Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Paris Day 3 - Pere Lachaise / Happy Boxing Day!!

We left the house today around 1 pm and made our way to the Pere Lachaise cemetary. We began at the Pere Lachaise subway station entrance and wandered around the massive cemetary sans map. Pere Lachaise is the largest cemetery in Paris, housing over one million bodies, and is one of the most visited final resting places in the world. The weather was cloudy, cold and damp, which was quite fitting for drifting around a graveyard with beautiful gothic stone mauseleums, broken graves, and thick layers of green moss that covered everything like sunlight. After meandering around for two hours without seeing any of the dead people we wanted to see, we found a map and then got back on track. We saw Jim Morrisson's grave, tagged with graffiti and littered with unsmoked cigarettes, flowers, and bits of paper with respects written on them. We then made our way up to see Oscar Wilde's grave. Oscar Wilde's tombstone is a large grey stone block with an angular winged man adorning the top. At one time the statue donned a penis, however it was ripped off and now adorns the desk of someone, somewhere, as the most literary phallic paperweight ever. What remains in Pere Lachaise of Oscar Wilde's tomb is covered completely in lipsticked kiss marks as a form of reverence from his admirers. I threw on some dark red lipstick, kissed the angels knee, and joined the ranks of Wilde's post mortem groupies! Next we made our way over to see Edith Piaf's modest grave, and then left the cemetery for a beer at a nearby cafe to warm up. Afterwards, we hopped the subway to Pigalle to witness Paris' notorious sex district in all its nighttime glory. We emerged from the metro with the electric glow of sex illuminating our faces and warming our cheeks. We walked to a tea shop where I bought two fruit and flower teas labeled "Mysterious" and "Venetian", which smell like heaven, and then went to "Cafe des Deux Moulins", better known as the Amelie cafe, where we had an aperitif of sweet white wine and a platter of dried sausage, pickles, and radishes dipped in butter and topped with salt. After our aperitif we walked thru Pigalle, and stopped only briefly to peer awkwardly inside a sex shop and to be propositioned by some skeeve ball on the street. We returned home for dinner and sleep. I'm feeling a cold coming on. I'm hoping I can stave it off with happy thoughts of puppies, sunshine, and fireworks off the Eiffel Tower.