“a cemetery of the people”

Calvary dates its first burial to 1848, yet while it is nearly as old as the garden-style cemeteries of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, and Trinity Cemetery in Manhattan, its constituents have always been working class and its layout is therefore less elaborate. There are no bronze angels by 19th century masters or mausoleums for famous families whose names still mark the city. Instead, what is most affecting about the cemetery is the vast multitude of graves that dodge from decade to decade as you walk through the grass paths, and the way all these simple memorials capture the evolution of the population of the city. Many of the immigrants have both their birthplace and deathplace inscribed, the journey in between unwritten, and others from recent years have incredibly personal memorials from families who have left plastic flowers along with old footballs, stuffed animals and worn photographs. Few of the graves were art commissioned specifically for the deceased, like you might find in the more elite cemeteries, but there is the poignant clutter of all the similar angels and sorrowed ladies standing in crowds and gazing off stonily to their own private eternities.

Read More | “There Are Still More People Who Are Dead Than Alive in Queens” | Allison Meier | ?Hyperallergic