NAVIGATION ∧

the photo journal + misc. news of Emma Kisiel

Shep & Denver Pet Cemetery

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I started playing with the idea of photographing pet cemeteries in March of 2016, then much more seriously this spring after Candy’s death in the fall, but it turns out it had been on my mind for a long time. I only kind of remembered when I started this project, but back in 2012 I must have found out about the Denver pet cemetery because I made a post on my blog with photography project ideas and included screenshots of their website and street view on Google Maps. I ended up moving to Kansas a couple months later, and last month I was finally able to visit this pet cemetery with my dad, five years later. After visiting the grave of Shep the Toll Road Dog at the Depot Museum in Broomfield, we drove to Commerce City to see the cemetery.

More than the ghost cat we saw sneaking around made me curious about this cemetery. When I was looking it up before my trip, I noticed it had a pretty new website. Based on this fact, I assumed the place would be pretty well up-to-date. The part of the cemetery near the road looked like many others I’ve seen – old, but maintained alright (also, just so dry because Colorado). There’s a house in what I thought was the back of the cemetery. When I walked around it to see if it’s a residence or an office, I realized there’s a plot of land behind the house, equal in size to the one in front, that’s full of graves that are barely visible through the tall grass. It’s so mysterious. I immediately imagined moving in and becoming the caretaker of this beautiful historic pet cemetery – my dream. I wonder what the story is here.

Liam Charles

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I am so, so happy that I got to meet my friend Aubrey’s baby Liam while I was in Colorado. I’ve only had two close friends become parents so far in my life, and I’m learning that I become exponentially fascinated by and enamored with the children of my favorite people. It’s amazing to meet the little human that was made by someone you love so much. Liam is quite possibly the sweetest, most adorable baby to ever exist on planet earth, and seeing one of my oldest and most special friends as a mom makes my heart nearly explode (not to mention seeing my dad hold a baby 😍).

Denver – Botanic Gardens

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My dad had to have a cardiac procedure in May, and pretty much as soon as I knew he was okay, I booked a flight to Colorado for Father’s Day to see him and my family (and my BFF, Dan). I got in late Thursday night and Dan picked me up and took me to Ashley’s. Friday morning, Dan and I went to Denver Biscuit Co. and some shops on Broadway (my old ‘hood!), the new building for A Small Print Shop (the business Dan and his buddy started six or seven years ago, that is now a LEGIT operation), the super cute house in North City Park that Dan shares with two other guys, and then Lafayette and Boulder to surprise my dad, then my sister, then my mom. It went SO WELL. Dan took video of it all; it’s on Facebook. My mom had to work, but my dad and sister were going to a concert at Chataqua, so we all hung out there for a while before Dan and I headed back to Denver.

On Saturday, Dan took me to some of his hangouts (Port Side, Denver Central Market, his studio’s awesome space in RiNo) and then we spent several hours leisurely walking through the botanic gardens. We checked out some of my old spots (the art museum, the central library, Sweet Action) and then went back to Ashley’s, where Ian was waiting for us! When Ashley came home from work, the four of us went to my favorite restaurant ever, Tocabe. And then Ashley took me up to my parents’ in Lafayette, where we spent the night.

That’s only the first half of my trip! More soon. This weekend we are going to the Painted Hills for the Fourth 🎇