Friday, June 3, 2011

Morrison with a Splash of 007

The theme of the past few days has been all about the morbid and somewhat depressing- aka LOTS of graveyard visits. Yesterday, Dr.Lessl's class had one of their outings and I made sure to tag along. After buying my third book of the trip, called "Naming the Bones" by Welsh, we headed to Pere Lachaise. It has many famous French families buried in large, cabin like tombs, and some non-french celebrities, the more well known being Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. Those were actually the only two people I knew that were buried there, and made a point to visit. One of the better stories though that is buried in this graveyard is a true Romeo and Juliet couple, Heloise and Abelard. Their tomb has been under construction for the past few years, but Dr. Lessl was able to tell us the story about their forbidden love. Their story can be read here: We then finally found Jim Morrison's grave. For those who don't know, he was The Doors' singer, and has been surrounded with much controversy. Many believe he is not actually dead, others question how he died, but I think the most interesting is the "27 Club", being a repeating age at which famous musicians continually die at. The list includes Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Brian Jones (Rolling Stones), Jimi Hendrix, and of course Jim Morrison. After a few photos and getting a whiff of some non-cigarette smells, we headed to visit Oscar Wilde. His grave was just as flamboyant as him- with flowers and famous red kisses covering his tombstone. I joined in, just sans-lipstick. Red isn't really my color. After leaving, we may have found the best creperie in Paris. So for everyone who is eventually coming to Paris, the one right across from the graveyard entrance and attached to a Cafe is phenomenal! I need to stop this crepe obsession, seriously. Later that night, I experienced my first Euro-Club, where drinks are 10 euro (about $16) and you listen to some serious techno music. Jason and I got their before everyone else by about an hour, so we made friends with the first people that walked in. They were from Italy, and travel to the US a lot since they are electronic DJs on tour. Their name is Bloody Beetroots, and they are actually really popular, which I realized after doing some googling. We found the right people since after some conversation they started buying Jason and I these overly-expensive drinks. They come to Atlanta too, so maybe I'll find them again at some point. Today though was a day of more rest. Scarlett, Aleshia and I really wanted to visit Harry's New York Bar, known for being where the Bloody Mary originated and the famous people who frequented the piano bar, including Ernest Hemingway, Humphrey Bogart (Casablanca) and Coco Chanel. It was founded in 1911 by an American horse racing jockey named Tod Sloan and became a popular place for WWI American Field Service Ambulance Corps members. I immediately ordered the Bloody Mary, and we ended up having a great conversation with the bartender, who made one of the best drinks I have ever had. It is really a true science. He is a classically trained French chef, and just went through cooking school just so he could continue his education in "mixology" to become a bartender. Their bar-tending is much different than America, it is very classic and traditional. He even told us that in the James Bond books, Harry's was the site of where 007 lost his virginity at 16. Fun fact. We are hoping to go back at night when they have the Piano bar open and get the full vibe of the bar. Finally, we found a UGA flag hanging from the walls that are plastered with college flags and military/public service badges. It was so neat to see our school flying in France!

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