Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weird Pictures From Sylvan Cemetery In Staten Island

So yesterday Alison and I went to Princeton Record Exchange in NJ (a pretty bad ass store) and one the way home stopped in Staten Island. There's this weird abandoned cemetery there called Sylvan Cemetery. From what I can find online, it started as a private/family burying ground and then became a public cemetery for a while. It seems to be made up primarily of the graves of two families, The Deckers and The Cannons. And one point it supposedly transferred over to a local church who, without funding, couldn't afford the upkeep and it's since fallen into abandonement and disrepair and not much has been done to it since the 1920s. Currently there is a new sign up (it wasn't there the first time we drove by it a couple of months ago) and someone has cut back some of the brush and grass around most of the graves in addition to putting down some cedar chips to create a possible parking lot? It's hard to tell. Someone's been trying to clean it up a bit at least.

Regardless, it's a very strange area and there's a simultaneously sad and eerie vibe to the whole place.

If you don't mind scrolling down about half way through the page, you can read an interesting (albeit fairly incomplete and seven years out of date) history of the cemetery and how it came to be abandoned here. There's also some interesting information about the cemetery and the surrounding area on the Forgotten NY page. Here's another article on how volunteers have started work on cleaning up the cemetery. That last article was written less than a month ago which would explain why, the last time we drove past the area, there wasn't any work done to it and why the work that has been done to it since looks so fresh. They've still got a ways to go before restoring the land to any sort of proper burial ground. I'm kind of glad I got some pictures before it is all cleaned up though. It's much stranger in its current state than it would be all spiffed up.

A few pictures...

Some of the pictures are a little washed out. It's dark in there even during the day time and I had to use a flash when I didn't really want to. A lot of the graves are really old an in terrible shape. Some of them are also very small (if you look you can see how some of them aren't much bigger than the leaves around them) and you can trip over them if you're not careful. Years of partying has resulted in some odd litter, mostly beer cans and stuff, as well as a fair amount of vandalism.

The last four... wierd how stuff like this just gets forgotten about and falls into disrepair, especially when you consider that, although SI is the most remote of the five burroughs, this is still technically part of NYC proper.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Crazy guy or brilliant Republican marketing campaign?

So today I'm taking the subway to work like I always do and this strange squirrley looking guy gets on shorlty after I do. I take a seat and read Conan comics and he starts scratching at himself and making squeeky noises. Once he's finished scratching himself, he starts to rant...

"Ladies and gentlemen of the subway, I need to tell you a secret. You have to make sure that this secret does not leave this subway car, otherwise it won't be a secret anymore. OK? You all unnerstand me, right? OK... the secret is... you don't need to know shit. You don't need to know a damn thing and you'll be just fine."

I felt that this was a rather underwhelming secret considering the build up, but whatever. I went back to my comic book and my iPod.

The he gets weirder....

"Barrack Obama, all he wants to do is take old ideas and make you believe that they're new ideas. He shouldn't be president because he can't follow orders. John McCain, he should be president because he CAN follow orders. You know who didn't follow orders? Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. They didn't follow orders and because of that, we replaced them. I know who replaced them. And I know that if Barrack Obama is elected, he'll get replaced to. So vote for John McCain."

After that I think he started singing the national anthem. When I got off the subway, I went to the cart across the street to get my coffee like I always do and while I was in line I saw a real, honest-to-God bearded lady. I've seen her in the area a few times.

It was kind of a weird trip to work.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

R.I.P. xBox 360....

So over the weekend I got the 'red ring of death.' It wasn't bowel related, it was xBox related. My 360 gave up the ghost which presents a two fold problem.

1 - I had an extensive game library.

2 - I had an even more extensive HD-DVD library.

Seeing as HD-DVD was sent to an early grave during the first quarter of this year, I opted not to have the 360 repaired or replaced and am in the process of unloading my HD-DVDs in hopes that sooner rather than later they'll all make it over to Blu-ray.

Stupid format war. Stupid inferior Microsoft products. The damn thing was only 2 years old.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Too Gosh Darned Busy For My Own Good

So this working for a living thing is overrated. I all of a sudden don't have as much spare time as I used to. Go figure.

A few random thoughts....

-the MTA subway amazes me in this city. Yes, it's dirty, hot, overcrowded and prone to weirdos and it's true that an old Chinese man broke wind on my leg while riding the F train last week, but really, you can go all the way around NYC for $2.00 and that's pretty rad.

-now that I'm in my thirties, I get sunburnt way too easily. Alison's son and I went swimming yesterday afternoon at her Aunt and Uncle's place (hooray for Long Island BBQ) and I woke up this morning feeling like a bag of hammered poop. If I'd have had too much to drink or done something to deserve it, that'd have been one thing but really, all I did was swim with a kid who didn't want to be in the pool by himself (can't blame him for that) and now my body feels like it's melting.

-the new Street Dogs album is excellent and the new Judas Priest is so epic it's almost too much. Notice I said almost. A two disc rock opera about Nostradamus? Not just any band can pull that off.

-there's a weird homeless dude who hangs out near the subway entrance by the office I work at. He makes his outfits out of strange things. So far I've seen him sporting suits (two piece suits, literally) made out of rags, paper towels, umbrellas, and what looked like odor eaters. I'm pretty sure he's nuts.

-did you know there are four Starbucks locations inside the midtown Macy's? For some reason, that annoys me to no end. There were Starbucks' inside the Fred Meyers in Portland and it didn't but me but for some reason this does.

-this week I made an effeminate catering director at a very prestigious Times Square hotel burst into tears on the phone when I accused him of price gouging. I felt guilty at first, but then I realized it was actually kind of funny.

That's about it. That's what's been going through my mind lately. Just random stuff. I find that I think a lot, probably too much, on the subway too and from work about random nonsensical stuff. You'd think I might find a better use of my time, but on the flip side of that coin, if I don't think about these things then, when will I think about them?