see Manhattan clearly.

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