Happy Day Of The Dead!

2 Nov

Wikipedia tells us:

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in many cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National Holiday.

The celebration takes place on November 1–2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2).

People go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed and build private altars containing the favorite foods and beverages as well as photos and memorabilia of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so that the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them.”

I had read here that the Saint Marks Church-In-The-Bowery was recreating “a Mexican village churchyard and offers events to honor those who have passed. Workshops are for all ages and include altar-building, paper flower making, poetry writing and bread baking. Bring photographs, candles and flowers to adorn the altar in honor of your deceased loved ones, or just drop by and enjoy the experience of this five-day celebration, which also includes musical performances and a traditional dance procession.”

Delicious Mexican Food?? This is calling my name!

I headed down yesterday, and somehow on my way, I found myself at Rosa Mexicano at Union Square.

Never one to question destiny, I followed the calling and went in for a bite. It is, after all, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the city.

They had a lovely Day Of The Dead display right in their entrance way.

As well as a small altar.

After enjoying a scrumptious taco meal, I made my way east and south, towards the church.

I passed, at 17th Street and Irving Place, a home where author Washington Irving had once lived. (* see postscript below.)

I’ve been to his home at Sunnyside in Tarrytown, NY – had a photo shoot there.

But, I didn’t know that he had lived smack dab in the middle of the city here on Irving Place.

I guess that’s why it’s called Irving Place!

I wonder what it was called when he lived there – before it became Irving Place?

So, on to the church.

The church’s website says: “We are a church with a history as long and meandering as the history of European settlement in Manhattan. We are the oldest site of continuous worship in New York City and the burial site of Peter Stuyvesant and other prominent Dutch founding families of New Amsterdam.”

Wikipedia says: The property has been the site of continuous Christian worship for more than three and a half centuries; it is New York’s oldest site of continuous religious practice, and the church is the second-oldest church building in Manhattan.”

One time Hubby and I went to the Saint Marks Church for a friend’s memorial service, and Grandpa (aka Al Lewis) from TVs The Munsters was also there.

But yesterday, it was all about Day Of The Dead.

Here’s their altar:

You can see more about Day Of The Dead here.

Did you happen to notice that both the altar at Rosa Mexicana and the altar at the Saint Marks Church-In-The-Bowery had shrines to Steve Jobs?

“Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.”

Happy Day Of The Dead, everyone.



* P.S. In the “comments” section, Hubby brought it to my attention that the “Washington Irving house” on 17th Street and Irving Place here in NYC might not really be a past residence of Mr. Irving. See the link that Hubby posted.

Curiouser and curiouser!

I also just saw this article which says: “Great historic significance is often attached to the house at 49 Irving Place; it is claimed that the great American author Washington Irving once lived here. It is, however, unlikely that Washington Irving ever crossed the threshold of this house.”

Okay, any historians out there who can clear this up for us??? That’s a pretty ornate plaque on that house, if it’s a false claim!!


5 Responses to “Happy Day Of The Dead!”

  1. Hubby November 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Since Grandpa Munster was a vampire, albeit a very benevolent one, it’s fitting to see his photo in your “Day Of The Dead” blog. But being an older guy, I have to admit that when I think of Al Lewis, I still see him as Officer Leo Schnauser in the 1961-63 TV show, “Car 54 Where Are You?”


    And speaking of “Day Of The Dead,” when Al Lewis died, his body was cremated and his ashes were supposedly placed in his favorite cigar box.

  2. Hubby November 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Sorry to be hogging up the Comments section, but here’s a link to a NY Times article that says, despite the plaque on the building, Washington Irving never lived in New York City:

    The ‘Washington Irving’ House

  3. sallanscorner November 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    Great info, Hubby – thanks! We must delve deeper into this mystery. I’ll add a postscript to the blog…

  4. Joe Sarra November 14, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    I always liked Grandpa (well, that’s my two cents!) Love to you! Joe

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