The weather has been gorgeous today and, as I was in South Slope in Brooklyn, I decided to make the most of it by walking through Green-Wood Cemetery – a National Historic Landmark and the final resting place of many famous New Yorkers.

The cemetery was built in 1838 and there is something so beautiful about this massive, sprawling park, where 560,000 people are buried or remembered.

Its entrance is a massive gateway in Gothic Revival style, which looks a little daunting. But once you’re inside, cobbled lanes meander between obelisks and monuments, and a pond blanketed with lily pads leads you to a quaint chapel.

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While lots of politicians and artists have been laid to rest here, my New York history isn’t very extensive, so I wasn’t familiar with the names. But we did go to the grave of one I recognized – composer Leonard Bernstein – and Ryan also showed me that of former Brooklyn Dodgers owner, Charles Ebbets.

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As we climbed the cemetery’s hills, we could see across the East River towards the Manhattan skyline and Lady Liberty. And it’s for this city view that many people want to be laid to rest here. Ryan told me that a hill near to the soldiers’ memorial is actually the highest point in Brooklyn (and I think I believe him).

At the soldiers' memorial, the highest point in Brooklyn

At the soldiers’ memorial, the highest point in Brooklyn


Ryan meets Minerva, who's signalling across the river to Lady Libert

Ryan meets Minerva, who’s signalling across the river to Lady Liberty

Can you see her?

Can you see her?

Great picture (c) Ryan

Great picture (c) Ryan

Although you’d expect cemeteries to be pretty grim, it was actually so nice to explore Green-Wood and marvel at how well kept it was. It was so peaceful and made for a lovely stroll.

(And the place is huge – we barely covered a corner of this map!)