Saturday, October 16, 2010

The 11ème and Père Lachaise

This morning I had to tutor over in the 11th arrondissement. This lovely little church, St. Amboise, was the first thing I saw when I emerged from the metro station.
After my session I walked over to Père Lachaise cemetary. I spent a couple of hours walking over the bumpy cobblestone paths. My feet are definitely worse for the wear now. But it is a lovely place to spend an afternoon.
The weather was fantastic. At one point I was warm enough wearing a short sleeved tee shirt.
There are dozens of famous artists, writers, and musicians buried here. (Also some politicians and war heroes, but I don't really give a hoot about those.) I just happened upon the graves of two of the biggies.(I didn't find the map of the cemetery until after I had already walked for miles.)I did have to go seek out just one grave: that of Francis Poulenc. (If you thought I was going to say Jim Morrison's, you obviously don't know me.) I've loved this composer since the first time I heard his Motets for a Time of Penitence in college, and I sang several of his song cycles in graduate school, but now my French choir here is singing his Stabat Mater and I'm suddenly obsessed with him again. I guess Edith Piaf, Maria Callas, Yves Montand, Oscar Wilde, Ingres, Daumier, Eluard, Appollinaire, Bellini and Rossini will have to wait until another day.

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