Letters: Père Lachaise and other must-see cemeteries

The "Monuments to Life" feature in the May 24 Travel section that highlighted various cemeteries was eye-opening and an enjoyable read.

I never knew that so many cemeteries catered to such special interests.


In the introduction, Catharine Hamm said she wanted to shout "Yabba dabba doo" when visiting her brother-in-law's grave? Has she no shame? Still, I say, good for her. I wish her attitude were contagious.

Indeed, too many people are too serious about cemeteries. In a recent issue of the Washington Post, a letter took issue with the screening of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" at the Congressional Cemetery. It was disrespectful, the letter said.

Guess there might also be an objection to a cemetery holding Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead events as well as ghost tours.

How boring.

David Tulanian

Los Angeles


You left out the most remarkable and perhaps the most visited cemetery in the world: Père Lachaise in Paris.

Talk about celebrity final resting places: Frédéric Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, Édith Piaf, Georges Bizet, Maria Callas and Jim Morrison are just a few of the well-known buried here.

The cemetery provides maps so you can visit each of these graves and pay your respects.

Joyce Helfand



Your cemetery list is much appreciated. My husband and I are amazed to find we have visited four while on vacation, mostly for their quiet beauty but also for their historical value.


We discovered Mount Auburn in Cambridge, Mass., by talking to visitors at the small Copp's Hill cemetery near Boston's North Church.

Inspired by the serene, park-like cemeteries in Paris and London, Mount Auburn is strikingly beautiful. We spent several hours admiring its rolling hills, lush landscape, statuary and many known names of those buried there. We hope you will include it in another set of recommended cemeteries or unique sites to visit.

We arrived there by taking a bus out of Boston and were very glad we wore good walking shoes to explore the grounds.

Cindy Tenn


Cuban economy

In his May 17 letter ("Eye-Opening Trip to Cuba," Letters), reader Michael Sulman blames the U.S. for destroying the Cuban economy.

Cuba's economic system is Communist, famous worldwide for its ability to produce little but poverty. It's no coincidence that productivity varies proportionately with economic freedom. And no shock that only Cuba and North Korea remain hard-line Communist.

Mike Berliner

Los Angeles


Regarding "Weighing In on Cuba" (Letters, May 24): In the matter of an economy being destroyed, we ought to open both eyes, not just the one that selectively chooses not to see the whole picture. To embrace the good old days, one must accept the Mafia, prostitution, gambling, poverty, illiteracy, ill health, infant mortality and hopelessness.

Sadly, Cuba's record of tolerance toward a dissenting minority is almost inexcusable.

Our record of tolerance of dissent is marginally better, but no bragging rights accrue.

Leland Katz



I returned from Cuba on April 8 after a weeklong person-to-person tour.

It was a wonderful trip, and I am happy to have been there.

Being forced to go on an organized tour was a good thing. We met wonderful people in restaurants, schools and art studios. The children we saw in their schools have amazing musical and performance talents.

I hope the political situation continues to improve between our two countries. I think the people of Cuba need a break after this long period of economic hardship.

Marcia Yury

Laguna Beach


My wife and I flew Air France business class to Madrid last month in business class. The L.A.-Paris leg was fine. However, on the Paris-Madrid leg, business class consisted of regular coach seats in a standard three-plus-three seating arrangement.

The only concession to business class was that the tray tables were down on the center seats when we got on the aircraft, so we biz class passengers had empty seats between the window and aisle seats. But the seats themselves were still coach width and coach pitch.

Ed Schoch