October. Halloween month. Oh my God, how I love Halloween. I got a little Halloween depressed today because Paris isn’t exactly Halloween friendly. But then I thought, “Wait! Paris is the ultimate Halloween.” Spooky, mysterious, dark, and full of spirits and souls. It’s like Halloween Town! And guess what? Paris has the most extraordinary cemetery in the whole world. Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. Guess where I will be this weekend? Yes, you guessed it, I will be dragging my husband and my caregiver out to the 20th arrondissement to take a stroll through the final resting place of some of the world’s most notorious philosophers, writers, singers, composers, poets, actors, painters, designers, dancers and statesmen. I’m not sure if my Muslim caregiver will oblige me in this excursion though. She gets a little weird about those things. My other Muslim caregiver, Fode, was superstitious as well. After I cut all of my hair off, I mentioned to him that I was going to donate it to Locks of Love, but he told me I shouldn’t because he considered that “sorcery.”
I don’t get weirded out at cemeteries. I think they’re peaceful. On the weekends, when Gracie was young, I taught her how to ride her bike in the Santa Barbara Cemetery. It was so quiet and had a beautiful oceanview. Père Lachaise is a bit different. I have to say, it’s a bit spooky but in a good way. There are 1 million people interred there and the sense of “you’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy” is almost tangible. Ripe with history, scandals, love affairs, sadness, despair, and respect, this is a quiet place to reflect. And by reflect I mean, “Do you think I could get a plot next to Edith Piaf?” I did a little investigating and I discovered that you can, in fact, be buried here if you are French or pass away in Paris which I plan on doing because I think it has a nice ring to it… “Eleanor passed away in Paris.” Sounds much better than… “Eleanor passed away in Orange County.” You will need to pony up approximately €11,000 to be buried here but don’t hold your breath because there is a looooooong waiting list. But it’s worth the wait like any good real estate, restaurant or Manhattan preschool. I’m going to get on that list “tout de suite” because I don’t know about you, but I plan on hobnobbing in the afterlife with the likes of Molière, Oscar Wilde, Colette, Jim Morrison, Honoré de Balzac, Rudolf Nureyev, Chopin, Sarah Bernhardt, Maria Callas, Héloïse d'Argenteuil and Peter Abélard, Eugene Delacroix, Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and Countess Marie Walewska (Napoleon’s mistress)...all of whom are buried at Père Lachaise.
Take a look…
For a little history of the Père Lachaise cemetery, go HERE.
There is a charming little book titled, Meet Me at Père Lachaise, that you can purchase HERE. “If you visit the Eiffel Tower, you feel the Romance of Paris - when you visit Père Lachaise, you touch the silent soul of Paris.”
*Something you don’t know about me? I am an ardent fan of the Long Island Medium show. In fact, I mailed a letter today requesting a “reading” with the lovely Teresa Caputo…nails, hair, accent and all. Do you now officially think I’m crazy? Don’t answer that.