This weekend was Open House New York. OHNY is an annual event in which cultural institutions across the five boroughs open up a portion of their facility that is normally closed to the public. It is a chance to see something you ordinarily would not. Many New Yorkers build a weekend around it, coordinating their plans to see as much as they can. Because it was rainy day and a long week I did not feel like venturing too far from the house today. So,  I headed to Greenwood Cemetery to see what could.

This is the Schermerhorn’s tomb and dates to 1847. One intriguing about Greenwood is that a huge chunk of the city’s history is on display for you right there. Around every corner you see a name familiar to you from a building, street, or avenue somewhere in Gotham.

The cemetery received  permission from descendants’ families to open the tombs to the public for this one-weekend-a-year event. About eight to ten crypts were open Saturday and Sunday, with different ones accessible each day.

I myself did not do the trolley, but for those with tickets there was transportation between stops.

Whether it’s at a cemetery or a Civil War battlefield, it’s when you get off the beaten path that you find those moments of peace.


Even with the rain there was a sizable turnout. One had to wait a few minutes at each stop to get in and out of the tombs. Here is the view from inside one. Many are surprisingly big, with the capacity to hold several dozen or even hundreds of extended family.

The rain added to the ambiance. I was glad I made it today and not yesterday when it was clear and sunny.

I made sure to visit the soldiers and sailors monument to Civil War veterans. I don’t always make it to this side of the cemetery during my regular constitutionals.

There are approximately 4,000 Civil War veterans resting in Greenwood.

It’s autumn in New York.