Monday, April 18, 2005

A visit to Greenmount cemetery

I seek out quiet, contemplative places in the city when I want to slow things down.
Jacob headstone Greenmount cemetery
Henry Jacob headstone; other photos
from Greenmount to be found here.

As time passes, places that were once conducive to solace stop working (the Baltimore Museum of Art was once a quiet place to visit, a bit off the beaten track, but it is no longer as cozy, a requirement for peace; Pimlico racetrack used to be a favored place as well, but all romance is gone). A few current favorites:
  • The pier southwest of Hendersons Wharf, on Fells Point: when the city is hot, so hot that it is impossible to get comfortable, I sit out on the harbor, away from the business side of the inn, to do a little bit of work, and catch the occasional breeze;

  • Saint Casimir church, on Canton square: the cathedral is especially beautiful during evening services in the wintertime, when the electric halo of Mary is lit, but it is also peaceful on hot summer days, cooled only by the whirr of electric fans;

Bodine's Greenmount cathedral
(Larger image to be found here.)
Perhaps my favorite place, however, is Greenmount cemetery, located in a troubled neighborhood in east Baltimore. Yet it's resolutely safe, peaceful, and beautiful; a wonderful place to walk, look, reflect, or read. I uploaded a few snaps from my visit on Saturday (I napped under a tree on the beautiful spring day), and include a few links to other pictures, including satellite imagery (plus directions!), courtesy of Google; A. Aubrey Bodine's exceptional photo of the gothic cathedral overlooking the graveyard [inset, right]; a second image of the cathedral in the snow from the Maryland Historical Society; and an 1848 print of the pastoral Green Mount cemetery gate and environs, number 182 of the Pratt's Cator Collection of Baltimore Views.

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