Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Rather than going to the gym today I elected to take a bike ride. A loooong bike ride as it turns out. Starting out from my place I rode north and entered Rosehill Cemetery. What is Rosehill? Let's ask Wikipedia:

"Rosehill Cemetery is a Victorian-era cemetery on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois, USA, the world's third largest. The name "Rosehill" resulted from a mapmaker's error – the area was previously called "Roe's Hill", named for nearby tavern keeper Hiram Roe."

That's right. The 3rd largest cemetery in the fucking world is located on the North Side of Chicago. And it was named after a bartender. Who knew?

You might think it's rather morbid to wander aimlessly amongst dead people, but it's less of a cemetery and more of a huge park with lots of trees. And since I'm still getting used to riding around the city and I'm a bit of a pussy when it comes to traffic, this location afforded me the chance to get my bearings without worrying about getting run over.

And with the exception of 2 cops in a paddy wagon (what where they doing there anyways?) and a family that setup a little picnic by what I assume was a deceased family member, I had 300 acres all to myself. Awesome.

Riding about the famous and not to famous Chicagoans I felt a sense of time standing still. This place is so old that many of the monuments have outlasted numerous bloodlines. Sadly, many of the elaborate tombs and mausoleums have fallen into disrepair while others have fallen prey to hooligans (who the fuck thinks it's an idea of a good time to topple gravestones?). Today I found one that dates back to 1876. There's also a huge plot dedicated to both Union AND Confederate soldiers. Whoa. Heavy stuff. Rather progressive considering the times, no?

The other thing I thought about was how rootless Americans have become and how it was so once common to be born, grow up, live and then die all within the space of a city block. I'm not saying it's a good or a bad thing that people can pick up, relocate in another city and start a new life, it's just a thing that makes me think.

Obviously this blog is as much about living in Chicago as much as it about my drunken and/or gay exploits (or at least I hope it is) but as a proud citizen of this fair (and traffic plagued) city, I like the fact that I live where both of my parent's fathers spent their youth. To this day it amazes me that I choose my 'hood not knowing that both of my Grandfathers lived here, literally blocks from my place. Perhaps this is some strange example of fate. Dunno.

Another thought produced in my mind was that I don't want to buried in such a place as Rosehill, or really anywhere at all. As far as I'm concerned, my body can be harvested for any organs that may be of any value and then my ashes can be scattered from the top of the Auditorium Building (my favorite). That being said, I plan on hanging around for a long, long time.

Alright then, perhaps that was an example of sharing too much. But since I'm in a sharing state of mind I'll add that my "outfit" for my 2 hour long bike consisted of my gray Adidas basketball shorts and a black wife beater (just so you have a visual aid, haha).

[Speaking of visual aides, the statue of the girl at the top of this post was a picture I took last Summer at Rosehill and is one of my favorites. ]

1 comment:

jay said...

LOL. Wifebeater = hott. Thinking about death = not.

Sadly, I'm thousands of miles away from my parents and grandparents but it's something I wanted to do.

Different strokes for different folks.