Thursday, June 10, 2010


Mount Moriah Cemetery in West Philadelphia is probably the largest (somewhat) abandoned cemetery in this area.  Although the grass does get cut on a regular basis, there appears to be no trust fund money to keep the majority of damage at bay, e.g. the mausoleum graffiti you see here.

I'd visited the cemetery (which is bisected by the Cobbs Creek Parkway) many times over the past decade. It's one of the first experiences I had seeing black urban cowboys. I was playing my guitar sitting on the steps of a blocked-up mausoleum and I heard the clip-clop of hooves! Imagine my surprise when five guys on horseback, decked out in cowboy outfits, trotted past me! Its one of those things you experience that you, um, don't tell anyone about until you've verified that it wasn't a hallucination or otherworldly experience. Click here for proof of their existence: Urban Cowboys!

Mt. Moriah is one of the few cemeteries in the Philadelphia area that is not gated and locked at night. Therefore, certain things may happen there that don't happen in a guarded, locked cemetery. One such thing, my friend Krista and I discovered back around 2002. At that time, the cemetery was much more overgrown than it is now (volunteers have cut down a lot of the trees growing out of tombstones and continue to cut back the high weeds--by the way, if you get benefit from visiting cemeteries for any reason, consider stopping by the office and donating some money to help with their upkeep!).

Krista and I were making our way through the five-foot high weeds to the back of the cemetery to see if there were any monuments worth photographing, when we came upon a perfectly manicured clearing about 12x12 feet in size. This was the home of rows and rows of well-kept and cultivated marijuana plants! People can be so creative....