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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in NYC (18)


Tombstone Tuesday: Calvary Cemetery -The Graves Have Eyes

For some people, cemeteries are creepy- but not to me! I find them fascinating! On a recent trip to Calvary Cemetery in Queens, NY I saw something I've never seen before at any other cemetery...actual pictures preserved right on the tombstones. When walking through a cemetery I often wonder about the lives of the people buried beneath me. A picture on a tombstone really brings the name and tombstone to life!

For some of these people, I wonder if these could potentially be the only known picture left of them. This has taught me a lesson, finding an ancestor's grave could yield amazing results. Especially for those in my tree who I have no picture of. I never would have thought a tombstone could preserve an image as well as these have. And many of these pictures are almost a hundred years old (according to the death dates).

The picture to the left is of Carmela Mancino, born-1884 died- 1925.  


Click to enlarge the pictures.


One grave in particular really stuck with me, that of Rosaria Fidanza. She died when she was just 22 years old. Below is her grave and picture. There will be a follow up post on Rosaria with more information. I couldn't help myself and did a little digging on for more of her story.

The translated inscription says: "Erected by Nicola Fidanza, in memory of his adorned wife Rosaria Fidanza. Born Buttafuoco (maiden name) August 25, 1903 Died December 6, 1925"

This is Giuseppe Blanco who died in 1925 at the age of 31.

Have you seen this trend before? Calvary Cemetery is a catholic cemetery with a high population of Italian burials. In the section I was exploring (First Calvary Cemetery, Section 6B) the pictures were predominately found on Italian tombstones. I don't know if this is an Italian trend, a period trend (many died around 1925), a catholic trend, or a trend specific to this cemetery or tombstone designer- but I love it!! I would be so happy to find a picture of my ancestor on their tombstone. I'll be keeping an eye out for this trend in other cemeteries. I'd love to hear any stories you might have relating to pictures and tombstones!


NYC Veterans Day Parade 2011

The NYC Veterans Day Parade is the largest celebration in the country, with 20,000 veterans, supporters, bands, and other entertainment marching in the parade. It was a beautiful fall day. I had the great opportunity to chat with some sweet WWII Veterans, thanking them for their courage.


Click the picture to start the slideshow. Then click the square and arrow icon in the lower right hand corner to view the pictures full screen.


Touring NYC with the Interactive Pegleg Guidebook

Traveling to a new city can be a daunting task, from picking the perfect restaurant to seeing all the major landmarks, especially in a city as big as New York City. I hate getting stuck in tourist traps and wasting my time with my nose in a guidebook or map. A new take on the conventional guidebook, Pegleg is an informative NYC Guidebook turned mystery game with clues and jumbled historical tidbits navigating you through the city streets. I read about this in Wired magazine and was immediately interested to learn more about the experience. This game concept was started by WHAIWHAI has been sending tourists on sightseeing adventures through the cities of Italy. And now they've brought the excitement to the big apple! Are you ready for your New York City sightseeing adventure?

Click to read more ...


Happy Birthday Jack Daniel- How About a Guinness, or 7?

Today would be the 161st birthday of Jasper Newton Daniel, the founder of the famous Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey. When he registered the distillery in 1866 it was listed as "No. 1" with the US government, the first registered distillery. If you haven't done the math, in 1866 he was only 16 years old! I wonder how a youngster would have thought to do this? To make history on his birthday, the Jack Daniel's Distillery hopes to break 7 Guinness World Records today at South Street Seaport in NYC. To get in on the celebration, get down to the historic seaport between 12pm-2pm.


Records they are trying to break:

Most Contributions to a Greeting Card

Largest Glass Bottle Mosaic

Largest Bottle of Whiskey

Largest Gathering of People Born in the Same Month (if your birthday is in September- get down there!)

Most Bottles Played in a Bottle Orchestra

Most People Blowing out Candles Simultaneously

Fastest Time to Build a 20 Shot Glass Pyramid


Check back to see if any of these official attempts are successful!