Friday, June 11, 2010

Le Palais des Etats Unis

Today we visited the residence of the American Ambassador. Wow. I would be the Ambassador to France any day. Supposedly it’s one of the nicest American Ambassador residencies and was built in the 1800s by a rich woman from Louisiana who married a diplomat. Then someone else bought it and added onto it and in World War II was occupied by the Nazis who added a theater. To me, the place looked like a mini-Versaille. I’d pick that place over the White House. Beautiful gold lining paintings on the ceiling, portraits, Victorian furniture, gorgeous gardens … everyone just gasped when they walked in. The only things that brought it into this century were the pictures of Obama on every end table. Plus, they setup a buffet for the guests: mini croissants, pan au chocolat, fresh fruit salad, cereal, juice, coffee, tea, waiters grabbing empty dishes out of your hands – I felt like royalty.

I made conversation with the ambassador’s intern and a woman who worked at the embassy. Then we watched the documentary that brought us all there. The documentary, “25 Percent,” was about women in parliament in Afghanistan. It was fascinating to see the people who try to keep rights away from women that we take for granted in the U.S.

Afterwards, we visited Place de Concorde since it was just around the corner. (As was Prada, Gucci, Valentino, and any other unaffordable store you can think of. Good job, America, you’ve made it into the high class district.) Then two of us walked up the Champs Elysée to “window-lick” as they call it in France. I stopped in the five-story Louis Vuitton store just to say I went. Then, after a long metro ride home, I grabbed a Croque Monsieur and a peach iced tea.

Tonight, we’re headed to the bar to watch the World Cup. Europe is fantastic.

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