The gr8ful grind: October 2011

Let go of anger; It's an acid that eats away the delicate layers of your happiness

The reverse side has also its reverse side

Monday, October 31, 2011

We end our week of whistling through the most visited cemetery in all of Europe on All Hallows Eve at the most visited grave in that cemetery. The Lizard King, himself, who broke on through to the other side in the 70s while in Paris. Jim Morrison of The Doors. Notice he's wedged in there behind large monolithic tombs. One use to be able to get in there, but the family has requested a fence and guard be placed there. The guard is now gone, but I was leaning on the metal fence, a portion of which you can see in the background if you click on the photo. You can also see where fans have chipped away the front of the grave for souvenirs, probably why the family made their request. That concludes our visit to Pere Lachaise Cemetery, and for the most part, our visit to Paris. Back to photos of other places I happen to be around. Oh, and that grave I never found? It was Oscar Wilde's. I really, really wanted to see that one, but by the time we found out that it was clear on the other side, up and over a hill in this massive place, we were too pooped to trek back out there.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Today we visit the final resting place of France's greatest and most well-known torch singer: Edith Piaf. Allegedly born in a gutter in the Belleville section of the city, she rose to epitomize the French female chanteuse crooner. My blogger friend Julie really, really wanted today's offering to be Marie Curie, but I couldn't find that grave. Remember, there are over a million people there. And we were running out of time that day. I did try. Sort of. But I was focused on one grave in particular and I really, really wanted to see it. But didn't get that that one, either. I'll reveal that one on Monday, when I also post a photo of the most visited grave in France.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Our next stop as we whistle our way through the Pere Lachaise Cemetery is a Two For One-er, as we visit a couple of Thespians: Simone Signoret, the first foreign actress to win an Academy Award, buried with her husband, actor Yves Montand, whose voice was the inspiration of the cartoon character Pepe Le Pew. Montand died of a heart attack during filming of a movie: said a co-star, "[H]e died on the set…On the very last day, after his very last shot. It was the very last night and we were doing retakes. He finished what we were doing and then he just died. And the film tells the story of an old man who dies of a heart attack, which is the same thing that happened!"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The grave of composer Frederick Chopin is our next stop. Chopin died of tuberculosis in 1810. His marker features Euterpe, the muse of music, weeping over a lyre. The grave is consistently covered with flowers, even in winter. Paris, France; September, 2011.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Remembrance of Things Past: We start our Halloween tour of the Pere Lachaise Cemetery at the grave of French essayist and playwright Marcel Proust. Paris, France; September, 2011.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Well, here we are the week before Halloween. And what better way to spend the run-up to All Hallows Eve than to whistle our way through a cemetery. In this case, Pere Lachaise Cemetery, reputed to be the world's most visited cemetery. There are over 1 million bodies buried there, including some very famous ones. We'll look at some of those during this week, and end our visit with the dead on Halloween at the spot of the most visited grave in all of France. Paris, France; September, 2011.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Life under the big pointy thing. You know, one can see it from all over the city; however, you can't really appreciate it until you stand right underneath it and experience its mammoth proportions. It can be emotionally overwhelming. (Click on the photo to take in the art nouveau patterns of the archway) Paris, France; September, 2011.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

No, this isn' the lobby of some 5-star hotel. Someone actually lived in this room. This is the sitting room of the apartments of Napoleon III in the Louvre. Remember that for centuries the Louvre was actually the palace of the rulers of France, and this is one of the rooms in which they lived. (Click on the photo to check out that ceiling!) Paris, France; September, 2011.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

There's so much to see when one walks around that it can be almost too much. Take building facades for instance. One can get lost really looking at them. (Click the photo to check out the dragons. And the 2 pigeons, of course.) Paris, France; September, 2011.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Much of France is pretty flat. When Napoleon III visited the Alps, he was impressed. So to have the sense of height and the sense of nature, he commissioned Baron Haussmann to create Parc des Buttes Chaumont on what was then the outskirts of the city, importing all sorts of plants, trees and other vegetation, as well as creating rock mountains and earthen hills. This is the result. I loved the bridge on the left side of the photo, but didn't get over to fully examine the belvedere of Sybil out there on the fake-rock outcropping. Paris, France; September, 2011.

Monday, October 17, 2011

In the olden days, Parisians loved to cut through their blocks so they could take short cuts. They called them passages. That way they didn't hafta go all the way around the block to get from one street to another. The apartment we rented had one below us and this is it--Galerie Vero-Dodat, and we could look down upon it's ceiling from our inner courtyard windows. It's lined with shops (shoes, antiques, purses, and such, with the occasional restaurant thrown in.) Whatever you do, do not click on the photo and then save it to use as computer wallpaper. It will just suck you right in! Paris, France; September, 2011.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Metro system is fairly efficient and after a couple of days, one begins to get the hang of it. Some of the Metro stations have been decorated. For instance, one station is done up in tiles with a different letter of the alphabet on each tile arranged in a Find A Word format. At another stop near the Louvre, there are Roman Columns and plaster statues. This one, at Arts et Metiers, is done completely in a Steampunk mode, with everything in copper. It's pretty cool. (Click on the photo for a better perspective) Paris, France; September, 2011.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sunsets in Paris can be spectacular. Here's one over the Place de Concorde. The obelisk was a gift from Egypt. The spot is actually where Marie-Antoinette lost her head. Paris, France; September, 2011.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Whimpy Kid and I await our Kirs one evening at our table outside Le Grand Corona in the 8 arr. on our way to the Arc de Triomphe. Paris, France; September, 2011.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

If Americans want to see antiquity here in the US, they pretty much travel to a remote area where indigenous peoples have long ago abandoned what they are looking at (See my photos in the archives from SW Arizona as an example). One of the truly great things about visiting Europe is that one can see antiquity that is still in use. This pic is a photo of a portion of the inside of the Saint-Louis-en-I'Ile Church on the I'le de St. Louis, in the middle of the Seine River. From all the plaques and such that I read/saw inside, it appears to have been in continuous use since the early 1600s. (Click on the photo for incredibly more detail) Paris, France; September, 2011.

Monday, October 10, 2011

For some reason, the French have a reputation of being rude and unfriendly. I have not found this to be the case. After I asked this gentleman if I may take his photo, he readily agreed and waved as I snapped my pic. What you don't see here is the plaque at the street level of his house indicating the building was first inhabited in 1643. On the Ille de Cite, Paris, France; September, 2011.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

By Thomas Jefferson:, 3rd US president:

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then be deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [these banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on they continent their fathers conquered. The issue power [of currency] should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."

Friday, October 07, 2011

The organ pipes and part of the ceiling of Eglise Saint-Eustache. Paris, France; September, 2011.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Trocadero across the Seine at sunset, taken from the first level of the Eiffel Tower. (Click the photo to better see the two Merry-Go-Rounds and reflecting pool) Paris, France; September, 2011.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Arc de Triomphe in the late afternoon sun. (Click the photo to see all the people at the bottom of the arch. And the top.) Paris, France; September, 2011

Monday, October 03, 2011

Gargoyles atop Notre Dame watch all of Paris spread out below, with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Paris, September, 2011.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Remember when...

....teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR, and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in taxpayer-funded bailouts, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah, me neither.