Thursday, March 25, 2010

Find Your Niche in History

ColumbariumThe Neptune Society Columbarium is one of those hidden nooks in San Francisco that I had never been to until today, when I dropped in at noon. It's odd that one approaches it from the back, but I suppose this is because the streets have changed around it since 1898. It was good to see from all the fresh flowers & tokens that the Columbarium residents have frequent visitations. Indeed, the place seems quite active, & I was definitely not the only visitor at lunchtime. The grounds & the interior are well maintained. The paint on the office building is currently being touched up.

ColumbariumI really like the idea of using the niches to display personal items about the deceased. I often felt that I got quite a good impression of the person after just a brief glance into one of the diorama-like niches. Besides photos, I saw stuffed animals, toy cars, travel souvenirs, a mahjong tile, an unsolved sudoku, even an ACT-UP card. Indeed, many of the niches bear witness to the early days of the AIDS crisis. & of course one cannot help thinking what one would include in a niche of one's own.

The location within the City is also a great feature. There should be more places to visit the dead as we go about our daily business.

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