According to an article posted today on the Atlantic’s website, a local cemetery is showcasing the latest in memorial-engraving technology.
Sitting under the Bay Parkway station of the F Train, Washington Cemetery sits on the borders of three neighborhoods- Borough Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst.
It’s a Jewish cemetery popular with Brooklyn’s former Soviet Union immigrant community.
The article’s author, while there with his fiancée to visit her deceased Great Grandmother, observed something many of you might have also noticed if you’ve passed by Washington’s cast iron fence in the last few years- laser-etched likenesses of the departed. Lots and lots of them.
This observation led Senior Editor Alexis Madrigal to present a remarkably concise telling of gravestone technology’s modern history, showcasing flat Washington Cemetery as the apex of its technological ascension.
From the Atlantic:
At some point in the not too distant past–our initial investigation pointed to the last decade of the millennium–the way people marked the graves of their loved ones in this cemetery changed. And after that, for the rest of the time civilized humans observe such things, the difference will be apparent. Future archaeologists will be able to deduce when civilization had advanced to applying light amplification by simulated electromagnetic radiation to their eternity-invoking rites for the dead.
Lasers had arrived in the death industry.
My only problem with the article? The first paragraph:
We hopped on the F line in Carroll Gardens, but not in the normal (Is there an abnormal direction?) direction, north to Manhattan. Instead we headed south, out towards Gravesend. The train rattled through the long stretches of Brooklyn where immigrants and the formerly hip (LOL) have families and grow up and old. Each stop looked like the one before it.
Yes, unlike the unique snowflakes that are Northern Brooklyn’s subway stops, all elevated stations south of Church Avenue look the same. Ironically, the best evidence to counter this notion is Madrigal’s own “improbable and indelicate” photo at the beginning of the story, which overlooks Washington Cemetery from the Bay Parkway Station.