How to get to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s grave

This may be the only useful thing I ever post. Sometimes you want answers and not a whole elaborate blog post about this and that. So just the facts, ma’am on this one. Don’t be the asshole who treats his gravesite like he’s that bloated POS Morrison in Paris. Be respectful to the dead and the living. And with the bloated POS’s, always a little patience.

Basquiat is buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. The cemetery is big, hilly, and walkable, but not the easiest for locating gravesites. I’m gonna make it easy as 1, 2, 3.

Google Map satellite image of Green-Wood Cemetery
The map at the main entrance of Green-Wood Cemetery in Sunset Park

1) The long way is to go in through the main gate off 25th Street and 5th Avenue. The shorter way is to go in through the Eastern (Fort Hamilton) Gate, located on Fort Hamilton Parkway across from Micieli Place. Either way, it’s a nice walk, so you do you. Be sure to say hi to the guards. They like that. And ask them questions. They like that too.

2) Once you’re in the area between Sassafras and Fir Avenues and Woodlawn and Mistletoe Paths, you’re going to look for a couple tall pine trees. As you get closer, you’ll see a conspicuous double row of smallish, modern granite headstones with ethnic names.

Alfie and more headstones

Basquiat’s grave is somewhere in the middle of this row.

Basquiat’s headstone

3) Pay your respects. But get out before closing. It’s a private cemetery and they lock the gates (check schedule and operating hours).

And if you do happen to get locked in like two people who will remain nameless, make your peace with God and your new neighbors for eternity. Just kidding. Don’t try to climb the fence. You will hurt yourself. Believe me, it happens more often than you’d guess.

Instead, call (347)865-4816. The cemetery is staffed 24/7 and someone will eventually drive out to find you and help you get out. Be nice to this person. Admit your cluelessness and thank the guard profusely. You got out alive because of this person. Feel grateful that this person isn’t guarding your grave.

Resume life as usual, and start thinking about how you’re going to impact the world yourself.


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