Haunting Savannah

One of my favorite things about Savannah is the moss hanging from all the live oaks around town.  It’s obviously not unique to Savannah (take a drive out in the country in southern Mississippi sometime), but when combined with the architecture in the historic district — the wrought-iron fences and balconies, shuttered windows, gables, pitched roofs; the statuary in the squares; the soaring steeples on city churches — it takes on an ethereal quality that I have trouble describing.  It’s like the moss is a part of Savannah — like if Savannah were a story, it would be a character.  It seems alive almost, and at night it can be creepy as hell (in a ridiculously beautiful way).  Here are some photos where I was experimenting with the settings on my new camera.  I think they were taken in Johnson Square, but I’m not positive:

I am fascinated by the squares of Savannah in much the same way I am fascinated by the water towers in New York City.  While they are just squares, they are also so unique in character and style, like each one tells a different story by and about the people who lived on it, or the people who are memorialized by statues within it, by the museums or churches that border it, or the lingering intrigue that surrounds it.

I read John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil when it came out back in the mid-90s.  I read it again last year before my first trip to Savannah.  So it’s perhaps no surprise that Monterey Square is one of my favorites; it’s also arguably one of the most beautiful.  I took several pictures of the incredible Mercer House as well as a few other snapshots from the square.

This is Mercer House:

This is looking north toward Forsyth Park:

And two other houses on the Square:

I stumbled upon a wedding that was about to begin in Lafayette Square.  It’s a funny thing to have a wedding in a public square — such a theoretically intimate and private event made public, shared with whoever happens to be passing by.  Some tourists were shamelessly photographing the guests as they found their seats; the violinist had just begun to play.  I lingered out of the way on the other side of a fountain; the only thing of interest for me was where the bride would come from.  Was she in a house on the square? Would she and her attendants appear on the front porch and walk across the street and down the aisle?  Or was it something altogether more clever and eventful than that?  Would they arrive on a city trolley?  By limo?  Horse-drawn carriage?  Pedicab?  Where was she?  But I never found out; I got a text saying that my friends were ready to go to dinner, so off I went.

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