Père Lachaise is probably the most prestigious and visited necroplis in Paris…

At Beckett’s grave in Paris, hence the sadness

…but I always preferred Montparnasse. Close to the street yet easy to get lost immediately in a maze, a treasure hunt full of artists and poets. Like Samuel Beckett on this last visit in 2009.

Paris has more than a dozen cemeteries but Pere, Montparnasse and Montmare are perhaps most well known. Montmare has Edward Degas but I liked to visit him at Musée d’Orsay where he lived and breathed – his ballerinas and sculptor and surreal impressionism as alive as ever.

Père Lachaise Cemetery is worth a visit, and it’s awfully gothic, with Balzac, Chopin and of course, Colette. So many famous Parisians and foreigners buried, so many idols and artists to find in these atmospheric environs.

Montparnasse also happened to be located near Jim Hayne’s home, a celebrated place where everyone came to dinner on Sunday – he’d been hosting them since the 60’s. John Lennon dropped by and a couple of decades later I did too, along with allot of other expats; to hear what I miss the most; my American accent.

I kept in touch with Jim Haynes for several years after moving away from la la ville lumiere…so sad to hear he died last year – I wonder where he is buried….

Published by baileyalexander

An American living in Piemonte. Sailed across the Atlantic aboard our 43 Nauticat in 2002 and spent over a decade living in Rome, Paris, Prague, Malta, Venice and Bucharest before settling in Piemonte, Italia.

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