Here is about an hour-long video mostly on the grounds at New Calvary Cemetery. I entered Third Calvary through the Queens Boulevard entrance, exiting through the 54th Avenue gate at 4th Calvary. New Calvary is not my favorite yard in New York but I appreciate it. I’ve had a particular interest in the Columbarium of the Holy Family, the first such structure for cremated remains at any of the Calvaries. I’ve considered it for my final spot but don’t really care much for how they’re doing it. I prefer St. Michael’s and other columbaria which allow for more creative use of niche cabinet space. Unfortunately I don’t like St. Michael’s for much of anything else, not that it would matter to be in the end.
New Calvary has a pretty healthy share of sepulchral portraits, with often somber faces staring into eternity through sometimes vandalized porcelain panels bearing the likeness of the deceased. I’ve had moral compunctions about focusing on those things, raising the memories of those with portraits more prominently than those without. Why should their immortality leapfrog ahead of anyone else’s simply because they had the means to afford a portrait or were talked into purchasing one by an aggressive salesperson?
At least two books have been published on the subject. One is little more than a series of 40 or 50 portraits from Mt. Zion, with a small amount of background on how the portraits were crafted. No attempt was made to identify any of the individuals who likeness a photographer scooped up and put together in a slim photo book.
Another book takes the opposite tack, getting as much backstory as they can on the lives of those who markers bear their likeness. But why? Why do they deserve such special treatment?
I end up back in a part of Woodside where a gang member gave me a bit of friendly advice, suggesting I probably should not be there because it’s a bad part of town.” Our encounter was payphone-related, as you’ll see near the end of this video when I insert a flashback to a video of my account of that encounter from November, 2020.