I’m doing a little bit of catch up today, and wanted to share with you photos from this past weekend’s New York Marble Cemetery Garden Party, hosted by the New York Obscura Society. The Victorian-themed party involved a wealth of odd and historically-accurate activities, including an absinthe tasting, cemetery talk, flower crown workshop, butterfly pinning demonstration, croquet game, cello performance, gothic-themed baked goods, and demonstrations by the New York Stereoscopic Association and a gramophone DJ.
Hidden in the East Village behind Second Avenue, the small cemetery has not changed much since the 19th century. Though surrounded by a rapidly changing neighborhood that boasts both an expensive hotel in one corner and a former methodone clinic in the other, the fading fronts of the burial vaults have not been phased. Founded in 1830, the New York Marble Cemetery (not to be confused with the New York City Marble Cemetery located in SoHo) was the city’s first non-sectarian burial place. The reason for the cemetery’s existence according to Wikipedia, was “recent outbreaks of yellow fever led city residents to fear burying their dead in coffins just a few feet below ground, and public health legislation had outlawed earthen burials.” Hence the novel idea of burial vaults as a handy solution to the problem.
Several of the attendees wore their very best Victorian garb to the event. Alas, there was nothing in my closet even remotely close to the high-necked corsets and big skirts worn back then. Perhaps I’ll need to go shopping for my next soiree.
Organization hosting event: Atlas Obscura & the New York Obscura Society
Venue: New York Marble Cemetery
Absinthe tasting by S.B. MacDonald at Absinthe Antiques
Butterfly pinning demonstration and curiosities by The Evolution Store
Flower crown-making lesson with Aurora Botanica
Croquet game by the Brooklyn Croquet & Hunt Club
Gramophone serenade by phonograph DJ Michael Cumella
New York Stereoscopic Association demonstration
Gothic pastries by Ashley Holt at Sugar Monster Sweets
Victorian cookies by Tiny Kitchen Treats
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