Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sleepy hollow

last week sunday we were indecisive of what to do. i cannot remember a day off that we stayed home, but sometimes it takes some time to decide on where to go/what to do. museum? beach? mall? eeehhhmm... cemetery? i guess tim was convinced when i mentioned this cemetery is named "sleepy hollow" (sleepy hollow is famous because of the tale by washington irving, "the legend of sleepy hollow", after which tim burton made a movie, which we both like a lot and watched again this weekend (also because its with johnny depp...). the original sleepy hollow is in the state new york).
this cemetery is in concord, massachusetts, a 30 minute drive from boston. it was pretty chilly, but very sunny, and before we knew it, we spent nearly 3 hours on this cemetery! there were many interesting graves, old and new, it was rather big, but mostly, it was just so beautiful. it was named sleepy hollow before it was a cemetery, and locals often picknicked there. among those were nathaniel hawthorne and his fiancee (later wife), who actually dreamed of building a castle there. but...  in 1855, with a speech of waldo emerson, it opened as a cemetery (both hawthorne and emerson were later buried on this cemetery).
perhaps you agree with me that the above picture is more a lovely place in the woods, with some graves. and this is how this cemetery was "designed". or rather, not designed. much of the original vegetation has been left in place, and the graves were more or less just placed in the natural landscape, in line with the transcendentalism movement that developed in new england between 1830 and 1840 (that wikilink is actually a quite interesting read!). many of the major figures in this movement are buried in sleepy hollow. we saw the graves of hawthorne, emerson, thoreau, alcott and channing, among others. some you can see here on my flickr page. but there were more interesting graves, which i will show you next week!
for other taphophiles, go here...