Thursday, July 16, 2009

The best part of living in an historic place...

is when you realize that there are dead people all around you. Sometimes figuratively and other times quite literally. It’s the feeling you get when you’re in an old cathedral and your tour guide tells you there are peole entombed in the wall. Check out this post from A Very Grave Blog.

If you think about it, this makes total sense. I remember years ago on a visit to London marveling with a kind of skin crawling fascination at Green Park, which had originated as a plague pit (a place for the bodies of plague victims...if you needed clarification on that one) but later came to be a burial ground for lepers. Once burials stopped the place became grown over with grass and trees and since no one wanted to go digging in order “to construct a proper park” it got the name Green Park due to the (mostly) lack of flowers. It’s a very lovely lawn, complete with those famous beach chairs.

The same goes for NYC. Hundreds of thousands of people were buried under what is now Washington Square Park, Madison Park, and Bryant Park (see potter’s field). There’s something to consider when someone tells you the price of their new apartment with the great view of a cemetery…

1 comment:

gravematter said...

Thanks for the mention! You'd be surprised how much this happens in New England overall. Check out my website of New England cemetery and gravestone photographs at http://www.gravematter.com.