Sunday, December 03, 2006


St. Patrick's Cathedral bought the land in 1848 to bury the overflow dying from the cholera epidemic raging through the city. By 1850 there were 50 burials a day there, most of them Irish. Half of those laid into the ground were children under seven. They had survived whatever the famines in the old world, but not life in the new.

Today it's Old Calvary Cemetery and dominated by grand monuments and mausoleums. In the early 1930's it was the resting place of certain mobsters such as Stefano Ferigno, Vito Bonventre, and Bonaventura "Joseph" Pinzolo. It also holds its share of silent movie stars, veterans, writers and politicians. (The more humble are buried in New Calvary now, which lies over the expressway and sprawls out through Maspeth.)

It's a landmark in Blissville, sitting at its northern border, only a block away from where I live. But I don't visit it much. I prefer to let its spirits lie within its walls.


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