Rochester Cemetery Adventures: An Analog Annal

Rochester, NY, March 2015.

Despite the rain, snow and cold, I was bound and determined to be at a cemetery when I tried out my new stash of Impossible black and white (generation 2.0) film while visiting my family in New York last week. These photos were taken with my plastic body Polaroid 600 over the course of three days (all chilly, all overcast).

Here are all eight shots from the pack, fuck-ups and all…

Mt. Hope Cemetery

God is in The Rain, Mt. Hope Cemetery

Angels We Have Heard on High Contrast, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

Angels We Have Heard on High Contrast, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

Oh Baby!, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

Oh Baby!, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

Mt. Hope Cemetery

Melasma, Mt. Hope Cemetery

Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

Take These Broken Wings, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

Dark Lady, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

Riverside Riotgrrl, Riverside Cemetery

Riverside Riotgrrl, Riverside Cemetery

Seriously, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

The Breast of Times, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

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The Family That Creeps It Together, Keeps It Together

Last week I indulged in five days of shenanigans in Rochester, NY. Why the hell would I endure the frozen tundra of the Empire State in March, you ask?

1. The biggest reason? Family time. I was born and raised in the area, and my parents still live in the house we moved into when I was a baby. My sister and her husband live in Rochester as well, and the fact that my brother (from San Diego) was there at the same time was a major bonus.

2. Sometimes you need to break up your routine a little bit, to “sharpen the saw” as they say. To devote a few days to recreation and doing things you normally wouldn’t do. I think they call this a “vacation”.

3. Creepin’. Going to the brand new, gigantic mausoleum at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery was actually my dad’s idea. The man has been known to take some pretty creepy photos of Rochester’s cemeteries over the last several decades, and I think it pleases him to see his eldest child following in his (nosy, mischievous) footsteps.

4. Great friends, good eats, and quirky, off-the-beaten-path shopping.

Now, for a whirlwind tour of two of Rochester’s most intriguing cemeteries, plus¬†some family history to boot…

Mt. Hope Cemetery

It was raining when I stopped by Mt. Hope Cemetery on Thursday morning, so I didn’t get too many shots this time around. No biggie — I go there every time I visit Rochester.

Mt. Hope Cemetery

Brrrr, cold! – at Mt. Hope Cemetery

Through the broken back window of a small mausoleum in Mt. Hope.

Through the broken back window of a small mausoleum in Mt. Hope.

The following photos are from our adventures at Holy Sepulchre. A Catholic cemetery, Holy Sepulchre is broken up into two sections located across the street from each other. The section where my grandparents are buried is newer, and Catholic iconography appears on these markers and monuments to a noticeable — dare I say oppressive? — degree. The older section across the street is impressively Victorian in its styling, complete with breathtaking statuary and ornate family monuments sprinkled with moss and lichen. Despite the freezing temperatures, I was in heaven.

Inside the Christ Our Light Mausoleum. Brand new, we estimated between 100 and 200 spots were occupied or had been spoken for. How long will it take to fill this place up?

Inside the Christ Our Light Mausoleum. Brand new and a massive three stories, we estimated between 100 and 200 spots were occupied or had been spoken for. How long will it take to fill this place up?

Inside a niche, awaiting ashes.

Inside a niche, awaiting ashes.

The mausoleum's chapel.

The mausoleum’s chapel.

I avoid posting selfies on hObsessions, but I found this one fitting. Empty glass-front niches, waiting for cremains.

I avoid posting selfies on hObsessions, but I found this one fitting. Empty glass-front niches, waiting for cremains.

At the newer, super Catholic side of Holy Sepulchre. This is their version of what I call a "pretty lady".

At the newer, super Catholic side of Holy Sepulchre. This is their version of what I call a “pretty lady”.

Then we searched for our paternal and maternal grandparents…

Grandpa

Grandpa

Grandma

Grandma

Grandpa's casket was here for forty years by itself, until Grandma's urn was placed on top of it. My sister and I were discussing what we remember about it: pink marble with roses on top.

Grandpa’s casket was here for forty years by itself, until Grandma’s urn was placed on top of it. My sister and I were discussing what we remember about it: pink marble with roses on top.

Our tasks completed on the new side of the cemetery, the next morning we made our way to the older side of Holy Sepulchre…

I am in love with her.

I think I’m in love.

holy13lores

I am lichen this more and more.

I am lichen this more and more.

holy19lores

holy10lores

holy9lores

holy18lores

holy17lores

holy14lores

holy16lores

holy11lores

holy21lores

holy15lores

Oh deer! Our four-legged friends love a good graveyard. We saw seven more in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo the next day. Stay tuned for more Western New York adventures of a creeptastic nature!

Oh deer! Our four-legged friends love a good graveyard. We saw seven more in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo the next day. Stay tuned for more Western New York adventures!

* A special thanks to our friend Amanda who joined in on our family creep fest. Incidentally, she blogs about bath and body care products at The Soap Lady, which is brilliantly named after a saponified mummy on display at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia.