The 4th of July in Paris is... well, not a holiday in any way shape or form unless you are a rabid soccer fan, as most Parisians are. Despite the fact that there was no public fête for the French to celebrate, the streets were ringing with ooooh's and aaaaaah's if you wandered past any café with a television screen. France was playing Germany in their last big game in the World Cup, as they regrettably did not make it through to the next round. Since I am not a massive sports enthusiast, as mentioned before, but do possess an inherent desire to be festive and indulge in celebration, I planned an outing with some of my fellow American friends in Paris.
A few weeks ago when having goodbye drinks for another friend, I passed by a restaurant called "Bedford Avenue Brooklyn Diner". I immediately did a double take, as I had spent the past year or more of my time in NYC living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where Bedford Ave is located. I didn't spend much time staring into the café but made a comment about it when meeting my other friends. The American couple instantly told me that they knew of the place and also that it had a very strange Chuck Norris motif. Posters, pictures, and even a burger named after the Walker, Texas Ranger martial arts icon. I, of course, knew him best from his film "Sidekicks", starring alongside my early teenage crush, Jonathan Brandis (RIP). So of course when brainstorming American-themed ideas for our Independence Day, the Bedford Ave Diner came out on top.
En route to the restaurant, I decided to visit the Statue of Liberty in Paris, something I had viewed from a distance but never made the pilgrimage to up close. As many French friends reminded me after posting a pic of the landmark on facebook with the caption "A lil' U.S. in Paris", yes duh, I get it, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France. But you think of NYC and The States when looking at her, sorry. At any rate, I took a very long walk from my apartment to her location then on to the restaurant, living up to the tradition of spending your American Independence day frolicking out of doors. The restaurant was pretty overrun with French football fans riveted to the big game. Of course in France, you still sit on chairs in cafés whilst enthusing, you don't stand in crowded bars, no sir... My friends and I chose seats outside to avoid the rioting and enjoy the warm humid air (oh, so reminiscent of NYC summers ; ) The only downside to these circumstances was that it was rather inconvenient to scour the restaurant for Chuck Norris memorabilia, though I have a lovely picture of his burger namesake on the menu. I personally chose "Le Royal Bedford" as an homage to my days fending off hipsters, and it was satisfyingly tasty.
After dinner, I walked with the other Americans back to the Statue of Liberty for them to see it and so I could continue with my outdoor shenanigans for the day. Happily, this allowed me a slightly more flattering picture of myself in front of Lady Liberty rather than the homespun selfie of previous attempt. Hats off to my home country, to stars and stripes and freedom, but most of all, hats off to Will Smith...