Tuesday, July 3, 2007

How do you say 'Happy Birthday America'?

Real Americans in Paris is researching how American expats in France and around the world celebrate U.S. Independence Day -- or not. How do YOU say "Happy Birthday, America" when living in a land where it's just another Wednesday workday? Or do you simply go about your day with "business as usual" and ignore the date? RSVP in comments or to pollyvousfrancais [at ]yahoo dot com.

What's 'Real'?

One reader asked if we were trying to appear more "Real" than other Americans. Pas du tout! Mostly, Real American in Paris is a discovery of contemporary Americans in this city, as opposed to historic or literary figures featured in other anthologies.


The Bold Soul said...

Well, this is my very first Independence Day abroad, and although when I'm in the States I don't necessarily make a big deal over the holiday short of cooking a burger or something, being away from the usual fireworks and barbecues does make me kind of long to do something a bit American.

So I think I'm joining a friend who wants to see the latest Die Hard movie (yeah, THAT's American) and then maybe toss back a cold one at Harry's Bar. While wearing a red-and-white shirt with blue jeans instead of my usual uniform of Parisian Black. And humming the Star Spangled Banner in my head (though after a few beers I might start singing out loud and praying I can still hit the high notes).

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

Last year on the fourth I hosted a pot for my French colleagues, complete with homemade coleslaw, pasta salad, chocolate chip cookies and beer. I explained that traditionally all that would just accompany a centerpiece barbecue, but that was, alas, impossible to pull off in a modern office building. Everyone seemed to appreciate it. The cookies were a particularly big hit, but even the coleslaw disappeared before the end of the day.

This year I'm on maternity leave awaiting the birth of my first child and wasn't able to host a similar party, though at least one colleague e-mailed and wished me "Bonne fĂȘte."

I was hoping that my French-American baby would decide to be born on Independence Day -- the due date is the 13th, so it seemed possible enough -- but no luck! Now we think he may be waiting for Bastille Day.

I celebrated yesterday by wearing my maternity blue jeans with a red t-shirt and shopping the soldes at the BHV.

Polly said...

Good wishes to you and your presque

Last year when I was new in Paris, my son arrived for a visit. July 4 was always a big deal in our family, so he wondered how we would celebrate in Paris. We couldn't find any activities. So we went to Joe Allen's and ate a hamburger; but it wasn't the same.

His observation: but how come everyone in the States celebrates Bastille Day?

Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel