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Friday, June 3, 2011

BROOKLYN

There's a group in our community called, "Gals on the Go". They plan all kinds of interesting events and trips. Yesterday, we went to Brooklyn.
I spent a lot of time in Brooklyn when I was younger, but never at most of the spots we toured. The main part of the trip for me was a stop in Brooklyn Heights. This is a very, very expensive neighborhood and I've always wanted to visit, but somehow never got around to it. It is an historic district, some streets are closed to commercial traffic. It is the one of the earliest suburbs of NYC, many of the homes were built in the 1820's, some even before. Most of those homes also have wonderful views of Manhattan.


The above is a view of downtown Manhattan from the Promenade in the Heights. This next photo shows a building slightly to the right of center with what looks like two candles on the top. This is the new Freedom Tower which is being built on the site of the World Trade Center.

From the Promenade, we walked to the Pilgrims Church. This was Henry Ward Beecher's church and was a stop on the Underground Railroad. It's still an active church, some of the buildings house schools for the neighborhood children.

This statue of the Rev. Beecher shows him holding a mock auction of children as slaves. The local residents would "bid" on the "slaves" and the money paid would be used for their transportation on the rest of the trip to Canada.

After Brooklyn Heights, we rode around Park Slope, another affluent neighborhood. Back in the 50's and 60's you could have bought a brownstone house for about $15,000-$20,000. Now, you might be able to buy one if you had a few million dollars.

We drove past the Brooklyn Museum which has a very large collection of Egyptian artifacts. After the museum, we saw the Botanic Gardens which has more cherry trees than Washington DC. Then, we caught a glimpse of my high school, which wasn't part of the tour nor was it of interest to anyone else except me and another lady.

Then it was time for lunch at Juniors, another Brooklyn landmark. Yes, this is the Juniors of the famous cheesecake. And, it was delicious.

After lunch we visited Greenwood Cemetery, the final resting place of such luminaries as Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Miller and mob boss Albert Anastasio and regular people too. There is still room if you want to spend eternity there. It only costs $25,000.

This cemetery was established in the 1830's and is also the final resting place of more Civil War casualties than anywhere else in the US, even Gettysburg. This is the entrance.

Many of the masoleums were built into the hillsides and many of them were very elaborate.

There is a non-denominational chapel on the grounds. Since our visit was just after Memorial Day, there were many Civil War artifacts inside.

I guess this is the only place where a canon would fit, but I found it a rather odd spot for one, right in front of the altar.

There are three glacial lakes in the cemetery which comprises 478 acres. This is one of the lakes.

There are now plans to identify the graves of the Civil War casualties. There is a group of volunteers who go over the records, then try to find the original tombstones which may not be
easily visible. They then arrange for new headstones in the same place. Here are two that were found. They are two brothers who fought on opposite sides and didn't see each other until their final battle. They were both wounded and met in the hospital tent. They had a brief reunion and then died and were buried next to each other. I don't know which was a Union soldier and who was the Confederate soldier. I'm sure someone knows, but our guide didn't.


There is such an excitement and energy in New York and all the boroughs, that at times during the day and even since that I've regretted leaving New York. If I ever win the lotto, maybe I'll go back.

3 comments:

BetteJo said...

I think ya just about have to win the lottery to afford it.

ANGELFITZ@AOL.COM said...

WHAT GREAT PICTURES AND THE CIVIL WAR STORY WAS INTRIGUING. THANKS FOR SHARING THIS TRIP WITH US. BEING FROM BOOKLYN MYSELF, I REGRET NEVER HAVING TRAVELLED TO THE DIFFERENT AREAS AND SEE THINGS FOR MYSELF. I GUESS I MUST HAVE THOUGHT THAT THERE WOULD ALWAYS BE TIME LATER ON. HOW FOOLISH !
ANGELFITZ

Staci said...

Old cemeteries are fascinating, aren't they? I'd love to visit that one.