Tamar Sarig

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Living Among the Dead in the Old Burying Ground

Efforts to preserve the Old Burying Ground’s historical and aesthetic legacy have given rise to an entirely new set of questions: Who gets memorialized after death, and why? What makes us devote money and manpower to the upkeep of a graveyard so old that no surviving descendants are left to visit? And what does all of it say about us now?

skull and crossbones grave

The tombstones are remnants of Puritan-era craftsmanship that the Fannins take pride in preserving. Many of them are painstakingly carved with images of the “death’s head” — a foreboding, winged skull, etched alongside phrases like “memento mori” (remember you must die) and “fugit hora” (the hour flies).

Old Burying Ground

The Old Burying Ground, the oldest surviving graveyard in Cambridge, is a fixture of Harvard Square. Over the past two decades, efforts to maintain the cemetery have drawn together a wide swath of Cambridge residents, historians, scholars, and preservationists.

The Battle for Mass Ave

Small businesses’ need for parking spaces has come into conflict with competing city interests: promoting road safety and encouraging more sustainable forms of travel.

How Not to Cook

If I kept hauling home a bag of miscellaneous produce every week, if I kept laboring over Moroccan baked fish and spiced chickpea stew, then maybe I was growing. Maybe I was clawing back control.