Ten Cemeteries In The World To Visit Before You Die

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Ten Cemeteries In The World To Visit Before You Die

“Why’s that cemetery so popular? Everybody’s dying to get in!” unknown

Visiting a cemetery is a lot more interesting when you are alive. It is always a sometimes spooky, sometimes beautiful history lesson. Some of them are a resting place of famous people, some have really unusual memorials and others simply provide a surprisingly nice and tranquil walk. Here are some cemeteries to visit before you die.

Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Recoleta Cemetery is the final resting place of the good, the bad, the beautiful and the rich people of Argentina’s past. It is a remarkable necropolis of tombs and mausoleums.  It is proportioned like a miniature village with its stately Greco-Roman crypts lining the narrow walkways. They believed “the bigger the mausoleum, the closer to God.“

It is less expensive to live your whole life in Buenos Aires than it is to be buried in Recoleta.When you enter the cemetery through the neoclassical gates (designed by  the Italian architect Juan Antonio Buschiazzo.)  There are two messages in Latin. The message on this inside is from the living to the dead and says rest in peace. On the outside, it is from the dead to the living and says Wait for God.

You have found Eva Peron’s flower strewn monument when you see people. She is buried among the rich people who did not like her.

There are approximately eighty cats who live at the Recoleta cemetery.  They say that they are the guardians/tour guides of  the 4800 tombs and have been taken care of for twenty years.  Everyone including me  takes photos of them.

Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague, Czech Republic

The Old Jewish Cemetery was established in the first half of the fifteenth century.  It is one of the most important historic sites in Prague´s Jewish Town. The oldest tombstone, which marks the grave of the poet and scholar Avigdor Karo, dates from the year 1439. Burials took place in the cemetery until 1787. Today it contains some 12,000 tombstones, al though the number of persons buried here is much greater. It is assumed that the cemetery contains several burial layers placed on top of each other.

Pere La Chaise, Paris, France

Cimetière du Père Lachaise is the most visited cemetery in the world. It is the hub of Paris’s dead rich and famous. The list of famous corpses now buried there includes Jim Morrison, Moiliere, Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde, Frederic Chopin, Marcel Proust, and Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani. Wilde’s tomb is one of the garden cemetery’s most famous and is covered in the lipstick kisses of admirers. It is no accident that all these famous people are buried here. Established in 1804, the cemetery was first used for reburials from other parts of the city. In a macabre (and involuntary) form of celebrity endorsement, officials had high-profile bodies moved in to boost popularity. I hope to go in the spring. (as a visitor).

Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery, Jerusalem,  Israel

The Mount of Olives has been used as a Jewish cemetery for more than 3,000 years.Approximately 150,000 Jewish people are buried there including some of the greatest Jewish leaders, prophets, and rabbis of all time.Among the notable Jews buried here in biblical times were Zechariah, Haggai, Malachi and Absalom, the rebellious son of King David. In the modern era, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew, author Shai Agnon, Hadassah founder Henrietta Szold and prime minister Menachem Begin and his wife Aliza were buried here as well.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, California

This place is the final act of studio founders, writers, directors, and performers in Hollywood history; it’s where the industry’s biggest players went to die like Mickey Rooney, Cecil B. De Mille and of course Toto. Appropriately, the scene here is full of gaudy tombstones, mausoleums, peacocks, palm trees, and reflecting pools. Live concerts and movie screenings aren’t uncommon on the cemetery’s manicured lawns.

Merry Cemetery, Sapanta, Romania

The “merry” cemetery features over 600 ornately carved, colorful wooden crosses, often with a dark or extremely literal take on the life of the body that lies beneath it. Each grave is adorned with a blue cross and a scene from the departed’s life – both good and bad. There is also a poem. The carpenter who carves the markers and composes the poems doesn’t hold back. There are references to drinking and cheating and even some mother-in-law jokes.

Okonoin Cemetery, Koya, Japan

This forested site on the side of Mount Koya is where Kobo Daishi — the founder of Shingon Buddhism — lies in eternal meditation and it’s where many devoted followers want to be buried. So many, in fact, that it’s the largest cemetery in Japan. Grave markers line the path to Daishi’s mausoleum, and each salvation-seeker’s tombstone is more unconventional and weirder than the last.

Two hundred thousand monks are buried there and waiting for the resurrection of the future Buddha. Look for the memorial dedicated by a local pesticide company to termites, and for statues that mimic monks and coffee cups.

St Andrews Cathedral Graveyard, St. Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews Cathedral is a ruined Roman Catholic cathedral in St Andrews, Scotland that was built in 1158. Most of the grave stones are so old and worn that there is no writing left. Many famous pioneers and champions of golf are buried here.The most famous grave of the nineteenth century was the golfer young Tom Morris. Sometimes people leave golf balls on his grave for luck.

Highgate Cemetery, London,  England

Highgate is one of seven garden-like cemeteries that were built in a ring around London in the nineteenth century, when inner-city burial grounds had become overcrowded. Gothic tombs and buildings are now overgrown with ivy. Obelisks tower over its crypt-lined Egyptian Avenue, which leads to the Circle of Lebanon, a set of tombs built around an ancient cedar tree. George Eliot and Karl Marx are buried here a long with a poisoned Russian spy who’s name I don’t know.

Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, USA

As far as cemeteries in America go, there is none more famous or respected as the Arlington National Cemetery, where more than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans, and their families have been laid to rest. The sweeping rows of white marble headstones, and the constant guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, are sobering reminders of the ultimate sacrifice that many have made.Tomb
Soldiers who die while on active duty, retired members of the Armed Forces, and certain Veterans and Family members are eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery. So are Presidents.

 

Fly safe,

JAZ

 

 

Twenty Five Things That I Wanted To Do In 2019 – Did I Do Them?

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Twenty Five Things That I Wanted To Do In 2019 – Did I Do Them?

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” Zig Ziglar

Go to Sweden. Yes

Go to Iceland. Yes

Spend a day at the Blue Lagoon.  Yes

Be a better friend.  Trying

Go to the Galápagos. Not yet  but I went to the Pantanal in Brazil.

Plan less.  Trying.

Read at least thirty books . Yes maybe more!

Go to the Amazon. No but I went  to Bahia, Brazil.

Take it bird by bird. Trying

Drink one cup of coffee a day.  Yes – that was hard by the way.

Switch to Matcha Tea. Yes

Go to Sedona. Not yet

Walk on the beach a few times a week.  Yes when it isn’t cold and windy.

Do a street art tour in Los Angeles instead of just taking photos. . Not yet. I have no excuse.

See more of Australia. Not yet.

Walk my dog every day. Trying.

Eat breakfast in Venice at least one a week. No.

Go to the Faroe Islands. Not yet  but I went to Uruguay.

Work on being fearless. Trying.

Give him a drawer.  Yes. He got more than a drawer since we moved in together. 

Stay politically active. Yes

See the Grand Canyon. Not yet.

Always be grateful. Yes

Do more yoga Nope – less.

Meditate every day – Maybe if I put it last I will do it.   Really trying –  In fact I’m going to go do it now.

Fly Safe,

JAZ

Twenty-Five Things That I Want To Do In 2019

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Twenty Five Things That I Want To Do In 2019

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”  Helen Keller

Go to Sweden.

Go to Iceland.

Spend a day at the Blue Lagoon. 

Be a better friend.

Go to the Galápagos.

Plan less.

Read at least thirty books.

Go to the Amazon.

Take it bird by bird.

Drink one cup of coffee a day. 

Switch to Matcha Tea.

Go to Sedona.

Walk on the beach a few times a week.

Do a street art tour in Los Angeles instead of just taking photos.

See more of Australia.

Walk my dog every day.

Eat breakfast in Venice at least one a week. 

Go to the Faroe Islands.

Work on being fearless.

Give him a drawer.

Stay politically active.

See the Grand Canyon.

Always be grateful. 

Do more yoga

Meditate every day – maybe if I put it last I will do it.

Happy New Year and Fly Safe,

JAZ

9/11 Memorial

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9/11 Memorial

“What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.” David Levithan

Maybe it was from a sense of obligation, to pay tribute to the lives lost; or a need to see the site of the World Trade Center tragedy to try to comprehend something that 17 years later is still hard to grasp. Maybe it was because I had just come from seeing Auschwitz in Poland. Maybe it was because I worked in Lower Manhattan when the World Trade Center was being built. But while planning a visit to New York, there was never a moment I considered not going to the 9/11 memorial and museum.

Inside this immense expanse of the museum, you’ll find various artifacts on display such as pieces from the planes that struck the Twin Towers, one of many fire trucks which assisted in rescue efforts, a three-story metal beam covered with missing posters, photographs, and messages of resilience named the ‘Last Column’, as well as a retaining wall that survived the destruction of the original World Trade Center.

There are the smaller but just as significant artifacts like damaged fireman’s helmets, World Trade Center ID’s, faded subway cards, police uniforms, and dust-covered shoes.

The museum is thoughtfully divided into several exhibits, with the main two being the Historical Exhibition in the North Tower and the Memorial Exhibition in the South Tower.

The Historical Exhibition is filled with artifacts, photographs, first-person accounts, and archival audio and video recordings. This exhibit is made up of three sequential parts: the Events of the Day, Before 9/11, and After 9/11.

The Memorial Exhibition is situated within the original footprint of the South Tower, and contains portrait photographs of the almost 3000 people who lost their lives in result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and the bombing of the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993.

The Memorial is located where the Twin Towers once stood. There are now two large grey chasms in the ground from which water cascades down all four sides before gathering in a pool and finally plunging into a dark void in the middle.

On the brass rims around these twin pools you’ll find stencil-cut names of every person who died in the terrorist attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001.

you are encouraged to touch them.

I did not know anyone personally who died that day. My son had just been dropped off for his freshman year in college in Boston. His father had taken that flight back to LA on American Airlines the week before. My mother who lived nearby had gone to a concert at the World Trade Center that Sunday. On September 11 at six am Los Angeles time, I was in the airport at American Airlines (three hours earlier than New York) waiting to get on a seven AM flight from LA to Boston because I had gotten a call a few hours before that my son was in the hospital about to have his appendix out.

“There but for fortune go you or I” Phil Oaks.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Street Art Around The World

Street Art Around The World

“I laugh at the way some people think graffiti is all selfish tagging and vandalism. Thoughtful street art is like good fiction – it speaks out on behalf of everyone, for us all to see.” Carla Krueger

Since cave painting, human beings cannot resist the urge to draw and write on walls. It is my favorite art. I am drawn to the bright colors, the fact that it is available to everyone and especially, the mystery. Who did this? Why? What does it mean? Sometimes I see the same artist in different countries. Here are some favorites from around the world. 

Lisbon, Portugal

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Capetown. South Africa

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Tel Aviv, Israel

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Bogota,Colombia

Los Angeles, USA

Melbourne, Australia

Rio, Brazil

Fly safe,

JAZ

Eraser Art In Los Angeles

Eraser Art In Los Angeles

“A pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.” 
J. A. Meyer

The number two pencil is kind of the middle of the road when it comes to pencils. It is not too hard and not too soft. It is not too dark and not too light. In other countries who do not use numbers it might be called the HB pencil. Architects like higher number pencils because the points are harder. Sometimes artists use lower number pencils because they like the softer tone.  American schools have always preferred the number two pencil. It is said that the SAT scanner will only pick up a number two pencil. It is definitely easier to erase than a number three.

I volunteer at an after school writing program in Los Angeles called 826 LA. It is the only time these days that I see pencils. I do all my writing on the computer.

These hand-held pencils have had staying power amid the rise of the typewriter, the ballpoint pen, the computer and all the modern hand-held messaging devices over its century-and-a-half existence. In fact, the U.S. is the single largest market for wood-encased pencils today, most of which now come from China.

Pencils are dependable. The first mark you make with a pencil will be the same as the last. A pen might leak or run out of ink. There are no batteries, crashing, psycho auto-correct or waiting involved.

There is a lot of erasing at 826 LA. A pencil’s eraser tends to dry out and get dirty long before its lead runs down. Europeans tend to buy erasers separately and are more sensitive to this issue. This year we got some new erasers that were not attached to the pencils to deal with the high volume of erasing. We found some other things to do with these brand new very pink erasers. This is our first showing of eraser art.

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I’m not sure why they still spend so much time with pencils and erasers in school. I’m very close to telling a group of seven to ten-year olds that they will never use them again once they get out of school. Especially the ones that have trouble with the physical act of writing but have so many great  ideas.

Write safe,

JAZ