memphis has more churches than gas stations. that's a fact, turkey treats. i can't make that sort of thing up.
it was inevitable that i'd end up doing something jesusy before i left town. my three options were 1) the al green church 2) the first church of the elvis impersonator or 3) the crystal shrine grotto. (i could also visit the baptist compound but those people scare the, uh, bejesus out of me.)
al green's church is, well, actual church and i'm not having that. (besides, he's not there very often) and, upon further investigation, i found that the first church of the elvis impersonator had closed. (although the shrine is in goner records, a place i would actually recommend visting.)
so i was left with the crystal shrine grotto.
i'd been to this...er, thing, once before with ma famille but i had the flu and a really high fever at the time. (all i could think was "take me HOOME!! STOP!! IT'S ABUSE!!").
this last time, however, was quite enjoyable. leff and i arrived quite early and all was quiet at the cemetary except for the sounds of cicadas and the large machinery digging fresh graves.
no, i'm not kidding.
anyway, here's the outside of the shrine.
doesn't it look remarkably like a termite hill? most of the area called cave hill is landscaped with weird crap like the grotto. even the garbage cans are made to look like cement tree stumps. it's absolutely fascinating.
inside the weirdness continues. the cemetary commissioned several artists to make site specific pieces chronicling the story arc of the jesus fable. here's a photo of one of the last pieces.
and leff has a hysterical movie of the entire interior.
outside of the grotto is a lake (a lot of the koi had died since the last time i'd been there.)and "god's garden". (but, er, you can't climb there.)
the crystal shrine grotto is truly a bizarre place and it's gratis. so if you don't mind cemetaries and can tolerate a bit of campy god stuff, it's a great place to waste a half hour!
did i mention that they have a guest book?