USA | NYC
 


Day 1239

Catchin’ up

May 22nd, 2015

It looks like I haven't updated the site in a few months, but I'm just working through a big backlog of photos. I'll be posting new ones just about every day until I'm finally caught up. See below for the latest posts.

Day 1056

Must be a relative

November 20th, 2014


Day 1056

Little ones, long forgotten

November 20th, 2014


Day 1056

Saul Yanofsky

November 20th, 2014



Saul Yanofsky (or Yanovsky, as his name seems to be spelled everywhere except his tombstone) was apparently "one of the most renowned Jewish anarchists of the day in New York" during the late 1800s and early 1900s. His epitaph reads:

His life was ardently and unselfishly devoted toward establishing human society on principles of no coercion and no exploitation.

Day 1056

The living and the dead

November 20th, 2014


Day 1056

Sholem Aleichem

November 20th, 2014



Sholem Aleichem, the beloved Yiddish author known as "the Jewish Mark Twain", died on May 13*, 1916. The NY Times estimated that 100,000 people lined the sidewalks of Manhattan's East Side to watch his funeral procession. He was initially buried in neighboring Mount Neboh Cemetery and was later moved to this plot in Old Mount Carmel.

* His date of death is somewhat ironic because, according to his daughter, he had a superstitious aversion to the number 13. She recalled that he "never marks a page [in his manuscripts] with the number 13—it is always 12a." It's been said — even in the NY Times — that his headstone lists his date of death as May 12a, but that is untrue. The dates given on the stone for his birth and death are from the Hebrew calendar.

Day 1056

Bella Abzug

November 20th, 2014



From her 1998 NY Times obituary:

Ms. Abzug represented the West Side of Manhattan for three Congressional terms in the 1970's. She brought with her a belligerent, exuberant politics that made her a national character. Often called just Bella, she was recognizable everywhere by her big hats and a voice that Norman Mailer said "could boil the fat off a taxicab driver's neck."

She opposed the Vietnam War, championed what was then called women's liberation and was one of the first to call for the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon. Long after it ceased to be fashionable, she called her politics radical. . . .

"There are those who say I'm impatient, impetuous, uppity, rude, profane, brash and overbearing. Whether I'm any of these things or all of them, you can decide for yourself. But whatever I am -- and this ought to be made very clear at the outset -- I am a very serious woman."
(We're now in Old Mount Carmel Cemetery, our final cemetery of the day.)

Day 1056



Day 1056

Samuels

November 20th, 2014



We're now in Mount Neboh Cemetery, the penultimate burial ground on today's tour through seven of the seventeen cemeteries that make up the "great verdant necropolis" spanning the middle of the Brooklyn-Queens border.

Day 1056

Joel Goldenberg

November 20th, 2014



Joel Goldenberg was one of the original members of Goldenberg Brothers & Co., once one of the country's largest lace importing firms. His nephew Samuel Goldenberg, author of the illustrated Lace: Its Origin and History, was a Titanic survivor whose large canvas bag was reported by the NY Times to be the only piece of luggage saved from the ship and to have somehow never even gotten wet during the whole ordeal. Perhaps worried that people would assume he used his wealth to secure a spot on a lifeboat for his bag instead of another passenger, he wrote a letter to the Times explaining that he didn't save any of his luggage from the Titanic, but that he purchased the bag in question and all its contents once aboard the rescue ship.

Day 1056

Lady on an urn

November 20th, 2014


Day 1056

Goodman

November 20th, 2014



The eternal resting place of actor Edward G. Robinson

Day 1056

Tomb of the Distillators

November 20th, 2014


Day 1056

Straus(s)

November 20th, 2014



Two of the three Straus brothers, Oscar and Nathan, are buried here in Beth-El Cemetery. I was unable to find them — but I did come across this mausoleum with an extra S. As we've seen, the third brother, Isidor, is buried in an unusual tomb at Woodlawn Cemetery. He famously died aboard the Titanic with his wife Ida: he turned down a place in a lifeboat, seeing that there were still women and children on the ship, and Ida refused to leave his side.

Oscar, who served as Secretary of Commerce and Labor under President Theodore Roosevelt, was the first Jewish member of the US Cabinet. (He wasn't the first Jew to be offered a US Cabinet position, however. President Grant — who, by the way, had ordered the expulsion of all Jews from his military district during his time as a major general in the Civil War — asked Joseph Seligman to be his Secretary of the Treasury, but Seligman declined. And President Cleveland offered Oscar's brother Isidor the job of Postmaster General, then a Cabinet-level post, but Isidor turned him down as well. Oscar was also not the first Jew in America to serve in a Cabinet. That distinction belongs to Judah P. Benjamin, who held three different Confederate Cabinet positions.)

Nathan and Isidor were business partners and very successful merchants who came to own two major New York department stores: Macy's and Abraham & Straus. Nathan was also a noted philanthropist, and his signature cause was "pure milk". He suspected that many of the diseases killing large numbers of young children In the late 19th century were being contracted from contaminated raw milk. Starting in 1893, he and his wife Lina set up milk depots in the city to provide poor families with pasteurized milk at low cost. Their efforts were credited with playing a large role in the precipitous decline of the city's child mortality rate over the following 25 years, during which an estimated 240,000 children's lives were saved.

Day 1056

A highly decorated couple

November 20th, 2014