November 3, 2003

All Hallow’s Eve

Halloween, the culmination of my favorite month. This year it was spent in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, the country’s second oldest Victorian Garden Cemetery. Which basically means it’s design was thoroughly planned out with areas for walkways, trees, and manicured environments. The first person was laid to rest on (in) its grounds in 1836. Since then its 96 acres of countryside have become the last known address for many people in and around Philadelphia, from founding fathers to civil war heroes. Apparently long ago it was also the place to be on the weekends for people seeking a weekend park retreat or picnic hotspot. Luckily for us, there are plots still available, and upwards of 25 people are still buried there every year. I was lucky enough to go on a tour of the cemetery at night (an option they only extend once a year) for the meager price of $10. The tour was worth more than that.

Just being in the presence of so much incredible masonry work while walking over the remains of thousands of people can be quite humbling, but also makes for a very unique experience. Obviously, this couldn’t have been a more ideal time for me.

The air was stale and heavy, which was surely accentuated and self-imposed by my twisted perceptions. Toppled gravestones (due to age, not vandalism) marked our path to such features as Millionaire’s Row, home now to many of the area’s disposed, um, rich people…showing off even in death with extravagant mausoleums, and the old holding center, where they kept the bodies of those who died during the Winter until they could bury them after the Spring thaw. Actors were littered throughout the grounds portraying various cemetery residents, and would tell their tale when approached. I lagged behind my tour group every so often, taking time to snap photos and suck in the thick atmosphere. The tour lasted for a hefty two and a half hours. Sadly, no zombies…no ghosts…no vampires. Maybe next year.

I have posted the aforementioned spooky-scary photos for your perusal. Though some of the pictures seem bright, I assure you it was quite dark out. I was forced to prop my camera on tombstones and disembodied heads while leaving the shutter open for about eight seconds just to get these to be visible. Let me know what you think.

Halloween (and the fair weekend weather) capped a wonderful October. But I suppose it’s about time things got back to normal around here. The October colors are now gone, with the redesign on track and underway (albeit slowly). I plan to have it done by the end of the year, a Christmas present to myself.

On an entirely unrelated note, 17 years after the release of Transformers: The Movie (a favorite film of mine which is very dear to my heart), a toy for the devourer of worlds (and anything else in his path), Unicron, is finally released. Why now?! I could have really used this years ago. Man, I would have totally fucked shit up on my school playground. “Oh, what’s that Starscream? Gulp. Burp.”

Commentary (3):

1. Kevin says… nov 3, 2003 | 9:12 am

Man. That must be one ENORMOUS toy. It’s gravitational pull will rip the face right off the kid!

2. Liz says… nov 3, 2003 | 9:50 am

i will say it once so hear me now! my PC SUCKS for looking at these pics. for other things i LOVE it (don’t condemn me you crazy mac lovers) but for this i could throw it out the window.

3. ROb Weychert says… nov 4, 2003 | 9:14 am

Awesome photos. Great colors. Spooky.