Sunday, November 2, 2008

Woodlawn: Not Just Your Average Cemetery

No, this one is more akin to the beautiful Zentralfriedhof in Vienna, known for its beautiful sculptures, tended gardens and graves of historical Austrian elite or Pere-Lachaise in Paris where people from around the world make pilgrimages intent on hunting down Jim Morrison's body-guarded grave or to plant kisses on Oscar Wilde's flamboyant tombstone.

Ok, so there weren't many pilgrims out at Woodlawn yesterday (in fact we had the place pretty much to ourselves) but in terms of sheer beauty, famous graves, and over-the-top funereal monuments, this cemetery is considered one of the must sees in the world. "Home" to Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Herman Melville and Irving Berlin (the list goes on and on), a sanctuary for 190 different species of birds, geese and ducks and set over 400 acres of rolling hills filled with gorgeous trees and shrubs that would give any botanical garden a run for its money, Woodlawn is well worth visiting. Especially in the Fall or Spring when the leaves on the trees are showing off their most glorious shades of color. (Check out this cool article in the New York Times - Romancing the Stones).

Getting there: Take the #4 Subway and take it to the last stop.

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