Monday, January 25, 2010

Our New French People

I left the Rhône in Lyon to go to the Prefecture in Paris.

At the Prefecture, we had the very French experience of waiting in the street for a door that should be open to actually open up.

Emily and Jessica: Americans in Paris

and then: French in Paris!

The ceremony was also French: a short movie and two not-so-short lectures, given by the head of naturalization in this prefecture.

The second was the most welcoming talk to new citizens that I've ever heard of.  He described France as a nation of immigrants. He named at least 20famously French people - scientists, painters, footballers, writers -- who were actually from somewhere else. He said, you have the opportunity to be proud of France, to make a France you can be proud of.   He said, France is very proud of you. He said,  France thanks you for having chosen us.

Then the "family celebration" as he called it began.  He encouraged pictures and movies. He became a film director, telling the kids they could have a Take 2.

Emily liked him too.

Emily and Jessica with two representatives of France

A reporter for a French radio network was interviewing people about suddenly being French.  He asked Emily if they sang la Marseillaise.  of course? - Did you sing it? Of course, Emily replied. Can you sing it?

Emily solos for France Inter

Then we continued the French day: crepes here

Notre Dame le coeur de Paris eternel

Rémy welcomes Jess and Emily to France all over again

Then dinner-  décor ultra-français

and the beginning of Jessica's gifts of French culture (Gigi, Gide, . .)

We found the perfect gift for Emily

And we wound up on the Champs-Elysees eating macaroons at Ladurée

and going to the cinéma Georges V just like Gigi did, and saw a not-so-good American movie to remind us of why we heart France.


  1. LOVED the play by play, Chris! Thanks so much for this.

    Felt like I was there - except I really wished I could eat the food, not just look at it!



  2. Traitors!!! We have perfectly good Freedom Fries here in the US of A, and ya'll give it all up fer mimes and baguettes...Well I'm as American as the Statue of Liberty, and I'll never forget this act of betrayal! BTW, can I stay with you on my next trip:)

    Love, Kev