We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
My last visit to Paris was 1990 and I won't go again. I remember the old city stuffed with French people and prefer to remember it that way. Sort of like London except my previous stays in London were in Praed Street and it was going ethnic back then. Paddington and vicinity were still arguably England. Not so much anymore.
Kind of reminds me of what has happened to San Francisco during my lifetime. When I was young and my family took trips and visited there it was magical. People dressed well, there were wonderful places to eat, it was very civilized. Now it is also a sh*thole.
There was a beautiful mural on the wall of the long descending staircase into the Abbesses Metro station, a visual history of Paris from Roman times to modern times. If you've seen "Amelie", it's the Metro station she left the blind man at after verbally describing the street to him. The last time I saw it intact was 1999. In 2004, it had been completely vandalized from top to bottom. By 2006, graffiti was everywhere, street vagrants were everywhere, Muslim criminals were everywhere.
I grieve for what was once the most interesting beautiful city in the world.