Sunday, December 13, 2009


The gothic romance implicit in the name Gravesend and that of its founder, Lady Moody, seems to beckon exploitation. A little about the Lady forced to Brooklyn because of her taste for religious freedom follows via the Park's Department Website. I didn't see the triangle that memorializes her last night, instead I saw too many of the so-called Christmas decorations that get stupider every year and bring out the tyrant in me. Those super-sized inflatable Santas, snowmen and snowglobes people buy these days, do they really add anything?
Lady Deborah Moody (ca.1583-1659), a wealthy, Protestant widow, left England for America in 1639, and in 1645, settled in Brooklyn. She founded the town of Gravesend, naming it after her hometown in the Old World. Lady Moody became the first woman in the New World to receive a land patent, to write the first town charter in English in New Netherland, and to established one of the first towns with a square block plan in the New World. Furthermore, Gravesend’s policy of religious freedom set it apart from most colonial settlements.

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