Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Remembering



My friend Mary insists that when in Paris, we must visit one of the cemeteries.  I have been dragging my feet,  but went ahead and put it on the short list, which is getting longer by the day!  I still was feeling a little uneasy about the idea , so I asked my photography buddy Bill, to go with me to Birmingham's oldest city cemetery, Oak Hill.  From the smaller photo you can see that it sits on a hill overlooking downtown Birmingham.  Established in 1873 it is the city's first and oldest cemetery.  Most of Birmingham's founding fathers and their families are buried here.  While walking around we discovered many gravesites of Civil War soldiers, in fact most of the burials here precede the 1930's.  I enjoyed photographing  some of the very interesting details on many of the markers.  Here is just a sample.  I think I am ready for the cemetery in Montmartre now. Remembering......
The Tune du Jour is  Bach's "Air" played by Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion

PARIS COUNTDOWN...25 DAYS


34 comments:

Judy - So California said...

Your photo more then proves that there is beauty to be found everywhere. I am sure the visit in Montmartre will be very worthwhile. I am sure - in addition to YOU of course - that I am not the only one getting more and more excited as the days count down.....

Olivier said...

belle photo, très prenante, elle aurait pu être ta photo pour le thème du mois

Marylène said...

You're the first person to whom (?) (is it correct ?) I dare to confess that, although I lived in Paris during 5 years and is now only 50 kms away, I have NEVER visited any of the Parisian cemeteries !
Yes even not le Père Lachaise which is an incredible one. Virtually through Internet yes but in person no.
No question of fear or superstition but I presume that, in my mind, it seems odd to get up in the morning and say : " OK, today, in my schedule, I'll enyoy visiting cemeteries".
Hard to explain my feeling in English, hope you get them.

Bibi said...

Montmartre cemetery is definitely worth the visit---check out the board at the entrance to see who's where. I'm sure you'll think of it too, but do not miss Pere Lachaise cemetery either.

Your shot here is lovely.

Webradio said...

There are lots of cemeteries in Paris... Janis Joplin and Jim Morisson are "sliping" in one of them...


Beautiful photos today...

Tash said...

Beautiful photo again, V. I'm glad you've are ready for them - they are amazing places. My grandmother (in Croatia) always visited the cemetary in any town she visited & took me along from when I could walk. She esp. loved looking at the photos & commenting about how tragic it was to die so young & beautiful. I think it really is remembering. My best recent experience was travelling to Macon Georgia on business and dragging 2 of my engineering co-werkers to Rose Hills Cemetary. All the beautiful old headstones and I think 150? Confederate soldiers...Yes, remembering.

Eki Akhwan said...

I like the detail ornaments, V. The moss makes them more so visually, IMO.

alice said...

You've found a nice shade for these photos, Virginia.
This has been one of our DP THeme, in october 2007 if my memory is right and if you want to check.
Peter knows a lot of things about Parisian cemeteries!

babooshka said...

You have to go! The statue with the city backdrop looks amazingly like the Birmingham of my youth. Nicley draws the eye through. I'm with Eki with the green and sandstone colour intermingling is intriguing too.

tr3nta said...

Beautiful details....

You live in a great place too...

JM said...

What a beautiful detail!!!
Your previous photo is also awesome! It must be wonderful to walk under those trees stepping the dry golden leaves.

PJ said...

I think the initial plunge into cemetary photography is always a bit unnerving. You've done a magnificent job here Virginia. Really beautitful.

Mary said...

Merci Virginia - I bet that you will become a "cemetery hound" comme moi!
Another tiny gem of a cemetery is Picpus, where Lafayette is buried!
Also there is a wonderful book about Parisian cemeteries called: Permanent Parisians.
I have to correct WEBRADIO - Janis Joplin is not buried in Paris, her ashes were scattered (see:www.findagrave.com)
Finally if anyone visits Cincinnati, I'm a docent at Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum (www.springgrove.org) - it's a National treasure!
xx,
M

Virginia said...

See? what did I tell you. Mary, "The Cemetery Lady" has me all fixed up for Paris!!! Thanks M.

Marylene, I understand completely. Yippee , it's cemetery day in Paris just wasn't my idea of a grand time, but I am coming around to it.

Eki and B., the moss was greenish here but on others it was an unusual brown coloring. I will send you two an example. The details were lovely but the graves of the children, and there were many in those days, made me sad to read their stones.

I think we have settled on Montmartre because we will be right there. Pere Lachaise would require the metro. It's all about squeezing every last morsel out of this trip!

Wayne said...

I wouldn't put cemeteries too high on my list if I only had a week.

I didn't know you had a list. What have you seen already. Have you been in Samaritaine and gone to the viewing platform on the roof? It's free and give a 360º view of Paris. There is a restaurant of cafeteria up there too. The only truly classic Metro entrance I know is at Porte Dauphine and I made a trip out there to photograph it but you have to really like Metro entrances to do that. The Catacombs, have you been there? Definitely the most skulls and bones you'll see in one place and all very artistically arranged.
This is a 'must see' V, the hardware department of BHV. I could spend a half a day in there.
I'll give you more cool tips if I can think of any but you may have to extend your trip. Oh, the Carnavalet, the museum of Paris, have you been there?

A very nice photo by the way, I almost forgot.

Valerie said...

I know this is going to sound creepy but I've always been fascinated by cemetaries and find a geat deal of peace and solace. My family takes up one section of a small cemetary in PA and I like to go, visit, remember. One of my favorite cemetaries is Arlington National, so much history!

Eeyore said...

I was in Paris on business a few years ago in January and had a few days vacation to wander around with my wife. We didn't get to many cemetaries and I'm not sure I could remember the names of the ones we did see, but I DEFINITELY remember the catacombs. Up close and personal with a LOT of remains. I found it very interesting, but it's dark and they frown on flash photography.

Virginia said...

Wayne and Eeyore, If I am lukewarm on the cemetery idea, the catacombs is O.U.T.! But thank you both for the suggestions! Le Samaritaine is closed and has been since before our last trip. Maybe Peter or someone else from Paris could give more details as to why. We were disappointed not to be able to see it. Now this is amazing.... I HAVE heard about the BHV hardware dept. Now I stay awake dreaming of spending hours and hours there...sure! And let me guess... you want a tiny French tractor as a souvenir???

Valerie, Arlington I have done and you are right. It is something everyone should see.

Louis la Vache said...

"Louis" regrets that when he lived in France that he didn't visit any of the cemeteries in Paris. Being the military history buff that he is, he did visit the cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy and several of the World War I cemeteries in Champagne-Ardennes. Go for it, Virginia!

marley said...

I've taken a few photos in our local cemetery. It felt a bit weird but the results were good (even if I do say so myself!) Now you've had a go in a local one you'll be prepared for the one in Paris. Not long to go now!

Wayne said...

La Samaritaine is closed. Well that figures. It's been a few years since my last visit. That seems a little like Harrod's going belly up, I'm rather shocked.

If the Catacombs are out, and I don't think you're being very open-minded about this V, how about the sewers?

D said...

I think it's cool to visit the cemetery. There's history there.
And peace, and quiet, and reflection, and time to honor people for their lives. Personally, I've never been creeped out by cemeteries.
Have a great time!

MrsDr said...

Mon Dieu!!! What have I gotten myself into? I trust Virg with our itinerary in Paris but I am beginning to get a little nervous about what is on that list of hers.

Virginia said...

Ha, we'll be fine, trust me! The only underground activities will be the Metro! Don't listen to Wayne, he relishes in getting me all riled up!

Marie-Noyale said...

I enjoy the commentaries listening to your music choice... very soothing for this time of day..
I love the colors and texture of this picture.

Marylène said...

The Samaritaine owners said, 3 years ago, that they had no choice but close because of security reasons. It was said to be a dangerous building, not fitting the new safety rules.
It will remain closed for at least 4 to 5 years.
It was first supposed to re-open as the store it used to be but more likely to be transformed in a new "complex" (?) with hotel, business center, shops and..."logements sociaux" !!
There have been strikes among the employees before the closing, a lot of discussions.... then nothing.

The re-opening is planned for 2011 but nothing sure, there is a fight between the group LVMH (the owners) and Paris city council. The new Samaritaine doesn't fit in the urban regulations plans !!!!
So, I have no "boule de cristal" to tell when of if we'll ever be able to se the inside of this amazing building !

jill said...

I remember a photo Eric posted of a cemetary, I think it was near the Montparnesse tower -- does anyone remember?

Leave it to Wayne to suggest the catacombs and the sewer tour!

Wayne said...

Thanks for the information Marylène. I was in the store on two trips and have quite vivid images in my mind. I thought it was amazing.

Virginia said...

Marylene, we heard security reasons but we didn't know what that meant. Sad to see that lovely store all close up and I wanted to go to the top like Wayne suggested!

Knoxville Girl said...

Montmartre cemetery is lovely and contemplative. I had a little black cat follow me all through the cemetery, and I'm pretty well convinced she was the spirit of Alphonsine dePlessy.

GrandAnglais said...

I have been to Paris several times but never got round to visiting any of the cemeteries so I hope you check them out for me! Pere Lachaise is quite close to Montmrtre I believe.

Mary said...

Just a caution, Pere Lachise is NOT close to Montmartre; it's on the other side of the city, so unless you are set on seeing Jim Morrison's and Oscar Wilde's graves then I'd skip it. It's so huge that if you take a minimum of 2 hours of exploration you'll barely scratch the surface. BTW, there is a STUNNING documentary about Pere Lachaise that will be available on DVD soon...it's called FOREVER, here's a link: http://www.us.imdb.com/title/tt0906743/
xx,
M

Therese said...

Ce livre avec sa propre couverture comme si une main chère était passée lui souhaiter une bonne nuit. J'aime beaucoup.

Therese said...

Sorry I did not realised I was writing in French...
This book with its own blanket as if a dear hand had come to wish a good night