Sorry, Jed, but however obnoxious or worse it seems, France remains the most wonderful spot in Western Europe. Whereas we are told ad nauseam that we should worry about what the rest of the world thinks about us, the French couldn’t care less what others think of them. Au contraire, for them it’s always been axiomatic that the world should worry about winning their approval. It’s no accident that hauteur is a French word. Of course, that comes with a huge price. Last Sunday not a single non-Frenchman backed France against adorable Italy.
Nonetheless, July 14 remains a special day.Thirty-nine years ago I stood along the Champs Elysees across from President Charles de Gaulle as he reviewed that day’s military parade. The highlight naturally was the flyover by the wonderfully named Mirage jets. (Sure sounds better than “stealth,” no?) Eternal France may not last till the end of time, but there’s a reason the term took root. If I didn’t live here, I’d want to live there. And it has nothing to do with the food or even wine, however superior it remains to those California pretenders.