There is nothing like an adventure to a cemetery to beat away the hangover. The tuna melt didn’t do it. I have visited several cemeteries in and around NYC, but this was my first trip to Sleepy Hollow, the final resting place of writer Washington Irving, royal bitch Leona Helmsley and monopolizers like Rockefeller and Carnegie.
I’ve been to Trinity Church Cemetery, which was one of the only buildings still standing after the World Trade Center Attacks; Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn; Calvary Cemetery in Queens; and now Sleepy Hollow.
I just love cemeteries. I love walking through them, taking pictures of the memorial art and appreciating the love still evident in fresh flowers and poetry. It is a peaceful excursion either with like-minded pals or alone. This time I had Patrick as my photo-taking companion while Guy sat in the air conditioned car and read.
Rarely do I go looking for particular graves, but this was a small cemetery and the map was easy to decipher. We had to check out Leona’s final resting place since it was reported to cost $3 million and have more columns than any other tomb on the property (at her request). What sets it apart of a modern example of excess is the stained glass ornamentation of the New York City skyline. I loved it.
We also found the other moguls’ spots and many old tombstones dating back to the 1700s. I figured Leona had to build this monstrosity since no one would honor her in the nice words found on other graves. “My dear wife”, “Dear father”, “Baby boy”, “Beloved”. All those notes of respect placed in stone by folks long gone from this world as well.
I liked the experience, but think I prefer Calvary in Queens with its skyline view and massive inclusion of dead mobsters.
I have often thought of decorating my house with all the memorial art photos I have taken, but I wonder if I would be creeped out by it, in the dark of night. I still believe in ghosts and though I took those pictures out of respect, it may not be a good idea to wake the dead.