Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Our visit to the graves of famous Lower East Siders (Mt. Carmel Cemetery)

Earlier this week, while waiting for my car to be repaired at a local shop, I stumbled upon Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Glendale Queens. I've come across this cemetery a few times in books and articles over the years while researching and figured I'd pop in and take a look around.

Using my smart phone, I went to findagrave.com to see if I could discover any famous Lower East Siders interred here... To my surprise, several historical figures were listed: Jacob Adler! Stella Adler! Henny Youngman! Sholem Aleichem! Abe Reles!

(To a history nerd like me, yes, this was exciting.)

It turns out that there were quite a few notable former LES residents buried here, so I set aside a few hours and trekked around with a map, camera, and guidance from the very accommodating staff at the cemetery office.

Below is what I discovered, as well as a guide to help you plan your own visit. I'm too lazy to write individual bios, so if you don't know who these people are, follow the links to their Wikipedia pages.