You know how some people celebrate their Birthday Month? We celebrate Halloween Month. It’s our favorite holiday, hands down. I’m a horror movie aficionado, and Lynn’s a huge costume buff. (She hasn’t really delved into that for herself as much as she’d like, believe me, but she adores watching other people do it really, really well.) We’re always excited to attend fall favorites like Brew in the Zoo, The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, and the Halloween Dog Parade. So when our friend and fellow blogger Lauren of Girl in Gotham City asked if we’d like to hang out at Green-Wood, we couldn’t say yes fast enough. It’s long been on our list of things to do. So, let Halloween Month commence!
Green-Wood, a National Historic Landmark, is an enormous, non-sectarian cemetery founded in 1838. It sits on a whopping 478 acres, and the terrain is incredibly varied: hills, valleys, glacial ponds and winding pathways. Battle Hill is located on its grounds, which happens to have the highest elevation point in Brooklyn, offering incredible views of Manhattan. Its park-like aesthetic was so admired it is said to have directly inspired the construction of a centrally-located park in Manhattan. (Can you imagine a Manhattan without Central Park?)
Within its gates, there are more than 560,000 graves (or “Permanent Residents” as they are referred to cheekily by its caretakers). There are markers, statues, and mausoleums of myriad shapes and sizes. The space equitably accommodates those of modest means (such as the free veteran burials in the “Soldiers’ Lot” established after the Civil War) and the crème de la crème of the second half of the nineteenth century. Artists, activists, politicians, and even man’s best friend reside there.
This is NOT where they filmed that iconic cemetery scene in Night of the Living Dead–that was Pennsylvania–but I couldn’t help myself from re-enacting it. Wandering the expansive grounds, we discussed everything from horror movies to TV shows to workout routines. Imagination runs freely here. It’s the kind of outing that lets you forget that you’re in New York City as you immerse yourself in the lush surroundings. Until, of course, you’re wowed by a fantastic view of lower Manhattan. Or you’re flabbergasted by the Gothic Revival brownstone gates constructed by the first president of the American Institute of Architects. (If you look really closely, you might notice a nest in the spire. It houses Monk Parakeets whose ancestors escaped a shipment passing through JFK ages ago.) Green-Wood is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary, which makes it a prime location to enjoy fall foliage once the leaves turn color.
So if you’re interested in history, art, nature or any combination thereof, you’ll find all of that just a short train ride away at Green-Wood. They also offer an incredible slate of in-house programs, such as historic trolley rides, twilight tours, bird-watching tours and more. Pop over to Lauren’s post for tips to a successful outing.
500 25th St
Hours vary by season, visit their website for details
Pair it with:
A meal at Industry City
Located a stone’s throw from the south entrance of Green-Wood, you’ll find a newly developed area of Sunset Park called Industry City. Industry City has repurposed Brooklyn waterfront property to offer an eclectic mix of retail, dining and art. But let’s focus on the dining. The offerings here are incredibly diverse. Here are two options that are exclusive to Industry City:
I’m not one to turn down a good avocado toast, but Lynn is definitely more excited about it than I am. (Fun fact: Lynn didn’t even eat avocados until a few years ago–the texture used to turn her off. She claims she’s making up for lost time.) So when she walked into Avocaderia, it was like all her avocado dreams had come true. There were multiple toast options, including vegan varieties. There were avocado smoothies. An avocado burger. Even an avocado chocolate mousse. She went with the Let It Beet, which included beet hummus and watermelon radish on toasted sourdough bread. We’ll definitely be back to try the other offerings.
238 36th St
Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm
Saturday – Sunday 11am – 5pm
His: Ends Meat
Ends Meat calls itself a whole-animal salumeria, which roughly translates to a deli being run out of a butcher shop. The owner (and head butcher) responsibly sources the meat and vegetables from local sources. You can buy meat for your barbecue and provisions for your pantry. Or just order one of their many sandwich offerings. I succumbed to the Beef Neck Sandwich with caramelized onions, 1000 Island dressing, and cheddar on perfectly toasted bread. I might’ve felt a tad guilty, had we not spent the following four hours trekking around a giant cemetery.
Pro Tip: I snagged a container of their homemade pickled mustard seeds while I was there. They’ve had a starring role on all my homemade sandwiches ever since.
254 36th St
Monday – Friday 11am – 7pm
Saturday – Sunday Noon – 5pm