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This NYC cemetery has become a popular destination for solitary outdoor escapes

Written by
Howard Halle

With New York under siege by the coronavirus, the city's many parks and playgrounds have served as a lifeline for New Yorkers, offering them a way to take a break sheltering in place and take in some fresh air and open space. But they have also become the flashpoint in the struggle to contain the spread of Covid-19, with both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio repeatedly warning that New Yorkers are failing to comply with social distancing measures while using the park system. This has led to the imposition of fines to dampen crowds and the removal of basketball hoops from public courts to discourage pick-up games. It's also resulted in the closing of playgrounds across the cities. So perhaps it's no surprise that New Yorkers are increasingly flocking to another area with plenty of trees and grass—Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. The surge has been significant enough for Greenwood to post this announcement on twitter:

Admittedly, visiting a graveyard at a time when the pandemic is cruelly taking more and more lives seems macabre, or at the very least, tone-deaf. But Green-Wood has always been an attraction for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world.

Not just a cemetery, Green-Wood, which opened in 1838, is a National Historic Landmark, hosting events and tours and even providing a genealogical database built on its records of burials. But most importantly, it comprises 478 acres of beautifully landscaped surroundings with winding paths that take you past mausoleums and monuments that are often spectacular works of art and architecture. For now, at least, you can go there with a reasonable chance for solitude, and enough space to maintain six feet between you and the next guy.

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