Tag Archives: Paris

An Angry Shade of Blue in France’s (Real) Great Debate

  Last year, reacting to the escalating turmoil of the Gilets Jaunes movement, Emmanuel Macron launched a campaign of Great Debates – country-spanning town meetings, if you will, led personally by the ‘who needs sleep?’ President. These were billed as invitations to the forgotten, especially those outside urban areas, to voice their ire and perhaps […]

Up for judgment: Macron’s Great Debate, and the ‘re-looking’ of the Champs Elysees.

Part 1 It is desperately unfashionable to spare a good word for President Emmanuel Macron. You may call him elitist, aloof, politically deaf and dumb, an imperious windbag or vacillating introvert, a conservative in progressive clothing or vice-versa, or all of the above. Just don’t give him any credit. The current global nationalist/populist movements have […]

The Drama of The Yellow Vests: Act Four

Those talking heads who say they saw the insurrection coming? – in this amplitude, in this form? are lying. Or, at best, kidding themselves. A few facts, as the rain and the sanitation trucks collaborate to try to clean the trashed streets of Paris: Yesterday didn’t quite add up to the apocalypse that some, including […]

Back with a Vengeance?

  Congratulations if you are already aware that the storming of the Bastille in July, 1789, was not the beginning of the French Republic. (Turns out that launch wasn’t until 1792, and it didn’t last long.) The storming of the nearly empty prison, by a crowd of less than a thousand, had mainly symbolic weight […]

And Now for the Bright Side

It’s no secret that global stress levels are reaching unhealthy heights in these 48 hours or so of the countdown to Election Day in America. So, to help us all relax a bit, smile on one another and breathe deeply, here are a few notes about good things happening in La Capitale…  Item – Now […]

The Rites of Spring

                 In France, the first day of May marries two traditions that have absolutely nothing to do with each another: offering a bouquet of lilies of the valley to one’s nearest and dearest, and celebrating International Labor Day. The noisy parade routes, jammed with union members and sympathizers waving banners, are lined with sausage stands […]

Rising Seine, Falling Snow

Blocks of ice are crashing off my roof as I write. Did pdv really just leave New England for Paris, or was it all a dream?  To be snarkily honest, it is a bit hallucinatory to go from a town where two feet of snow merit a same-old-same-old shrug, where the municipal snow dumps rise […]