Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Green-Wood's "Bride"

Way back when, the first significant monument I was introduced to at Green-Wood was the "bride." So significant was this that I noted it in my first book Grave Undertakings. Naturally, I included this monument in my second book, Green-Wood Cemetery. Since that time, I've learned more about the sad backstory behind the striking statuary. The young woman was indeed a bride who died from a cerebral hemorrhage on her honeymoon, just days after her wedding.The statue was commissioned by her father, who wanted the memorial to be a carbon copy of how his daughter looked on her wedding day. The artisans worked from photographs from the famed Marcy studios. For two years, the statue was a work in progress; sketches were done before it was sent to Italy to be carved. Here is one of the early sketches.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Remembering Mayor Edward I. Koch 1924-2013


Edward I. Koch, New York City's beloved mayor (and my favorite) died six years ago today. It was a privilege to attend his funeral, and write about it for 'American Funeral Director.' Of the thousands of funerals I've been at over the years, Mayor Koch's remains my favorite. It incorporated all the elements of a good funeral, and the memory of his casket being shouldered out of Temple Emanu-El to the tune of New York New York is indelible.
Mayor Koch is buried in Trinity Cemetery (uptown).

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


I've long admired the work of journalist Lisa Colangelo, so I was thrilled  to give her a tour of these two fabulous cemeteries.



Explore the secrets and hidden history of Queens' Calvary and Saint John cemeteries 

Alexandra Mosca, author and funeral director, takes amNewYork on a tour of the sprawling cemeteries.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Stubenbord - Sutherland Families

Green-Wood Cemetery's Stubenbord-Sutherland monument features a seated mourning figure holding a sprig of ivy. The granite monument is rose-colored and semi-circle in design.  The Sutherland family was active in Brooklyn politics, while the Stubenbords owned a popular Coney Island hotel. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Proudest Yankee





                                            In honor of opening day at Yankee Stadium.

Alfred Manuel "Billy" Martin had a distinguished career in baseball. The second baseman for the Yankees was a contemporary of Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra, and later became the team's manager. In that role, he led the team to a number of victories. The outspoken Martin's public feuds, most notably with team owner, George Steinbrenner, were legendary. Martin was killed in a car accident on Christmas day in 1989. After a funeral Mass in St. Patrick's Cathedral, attended by many former teammates, he was buried in New York's Gate of Heaven Cemetery, nearby the grave of Babe Ruth. These words are etched upon his monument: "I may not have been the greatest Yankee to put on the uniform, but I was the proudest

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Archibald Gracie IV: A Titanic Hero



Archibald Gracie IV was instrumental in saving the lives of a number of fellow RMS Titanic passengers. Gracie, too, survived and began work on a book about that tragic night. Sadly, Gracie died eight months later from the effects of his ordeal in the sea. His book, titled "Titanic: A Survivor's Story" was published posthumously. Gracie is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, surrounded by many family graves. The Gracie ancestral home serves as the New York City mayoral residence



Green-Wood's "Bride"

Way back when, the first significant monument I was introduced to at Green-Wood was the "bride." So significant was this that I ...