Mortality Check-In / by Hope A

down the hall

down the hall

Today I was telling an out-of-town friend about The Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland and a stranger overheard and asked if that is what we were talking about. He agreed it is a place to explore and not in most guidebooks.  I have only recently discovered it.  It is located near the entrance to the Mountain View Cemetery at the end of Piedmont Ave. There is a coffee shop nearby that makes their own peppermint patties. Often, after a cup of coffee and some chocolate, we wander up the street to explore the cemetery.

light from purple glass windows

light from purple glass windows

 

There is always something we haven't seen. We were there a few days ago and were diverted from our intended path by a pair of mourners. The cemetery is also used as a neighborhood park, a place to jog, stroll, fly a kite and take a date so the mourners were a rare sighting. We walked around the backside of a building that seemed too imposing to be open to the public.  But after tugging on a door, we discovered its long, labyrinth halls, with marble skylights and eerie piano music piped in over speakers . We went up one flight of stairs but somehow were on the third floor. Some of the windows were covered with violet colored glass, casting a rose light in the halls.  There were multiple glass skylights and marble, reflecting light.  The bathrooms had sinks like small fountains, and tile floors. And they were open--a rarity.  Though I am not sure I could ever find it again. 

looking up

looking up

As we were on our way there, our friend mentioned a fountain at the top of the hill. I guess we have something to look for next time. 

If you want more photos of a cemetery I loved to explore, check out these photos about Cimiereo Monumentale in Milan.