Proud Americans in Paris
We didn’t climb into bed until about 7 a.m. this morning. This was after having stayed up all night long to watch the election results and popping the cork on a bottle of good champagne to celebrate the overwhelming conclusive victory of Barack Obama, a man who is half African American, half Caucasian with a middle name (Hussein) that is tough for most Americans to utter without thinking of another less desirable character.
It was a monumental event not only for Americans living on their own turf, but for Americans living all over the world as well as for non-Americans who feel a kinship with the U.S. or its citizens.
Mayor Pierre Aidenbaum of the 3rd arrondissement, took it upon himself and his City Hall to throw an all night party at the “Mairie” in honor of his American friends. The line to enter was already forming at the opening at 7 p.m. Mayor Aidenbaum stood at the door and welcomed his constituency. I shook his hand to thank him for his friendship to all of us living in his district. The work he does to unify a very diverse mix of residents is one of the ‘small’ reasons I love living in this little corner of Paris.
The Mairie, a stoic building built in the mid 1800’s on the very spot where the prison of the Knights Templar once stood, was wall-to-wall with people of all persuasions — more of the French than one might imagine. The facility opened its doors to sponsor live performances, photo exhibitions, films, seminars and discussions…all related to the election and the American people.
Parties were happening simultaneously all over the city, but I preferred to stay close to home with so we could stay glued to CNN throughout the night in the warmth of my living room after having enjoyed some time at the Mairie. The wine flowed and a big box of “macarons” from Ladurée kept us happily awake and excited as t
he results for each state were announced. Lights were on full blast in lots of my neighbors’ apartments — we assumed they were doing what we were doing. CNN’s breakthrough hologram beaming Jessica Yellin from Chicago to the CNN press center in New York City, where the team were covering the election returns, was impressive technology.
When the polls closed and the final tallies came in, CNN made the formal announcement that Mr. Obama had made history, and we popped the cork. It didn’t matter what time it was. We felt a huge sense of pride of what had taken place on our home turf — that change really was possible — and that we really could have a brighter future, not only for Americans living in America, but for Americans living everywhere, and for all those who look toward America as a guiding light…like the French, for example.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
with the waiter at La Pierre du Marais
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P.S. Pre-election fun was all afternoon at La Pierre du Marais during the special session of Parler Paris Après Midi.
See /parlerparis/ to read all about it!