Happy Bastille Day?

What does one say on Bastille Day to a French person? Having been here long enough to know that the French don’t call July 14 “Bastille Day” the way we Anglophones do, I was in a quandary as to how to wish a happy national holiday to my French family and friends. I asked Michel and he said, “We don’t do that. We celebrate, but we don’t have a sentence like that, like you do in America. It might seem strange, but we don’t.”

Hmm.

Continue reading Happy Bastille Day?

Feeling insulted, bad burgers, and good ice cream: a Parisian Fourth of July

You might have been wondering what became of me after my first Fourth of July in Paris since 1989, since I didn’t post anything the next day. I promise I wasn’t hungover, but I was sick. Somehow I came down with some sort of flu that had me completely debilitated yesterday. Thankfully, I’m over it now, just in time for a little weekend jaunt to London tomorrow night.

So, how did I spend my Fourth? Truthfully, it was a little disappointing … aside from the company, of course.

Continue reading Feeling insulted, bad burgers, and good ice cream: a Parisian Fourth of July

“Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.”

Comme aujourd’hui nous sommes le quatre juillet, la fête de l’indépendance américaine, on devrait prendre un moment pour remercier la France pour l’aide que ce pays grand nous a offerte pendant notre révolution : On sait que vous ne l’avez fait que pour embêter les Anglais, mais merci quand même ! En toute sincérité, malgré des désaccords de temps en temps (quelques uns plus sérieux que d’autres, bien sûr), votre aide à cette époque à fait naître les liens d’amitié entre nos deux pays qui ont survécu plus de deux siècles. Qu’ils survivent à jamais ! Continue reading “Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.”

In Search of a Pancake

I’ve yet to find a restaurant in Paris where I can get really good American-style pancakes. (Not that I ‘ve stopped looking, mind you.) Of course, France is home to the crêpe—arguably the most amazing pancake ever invented—and I do love a good crêpe (or two) every now and then. But sometimes, you’re just jonesin’ for a stack like they have back home.

Continue reading In Search of a Pancake

Because it was just too hot to post anything yesterday …

(That’s 37ºC  for those of you not too familiar with the Fahrenheit scale.)

… and it looks like another scorcher today, though not nearly as hot. I certainly hope that Wednesday’s forecast high of 71ºF (22ºC) is right. That’s the kind of Paris summer I like, and I can’t spend all day, every day hanging out in the frozen foods section of the Super U.

American in Paris arrested for assaulting a man wearing a pink kilt, led away screaming “Hello Kitty is not a clan!”*

Okay, so that’s not a real headline, but it got your attention, right?

My friend Dan Costello, of Washington, DC, wrote that as a comment to my Facebook status Sunday wherein I addressed what I call “the misappropriation of the kilt” in Gay Pride parades. It got the most traffic of anything I’ve posted on Facebook since my posts about Anthony Weiner, so I figured it was a good hook for this post. (Let me know if you’re interested, and I can expound a little.)

Continue reading American in Paris arrested for assaulting a man wearing a pink kilt, led away screaming “Hello Kitty is not a clan!”*

A Bitter-sweet Exile

A friend recently posted an article on Facebook about former Manhattanites living in my former hometown of Washington, D.C. Manhattanites exiled to Washington search for fellow sufferers is a humorous piece in the Washington Post‘s lifestyle section reporting on the “stranger in a strange land” lamentations of the members of a group called the Fellowship of Unassimilated Manhattan Exiles. It’s pretty funny because these folks are self-styled “exiles,” as if they had been banished from Manhattan to the hinterlands. And it’s even more entertaining because the article is rife with the stereotypical over-inflated New York ego: Continue reading A Bitter-sweet Exile

You’ve got eighteen months to get to France … to save your life!

Is a tiny French village threatened by 2012 apocalypse sects?

“Bugarach, with a population of just 200, has long been considered magical, partly due to what locals claim is an ‘upside-down mountain’ where the top layers of rock are older than the lower ones.

Continue reading You’ve got eighteen months to get to France … to save your life!

What do you mean, I can’t work for myself?

I’ve been spending my day working on my CV, trying to convert my “lawyer” CV into one that screams:

“I TEACH ENGLISH! HIRE ME!”

I spent almost 8 years of my life working as a lawyer for a big firm in Washington, DC. Many of my clients were big financial institutions from Wall Street and most of my work was for them. When I left that job back in 2009, I decided to pursue a different course, but I wasn’t quite sure which one to take. Continue reading What do you mean, I can’t work for myself?