Saturday, April 23, 2011

In the land of cemeteries

The ridge of the Harbor Hill moraine hosts more than a dozen cemeteries along the Brooklyn/Queens border. This is where those stereotypical shots of Manhattan's towers behind hills of gravestones come from.Most of these acres of monuments are not as nearly as relentlessly linear as this one. The regular stones tell you it's National Cemetery.We went specifically to look for Harry Houdini's grave. The great magician and debunker of occult nonsense is buried in Machpelah Cemetery, just beyond the boarded-up gatehouse.
The Society maintains the site, although, as you can see, there was a bit of litter. A cell phone? Somebody hoping he'd call them when he gets out?
Machpelah is a Jewish cemetery, so we came across a few variations of the Kohanim hands, representing the members of the tribe of Aaron the Levite. To this old goy, it also looks like a double Vultan salute.

Natural history of our field trip is over at B&B.


YourFireAnt said...

Those linearly arranged monuments always make me wonder if they aren't really cenotaphs.

Matthew said...

In some cases, like in France (where a great uncle of mine was buried in WWI) they probably are, the remains being a lot less recoverable then than they are now.