Gates to the cemetery.

Green-Wood Cemetery

Field review by the editors.

Brooklyn, New York

Green-Wood is a fun cemetery. We're just being honest here!

There are weekly trolley tours (practical, as the property covers 478 acres), night walks, military reenactments, book talks and concerts. The grounds have hosted multiple performances of "Angels and Accordions," where dancers in flowing robes drape themselves over tombstones to the accompaniment of a roving band of squeezebox squeezers.

And still, the cemetery maintains a proper sense of decorum -- they used to show horror movies in the chapel, but canceled the series after complaints from offended mourners. Jogging is prohibited.

You know this is a special place as soon as you arrive: upon entering the elaborate main gate, you may hear chattering greetings from a flock of monk parakeets that make their home in the gothic spires -- they are said to be descendants of birds that escaped a shipment to JFK airport in the 1960s.

560,000 people are interned within the romantic grounds, making it inevitable that you will come across innumerable giggle-inducing grave sites for clans such as the Butts family.

Pick up a complimentary map at the office to help you pay your respects to the most famous inert residents, including conductor Leonard Bernstein and artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Trolley.

But our favorite deceased denizens didn't make the official map: they are the inventors and boosters of everyday things that most folks take for granted. Please do stop by and show your appreciation for their efforts. There's Charles Feltman, inventor of the hot dog (Section 199, Plot 32146); John Matthews, carbonated beverage pioneer (Hill Side Path); and John Eberhard Faber, who opened the first large-scale pencil factory in the United States (Water Side Path at Valley Avenue).

Also, Green-Wood is, rather fittingly, the permanent home of Dr. Auguste Renouard, "The Father of American Embalming" (Section 131, Plot 33908). [ADB]

Green-Wood Cemetery

Address:
500 25th Street, Brooklyn, NY
Directions:
Main gate at 25th Street and 5th Avenue in Brooklyn. The closest subway stop is the R at 25th Street. The B63 bus stops right near the entrance.
Hours:
Daily 8 am-5 pm. Extended hours in summer. (Call to verify)
Phone:
718-768-7300
Save to My Sights

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December 19, 2014

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