Tea. Cake. Death. Not exactly your everyday trio. Yet Death Cafes are on the rise. Started in Switzerland in 2004 by sociologist and anthropologist Bernard Crettaz, the objective of Death Cafes is to increase the awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their finite lives. Recognizing the taboo associated with death, Jon Underwood quit his job to spread the movement to London in 2011, launching the Death Cafe website. Since then, events have cropped up globally, with an estimated 6,000 held to date. There's even a NYC-based Death Cafe Meetup group, with 864 members.
Green-Wood Cemetery, our favorite venue for bringing death to light, hosts monthly Death Cafes, as well as many other events. Other Death Cafe venues include:
Tagine Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, hosted every 3rd Wednesday from 6-7:30
New York Public Library UWS at 444 Amsterdam, hosted every 1st Thursday from 5-6:45
New York Society for Ethical Culture on W 64th St., hosted 2nd Sundays and 4th Wednesdays from 2:30-4:30
Trinity Church downtown, hosted 3rd Mondays from 7-9
Rubin Center Cafe on W 17th St., hosted Saturdays or Sundays