Years ago when I lived in Chicago, I took the opportunity to take walks during the day through Graceland Cemetery. I didn’t do it to scare myself or be a creep, but to enjoy the stillness and tranquility of a quiet, architecturally historic place. Some Chicago cemeteries feel like parks, with artificial lakes, special places to sit, and design that reflects a very specific point in time (namely, the Victorian era).
This weekend, Ted and I visited Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland. At 226 acres, it is by far the largest cemetery I’ve ever seen, and we walked around only a fraction of it. It was a beautiful day and from atop the hill, you can see clear across the bay, with the San Francisco city skyline in full view. It officially opened in 1883, and many notable people from California’s history are buried there, including political and military figures and business folk. The fountains, lilacs and cherry blossoms are in colorful contrast to the stone crypts, masoleums and statues.
Another person of note buried at Mountain View is Elizabeth Short, perhaps better known as The Black Dahlia. Ted and I spent some time looking for her grave, a fairly simple stone marker, and we eventually found it, but it didn’t feel right to me to take a picture. Still, she is there, too.