Saturday was an absolute gorgeous day (sunny and in the 50s — finally!) and I didn't have plans until the afternoon so I headed out to wander around downtown. I'm still having fun getting to know my new camera, so my first stop was Trinity Church cemetery to take some photos.
Aside from just loving everything about cemeteries, they make wonderful places to take photos, especially for someone like me who is just getting acquainted with a new camera. They're not usually crowded and there is always something visually interesting to focus on.
I've been to Trinity Church (and its cemetery, which surrounds the church) many times and it's definitely my favorite Manhattan cemetery. The churchyard cemetery (there are two others associated with Trinity, one on Riverside Drive and one at St. Paul's Chapel) opened in 1697 and as I've said about cemeteries, the older the better.
There are many important people spending eternity here, including signers of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, delegates to the Continental Congress, US Senators, Representatives, Revolutionary War heroes and Alexander Hamilton and his wife.
There are even a few tombstones carved withe the symbol of the Free Masons, and if you've seen National Treasure you might get as nerdy excited about that as I did. This is the church under which they end up finding the treasure. No matter how cheesy the movie (or unbelievable the plot), I still love seeing famous filming locations in person and I'd be lying if I didn't say that was one of the reasons I love Trinity so much.
I am totally obsessed with the old, crumbling tombstones and I think they are leaps and bounds above the tacky marble headstones that we have today. The skull, bones and angel carvings are so incredibly beautiful to me, and the typography is pretty much perfect.
Trinity Churchyard might actually be one of my very favorite places in all of New York and despite being in a very tourist-heavy area of the city, it's usually quite peaceful and nearly empty. I love that through all of the changes to the area in the past 317 years, it has not only endured but remained in great condition. Although some of the tombstones are in pieces, a large number of them are in surprisingly good shape. One of my very favorite things to spot at an old cemetery like this is a tombstone gently leaning on the one next to it — I can't help but think that they belong to a husband and wife who just couldn't spend all of eternity being separated, and my heart simultaneously breaks and warms whenever I see a pair of leaning stones.
I also think we really need to start bringing back the carved crossbones-style tombstones, because what is cooler than that? (nothing)