Join me this week as we journey beyond any one neighborhood and go to many different parts of New York and explore some of the City’s most interesting and fascinating cemeteries.
My guests will be Joyce Gold of Joyce Gold History Tours, and Vincent and Robert Gardino, authors of Grave Trippers: History at Our Feet.
The show begins with Jeff introducing the first guest, Joyce Gold, who begins with his history initially growing up in Pennsylvania and first moving to New York and outlines her journey from working in finance to her current line of work today, finding a passion in showing the history of the city and how this work comes to include cemeteries. She speaks on the connections cemeteries have to religious institutions and how burials correlated to superstitions at the time, going into the history of grave-sites for Native Americans and the early Dutch settlers. The talk continues with the burial history of the Trinity Church Yard and St. Paul’s Chapel, as well as a history of segregation and exclusion at these sites.
Joyce informs the audience about a few upcoming tours this spring and where listeners can find information. They return to the topic with the African graveyard and the establishment of the first non-sectarian cemeteries in New York as well as a few notable people buried at those sights. Jeffs notes a history of placing remains inside vaults and Joyce talks about the history of Trinity Cemetery in uptown, the segment closing with some interesting tombstones and notable burials at this location.
In the second half of the show, Jeff introduces the next guests Vincent and Robert Gardino, who talk about their history growing up in Hell’s Kitchen, their education, and their previous careers, all leading towards how they developed their niche interests in exploring cemeteries and burial grounds, being inspired by the assassination of JFK to go to DC, and being in awe by the majesty of the setting. The brothers also talk about their history collecting autographs and their reasoning behind the name of their book ‘Grave Trippers’ as well as how they came to know James McPherson.
The brothers talk about upcoming tours this year, as well as their motivations behind including Greenwood Cemetery in the book, the burial site being a natural choice due to the aesthetics notoriety of the buried, and they discuss the spectacular architecture that decorates the sight as well as a few familiar names buried at that sight. The three also several famous musicians, politicians, and authors currently resting at The Woodlawn Cemetery and Conservatory. The brothers give their preferences between the two cemeteries, noting which has their favorite mausoleums. The show closes with the brothers listing their favorite burials and resting places.