Category Archives: Paris

May 24, 2008, 1:59 pm

Dispatch from Paris: Lunch With Victor Hugo

Okay, so I didn’t really have lunch with Victor Hugo. But I did become exhausted in what proved to be a difficult search for the Victor Hugo Museum, and I had to pause at a boulangerie for a sandwich and a tarte pomme. More about that later. However, I am happy to report that so far la famille Radicale is well, and having a bang-up time. My French is holding up, and contrary to what everyone used to say when I was growing up about how French people were endlessly horrid to foreigners about their French, this is emphatically not my experience. Perhaps it is the intervening half century from Eisenhower leaving De Gaulle in the lurch in a certain Vietnamese valley, or perhaps everyone who told me this spoke even worse French than I, but it is downright fun to function en fran├žais, and I seem to be getting better at it day by day.

And, except for the fact that the q and the a are…

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May 20, 2008, 1:57 am

I Love Paris in the Springtime

On May 20, 1927, at 07:52 in the morning, Charles Lindbergh — not knowing that he would play a bit part in a book published by the Tenured Radical in 1997 — took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, flying “The Spirit of St. Louis” on the world’s first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He landed at Le Bourget Field in Paris at 22:22 the next day, as hundreds of Frenchmen cheered wildly and hoped that he would not try to speak French.

Strangely, the Radical herself will by taking off from JFK tomorrow — although the plane will be piloted by a clever German employed by Lufthansa — and landing in Paris the following day! And I am sure there are lots of French people who are also praying I don’t test run my French on them. But you know what? They’re out of luck.

Meaning — unless I happen to fall into an internet cafe in either paris or Corsica in the next …

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