Graceland gets all the press, with its collection of prominent Chicagoans interred under pyramids and baseballs, but Roman Catholic Calvary Cemetery, squeezed between Sheridan Road and Chicago Avenue just north of the city in Evanston, is the Chicago area’s best. The remote location tells a history lesson, as it recalls anti-Catholic prejudice. Papists weren’t welcome in Protestant boneyards, and so Catholic notables abound at Calvary. White Sox fans can visit the mausoleum of Charles Comiskey (go late in the afternoon for the best view of the stained glass illuminated by the afternoon sun). Literary types can check out the stark modernist tombstone of James T. Farrell and, if you’re into politics, you’ve got mayors, from Dever to Kennelly, along with a sprinkling of aldermen serving their eternal sentences. Another plus: you can ride your bike in there, commune with nature (coyotes are not-unheard-of, the bird-watching is first-rate), and contemplate our common human fate.
Best of Chicago 2015