June 2018
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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Paris: Pride as Important as Ever

Who hates a rainbow?

Brightly painted rainbow walkways and street signs decorated Paris’s gay district, the Marais, in preparation for the Pride festivities this weekend. It was the most festive I have seen the Marais in ten years of living here. It felt welcoming, a true celebration of the queer community. Uplifting, if nothing else.

The morning of June 26, however, news buzzed that the crosswalks had been vandalized. The daily LibĂ©ration detailed how the words “LGBT hors de France,” or “LGBT out of France” had been painted across one of the intersections. Mayor Anne Hidalgo reacted quickly, sending a crew to erase the words.

By the afternoon, the intersection at rue de la Verrerie and rue des Archives, ground zero for gay nightlife, looked like a child had scrawled over the rainbows with a Wite-Out pen. It seemed like a small issue for most, but as a gay man in Paris — and a French citizen at that — it weighed on me.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Paris: Finding Italy with Mary

The flavors of Italy, but not in Italy...
So I've become that person. "When I was living in Italy" is a phrase that comes out of my mouth and it's all I can do to prevent myself from hitting myself. Just stop it, Bryan, I say to myself. No one cares.

It's true. Living in Italy is no enormous accomplishment. Plenty of Italians do it, after all, and no one celebrates their achievement. But now that I'm back in Paris, I am trying to relive certain aspects that I grew to love. There were habits, flavors, and experiences that I miss. You might not care. I don't expect you to care. But it fills my days...

I've found decent pizza, but it's not as cheap. I can't find my Kimbo brand coffee, but the Lavazza at Monoprix will do for now. The supermarket even sells taralli, the little savory biscuits that I binged on each week in Naples.

But it wasn't enough. So, I did what any normal Franco-American expat back in Paris after nearly two years away would do. I got a girlfriend.