It’s the time of year when some of New York City’s most intriguing architectural sites are offered up to the public complete with guided tours. To prepare you for the eighth annual Open House New York weekend this Saturday and Sunday, The Local got the insider scoop on where to head in the East Village.
New York Marble Cemetery
41 1/2 Second Avenue (at Second Street)
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
New York City’s oldest non-sectarian burial ground dates back to 1830 and sits on a half-acre of land, tucked behind a row of townhouses on Second Avenue. More garden than cemetery, the 156 underground vaults are indicated not by markers in the grass but by plaques on the walls.
Hellenophiles, rejoice: at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the Natasa Trifan group will perform a 20-minute dance based on the Greek myth of the minotaur. “We’re Greek revival,” Caroline DuBois, president of the cemetery, says by way of explanation. Be sure to also check out the placards on how to bury someone and the main causes of death — from the ubiquitous consumption and still birth to the rarefied, such as scrofula (“King’s Evil” – number 137), Winneplegia (number 142), and Womb Complaint (number 143.)