Nothing is certain but death and taxes, so of course NYC is steeped in death, but where are places where New Yorkers talk about it and celebrate it? Where do the dead lie and what are the peculiarly NYC ways of dying?
NYC has quite a bit of what could be called recreational death sites, places people can visit, talk about and observe death rituals or palces where you can buy the ephemera of death and enjoy this video about death in NYC delivered with the wit and insight which is peculiarly New York.
The Evolution Store at 120 Spring Street and Obscura Antiques 207 Avenue A just below 13th St, both in Lower Manhattan will provide you with skeletons, taxidermy, death jewelry and any numbver of death related buys.
Of course if you do value the display of all things death you must visit New York’s wonderful Morbid Anatomy Museum at 424A 3rd Avenue Brooklyn where you can be assured of excessively macabre exhibits, bits and pieces of dead people, photographs, clothing and jewelry from the dead and lively discussions with people obsessed with death who will also offer you lessons in taxidermy if you ask nicely.
There is also a recently opened Death Cafe which is in fact a one day a month event that takes place in a Moroccan Restaurant in Times square. It is not into grief counselling but people who like to talk about deaths that have touched their lives gather there to do just that.
For a place with a now venerable history, NYC has had to bury a few people as times has gone on. Originally those who could not afford a church burial were buried by the state in nearby open ground but then of course the city expanded and now large City square such as Washington Square Park and Union Square have 1,000s of dead people lying beneath their manicured surfaces. These days the poor and the criminal are buried on Hart Island in the East river.
New York state as a whole has 93 cemetries and NYC has 47 of those within it’s boundaries. Some are very big, like Woodlawn Cemetery in Brooklyn, some are very small such as the 2 so called ‘marble’ cemetries in the center of Manhattan.
And New York City also has it’s very own embalmed saint, St FRancis Xavier who lies in a specially built chapel in Northern Manhattan.
Then there is the ways in which you can die in NYC, causes arising from the very nature of life in this amazing city. The include falling on subway tracks, getting hit by a car even though you are crossing with the lights, falling off a roof during a party, getting hit by a crane, brick or sign that falls off a building above you, walking over a manhood cover just as it explodes, freezing to death in a blizzard and a sadly still popular one, being murdered.
So enjoy the deathly wonders of NYC because they are many and varied and whatever your interest in death NYC is there to serve you.