Mountain View Cemetery

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Business/Location: Mountain View Cemetery
Address: 5000 Piedmont Ave
City: Oakland
State: CA
Zip Code: 94611
Phone: 510-658-2588

Posted by:  Eva Silverman
Photo:  Eva Silverman
A cemetery might be the last place you’d think of to have your picnic, go on a date, drink beers, or walk the dog, but the Mountain View Cemetery is the most interesting and gothiest place to do any of the above. Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead in 1863 (guy who designed Central Park), the cemetery is full of pathways, fountains and the kind of tombs that would be $2,000 apartments in San Francisco. What’s so unique about the cemetery is that famous people (Mr. Powell of Powell Street and architect Julia Morgan) and common people, Jewish and Christian, Korean and Irish (etc.), all inhabit the same space, mimicking the diversity that makes the Bay Area unique. Graves are well kept and others are broken and scattered amongst the beautiful trees and pine needles. You can meander for hours without going in circles. The further up you go, the more amazing the view of the Bay gets. Think San Leandro to Emeryville, San Francisco and Marin. It’s free, it’s outside, and it’s chock full of Bay Area history. Better than that though, it’s goth, cool and poignant, all in one. To get there take Piedmont Avenue in Oakland all the way up—when it ends, the cemetery begins.

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