Is it Odd?

The Mausoleum at Westview Cemetery - built in 1943 (the cemetery itself was established in 1884.)


Is it Odd?

...that I like to take a stroll through the cemetery? 


I don't think so, though I do have some friends who disagree!

Cemeteries are peaceful, and, as a big fan of interesting architecture, well...there's always a lot to see in a cemetery, especially an old cemetery. Admittedly, being inside the mausoleum feels a little creepy. I'm not sure why, except that I've probably seen too many horror movies.

A staircase in the mausoleum at Westview Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia

One of the stairwells inside the mausoleum


Since I was a kid, I've enjoyed wandering around, looking at the tombstones, taking in the peace and solitude.

A beautiful tree in the middle of a peaceful cemetery

A beautiful old tree standing guard in the cemetery


The Extended Business Trip

I was born and raised mostly in Southern California. But, for a couple of years, (2nd and 3rd grade), my dad worked on loan from his company for a project at MIT. He called it an extended business trip, and we lived in a little suburb of Boston - Newton, Massachusetts. Since we were only there for a short time, my parents insisted that we soak in as much history as we could, for which I'm grateful. 

It's probably why I love travel so much, because even though we weren't traveling far, we were going places and seeing cool things.

Many weekends found my parents, me and my two siblings traipsing the Freedom Trail, eating lunch in the North End, and seeing sights like The Old North Church, and, of course, wandering through old cemeteries. It was fun when my grandmother came with us, because her first language was Italian, so she navigated the North End especially well.

One time, we went into a small pizzaria.

There were limos lining the street.

We were hungry and having a hard time finding an open restaurant for some strange reason. There was a man standing behind the counter, and my grandmother asked him something in Italian. She was exasperated that we couldn't seem to get service. He said a few brisk words back, and she seemed flustered. She turned quickly and shooed us all out of there fast, her arms waving at us to go and keep walking. Later, she said there was a big mafia wedding reception happening at one of the restaurants, and outsiders weren't welcome around the area. I thought that only happened in the movies...

I have other odd little memories - like the time we came across a man making gravestone rubbings (you lay a piece of thick tracing paper over the stone and then use heavy black chalk or pencil to make a copy - a practice now banned in many cemeteries, due to it wearing down the tombstones). This guy was making rubbings, and feeding the squirrels, and the squirrels would come right up on his shoulder. As kids, we thought that was magic or something.

I didn't think it was so amazing when, years later, an aggressive squirrel (that had been fed too much by the tourists) in San Diego, jumped into my lap while I was quietly sitting on a bench admiring the ocean. Ick! I screamed, and the squirrel jumped. It wasn't pretty.

But, I usual (do I need to get checked out for ADD?)

Anyway...where was I?

Oh yes - well... yesterday was Halloween (my son's birthday!), and today is All Saint's Day, so it seemed appropriate to post some photos that I took recently of the Westview Cemetery in Atlanta. It's apparently the largest civilian cemetery in the Southeast. The Romanesque/Gothic architecture of the mausoleum gives it the perfect look for a scary movie setting don't ya think? 

Architectural shots look great in black and white. When I started photography I shot almost exclusively in black and white, and I still love it. Color is great, and so many things come alive when shot in color. But, these old buildings show off their lines so well in black and white.

A yogi skeleton in front of one of the stained-glass windows in the mausoleum chapel

Namaste! This guy's done too much yoga. The chapel at Westview Cemetery

I hope you had a happy Halloween!


See you between the raindrops!



You can find some of the photos in this post here.

And don't forget to email if you want to join me on the trip to Ecuador in May!