Friday, April 24, 2009

A Slice Of Brooklyn Neighborhood Tour - Part 3

After we left the Prospect Park and Windsor Terrace neighborhoods on The Slice of Brooklyn Neighborhood Tour, part two, we entered Green-Wood Cemetery. Green-Wood Cemetery has long been considered one of the world's most beautiful cemeteries and is the final resting place of nearly 600,000 people, including some of history's most memorable figures. It was establishment in 1838 and consists of 478 acres filled with thousands of trees, flowering shrubs and four lakes.

As the tour bus rolled along the cemetery's hills we were told stories about some of the famous people interred there, such as the musical great conductor Leonard Bernstein, the Brooklyn Dodgers' Charles Ebbetts, sewing machine inventor Elias Howe and his dog, Fannie, and the "Father of Baseball" Henry Chadwick, as we passed by their gravestone memorials.

The monument seen above is The Soldiers' Monument, erected in 1869 to honor the 148,000 New York men who fought for the Union during the Civil War. The figures represent the four military services of the Civil War era. (all photos can be clicked on to enlarge)

We got off the bus at Battle Hill and strolled up to the highest point in Brooklyn and saw spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline and New York harbor. The Altar of Freedom and The Minerva Monument is at the top of Battle Hill. It was erected in 1919 to commemorate The Battle of Brooklyn, also known as The Battle of Long Island, the first battle in America's Revolutionary War, and was dedicated on August 27, 1920. It was the gift of the Irish-American businessman, Charles M. Higgins.

The plaque at the base of the Minerva Monument reads as follows:

“The Place Whereon Thou Standest is Holy Ground”
Glory to the Memory of Our First National Heroes Who Fought and Fell on this Battle Ground to Win Our Liberty and Independence! Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom, Glory and Patriotism, Here Salutes The Goddess of Liberty and Enwreathes This Altar in Tribute to the Heroes of American Liberty and to the Wisdom of American Institutions."

If you click on the photo above you will be able to read a short history about this battle and see the relationship on the map as to where we were standing in Green -Wood Cemetery.

This is the view of New York Harbor and the Manhattan skyline from Battle Hill, in the photographs above and two below. Please enlarge them to see the full effect of such a beautiful vista! Then try to imagine back 233 years ago when the newly formed rag tag American army of 9,000 men, had to face 22,000 professional British and Hessian soldiers in battle on this hill! They were being surrounded on almost all sides and it was by the bravery of 250 Maryland troops that stayed behind to fight, that George Washington and the rest of the troop were able to flee to safety across the East River.

A close up of, Minerva, on the Altar Of Liberty, as she waves towards New York Harbor. Can you guess who she is waving to?

Yes, she is waving to The Statue of Liberty, who is waving back to her! It is a very inspiring sight to see! May these symbols continue to represent freedom and liberty throughout the ages!

The very last portion of the tour now brings us away from Green-Wood Cemetery and over to a combination of neighborhoods which are known as Victorian Flatbush because of the large numbers of beautiful large Victorian era homes that still stand here.

The unique neighborhoods of Victorian Flatbush were designed and developed at the turn of the 20th century. Today, more than 100 years later, these neighborhoods still maintain the same feeling of suburbia within city limits.
Single family homes are beautifully maintained with spacious yards and wrap-around porches on tree lined streets.
We drove up and down the streets to admire the beautiful homes from the comfort of our bus.

This one almost looks as if it is a plantation in the antebellum south, and not in New York City!
This house reminded me of a Swiss Chalet.
Hardly any of the houses are the same, each one unique and a statement to past opulence.

A short video clip below from a local news channel after This Old House Magazine named Victorian Flatbush one of the best places to buy a house a few yeasr ago. It enters a few of them to see the lovely original architectural details many of them have retained.

A Slice Of Brooklyn tour came to an end, and our bus went back into Manhattan to drop everyone off at the pick up spot. The tour participants were very happy to have seen sights they could never have imagined being in Brooklyn, and I was happy to have seen my hometown borough impress and delight so many!
I hope if you ever visit New York City you'll consider taking a tour into Brooklyn. Between A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour and A Slice of Brooklyn Neighborhood Tour you'll be entertained and enlightened, and well fed with some authentic Brooklyn treats!

If you missed Part One and/or Part Two of the tour click on the highlighted links.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour!


Junie Moon said...

The entire Brooklyn tour has been a delight. I honestly never realized all the beauty and opportunities available there. I'm ashamed to say my vision has always been cement, brownstones, and a regular hive of people hurrying to an fro. Your tour has given me a look beyond that and I've loved the whole series.

Marina Capano said...

Hi! nice post and just beautiful pics! always!!!
I love those houses!

Visit me anytime...


Vee said...

I loved this virtual tour and it gave me goosebumps to see Minerva and Lady Liberty waving to each other. So cool!

Cemeteries are some of my favorite places and I'd enjoy visiting Green-Wood Cemetery.

Those homes...wonder how much and who can afford them? Off to follow some links and look at the video.

Thanks for the extremely well done tour, Pat!

Willow said...

Wow, Pat! I'm on overload! The Flatbush home are beautiful. WHO lives in them??!

Vee said...

Aha! So, Pat, it looks like a great value to me! I don't know what homes in NYC proper are going for, but 900 thousand to 2.5 million isn't that bad for what the homeowner gets. Loved that triple parlor and those staircases...oh my!

Fifi Flowers said...

Thanks for the tour... I"ve never been to Brooklyn... have only seen it from across the bridge.
GORGEOUS homes too!
ENJOY your weekend!

Carol Murdock said...

Pat..thanks for the lovely tours of Brooklyn! You know I'm a lover of Old Houses and Old Cemeteries!
The Statues waving is a delight! I had never heard of that.

Kathy said...

Great tour! Awesome houses....I want one!

Man the baby is getting so big!

Linda Lou said...

I love those flowers-cemeteries can be beautiful too---I lived in Flatbush when I first moved to Brooklyn in 1973...on a street that had a few of those beautiful victorian keep bringing back those memories for me, and I LIKE IT!!

Unknown said...

Brooklyn has some beautiful homes! The ones in this post remind me of the garden district in New Orleans.

I enjoyed all three of your Brooklyn posts!
:) Diane

Joyce said...

I hate to see the tour end as it has been a pleasant and informative ride. Have a good weekend.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Those blooming trees are so lovely. The cemetery looks like a tranquil, beautiful place. Thanks for the tour.

Claudia said...

What a grand tour. I must spend more time in Brooklyn - I clearly (as a Queens native) have not seen enough. It's been the most delightful journey - thank-you.

jeanne said...

Hi Pat, I am so glad I was able to see part three of your tour. If I ever get another chance to visit NY city again I wouldn't miss this. The Greenwood Cemetery is so beautiful. the Soldiers Monument is so impressive. Of course, I love the Victorian homes in Victorian Flatbush. I would love to see Minerva on the Alter of Liberty as well. Wow, Pat this is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your tour.

Thank you too, for your sweet comment on Mary and her art.


Kwana said...

Thanks for the tours. It's amazing how beautiful and serene the cemeteries can be.

~Cheryl said...

I've enjoyed these immensely! You have intensified my desire to visit!

Judy said...

Well done, Pat! I love the old homes...and all the history. If we visit a new place we always enjoy taking a tour...because one can learn so much. You have been an awesone tour guide!

dana said...

If I ever get back to NYC, you can BET I'll take that Brooklyn Tour! I loved the Victorian homes and Lady Liberty waiving at Minerva!! What a delight! How amazing that so many folks are buried in the G-Wood Cemetery--and so many of them "famous". How wonderful to see the Soldiers' Monument--AND I didn't realize the first battle of the Rev. War took place in Brooklyn.

Thank you Pat for the wonderful Brooklyn Tour--and the great music you select for us to listen to as we're reading your text.

I hope you have a blast while visiting that little Leo!! I'm certain we will be treated with incredible pictures of that boy!


pve design said...

Thanks for the tour but I want to stay on the bus!
A slice of heaven, so much to see, so much history.
I love these tours. (Thanks for your praise - over at "All the Best!"

Tracy said...

GORGEOUS post and tour, Pat. The cemetary looks so interesting and full of fascinating details...I love how Lady Liberty and Minerva can wave to each other--I didn't know that! Those home extraordinary...I can't imagine living in a place that big though--LOL! So glad you'll be seeing Leo very soon--Happy Days! :o) ((HUGS))

italian cooking recipes said...

Hi Pat,

The Brooklyn tour is really interesting. I have never been to there. I am a lover of Old Houses and Old Cemeteries too.


Susan @ SGCC said...

You've done a great job with your Brooklyn Neighborhood Tour, Pat. I've enjoyed reading all three of them. Brooklyn (and the Bronx)is so often depicted in an unflattering light on TV and in movies, etc. It's nice that you're showing all of the beautiful and interesting parts there!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I enjoyed this so much! Thank you for sharing your hometown with us. It's delightful...



Catherine said...

I have enjoyed your tours. The pictures are so darn beautiful. This has been fun!


Lynn said...

I had no idea that there were such beautiful old southern-looking homes there! Apparently I have been on the wrong tours.
Thank you for taking me on the kind of tour I love.

imjacobsmom said...

I really enjoyed the last leg of your tour. Green-Wood is such a pretty cemetary - lakes and all - so rich in history. Wouldn't you have loved to walk through all of those homes featured in the Flatbush neighborhood? ~ Robyn

Beverly said...

Pat, I enjoyed everything on this tour, but I am in love with Victorian Flatbush. It is just gorgeous.

I know you will enjoy every second of your time with your Leo. Give him extra hugs from his blogging "aunties".

Thank you for all of your prayers for my mother. I hope your mother is feeling more herself, too.

Rue said...

Hi Pat :)

I really enjoyed this tour!! Those houses are amazing and all the architecture is awe-inspiring. How neat that you took a tour of your own hometown :)

Did you save me some of that cheesecake????

Have fun with your family this week :)


Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

I've thoroughly enjoyed seeing all these wonderful posts about the tour,Pat! Amazing!!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely tour. The houses were so grand. I always thought cemeteries were some of the most beautiful places in the world. They are so quiet and pretty.

Gracie said...

Thanks for sharing your pics and your impressions Pat!