• 1 year ago today...

    At this time last year, I was exploring New York City with my boyfriend by my side. It was his first time visiting the big apple, and my second time. We did a lot of the touristy stuff; strolling in Central Park, walking along the Brooklyn Bridge, admiring the twinkling lights of Times Square. It was an amazing trip, that was full of surprises. We visited an amazing restaurant called Ninja New York and enjoyed some sake and delicious sushi. We had the good fortune of finding Obscura Antiques, the curiosity shop that was featured on the A&E's television show - Oddities. It was so fun to talk to Mike and Evan, after dreaming about visiting their shop for ages. It was good timing as well since they have now closed their brick and mortar location. I also had the chance to visit not 1, but 2 graveyards, while in New York. We had taken the Big Red Bus tours and were making our way to the Brooklyn Bridge. We got off just down the street, close to the Charging Bull statue on Wall Street, and walked back towards the bridge. I just to stop in and take some photos. I was a little unprepared as I had not brought along my DSLR with me on this trip, but I did have my smartphone with me. I saw some beautifully carved slate stones, with memento mori and deaths head skulls littered among them. Both Trinity Church and St. Pauls Chapel graveyards are filled with them. You may have noticed I have a deaths head skull as part of my photography logo. The craftsmanship in these stones is so detailed and has lasted over 300 years. Looking at the iconography on old stones like this always fills me with so many questions. I will have to go back with my proper camera and take some time exploring the grounds.

    Trinity Church graveyard, New York City ©2019


  • Notes from a cemetery

    Spring is just starting to wake up after a long winter sleep. Now that the snow is melting, and tombstones are beginning to peek out from the snowbanks. 

    I have only visited cemeteries in the middle of winter once in my life, and it's not something I plan on doing again. Yes, it's beautiful; stark white contrasted against dark stones just visible about the snow. Pristine smooth snow blanketing the ground. But this is always why it's not very fun to trudge through. Deep snow up to your knees, hidden stones create a tripping hazard, dangerous to you to intrepid explorer and the stones themselves.

    When I visited those cemeteries in the middle of March, back in 2011, I was visiting one of my best friends in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It was my first tie visiting that part of Canada, and I wanted to take advantage of the time I had there. My friend was very kind to accommodate me, although she didn't join me in the stone fields. She did chauffeur me around, though, to two different cemeteries; a Pioneer Cemetery and Woodlawn Cemetery. 

    A weathered tombstone stands out again fresh white snow

    Pioneer cemeteries are my favorite to visit. They are usually the oldest and have beautiful old stones. They tell the stories of the original settlers of a town, and sometimes have much more information on them than modern stones. Many names found on the gravestones in a pioneer cemetery are often on street signs within that given town. 

    I loved visiting those cemeteries, and think about my time wading through snow to get that perfect shot, or to get closer to an interesting stone I spotted from far away. I also remember how cold it was, and how my boots were filled to the top with snow. It's not something I have ever attempted again. 

    I prefer to spend my winters editing batches of old photos from the previous summer. Recently I have started organizing them for social media and this new website.
    Now that spring is almost here; I am starting to plan this summer's road trips and maybe a tour around my local cemeteries. It has been a while since I checked in on them. It's always a pleasant surprise to find new and unique stones in a place I have visited many times before!

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