This weekend, I finally took advantage of Open House New York, visiting both Marble Cemeteries along with my friends Molly and Jake. Each of them was a small rectangle of green, occupying roughly the footprint of a small tenement building. And each of them felt (appropriately) quiet — a marked contrast to the busier pace of the Lower East Side around them.
That said, in one of them, a large dog dashed through the grass, shaking a red object that, on closer inspection, turned out to be a stuffed devil. Which felt either surreal or as though we were observing the annual tradition of a small village somewhere in the middle of nowhere. (“Each year, children, the largest dog in town shakes the devil. And then we have a bountiful harvest, and it cures Martha’s rickets.”)