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10 January 2017


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Patrick Bahzad

Nice story, thank you, Fred !


I Baarrrooooo, therefore I am.


Very good - and a lovely turn of phrase.


That would earn you a 'like' on zuckerberg's over-rated product æther.


Thanks Fred!
The pictures are a fitting reflection of your words.
Curious which is the hidden restaurant you picked...



Thanks comrade. What wonderful crowing from Taiwan to start the year of the rooster.



It's Le Coupe-Chou on rue de Lanneau.


Your angry response to the post was startling. Apparently there is some history between you two.

I have a question for Fred. I didn't understand the man with the cookies portion. ( Perhaps I am just slow- witted today.)



I recommend reading Goethe.

The Twisted Genius


Thank you for sharing your observations and contemplations. I enjoy your pieces immensely. I was struck by your image of Mephistopheles and his bag of cookies in the Cathedral. Was this a street performer making some kind of political/theological statement? Or was it something else? An image of Nuland handing out cookies on the Maidan in Kiev flashed into my mind. You are so right in noting how close to evil we come. I think of those early Puritan farmer-soldiers who settled the town where I grew up. They were so aware of the battle between good and evil that raged around them and within them. Maybe too aware.

You made me think of the first cathedral I encountered. It was a massive glacial erratic, some thirty feet tall, perched on the top of a ridge deep in the woods only fifteen minutes from my house. I would contemplate this geological wonder from all angles for answers to what was on my mind and far beyond. As a form of prayer, I would trace the deep grooves left in the bedrock as the glaciers ground their way towards what would become Long Island. This put me in touch with the "old ways" that my ancestors practiced before the arrival of Christianity... and long after it's arrival. My father kept vestiges of those ways alive and passed them on to me. Of course, I was also an alter boy for eight years. I hope that doesn't make me a deep cover theological illegal.



Thank you for the kind words. I think the cookie monster was a teacher of some kind. I was just close enough to recognize his Italian accented English. Communion was the first thing that came to mind, but that may have been due to my own thoughts and not his actual intent. Ms. Nuland only came to mind a few days later as I drafted this piece. It was the better part of discretion for me to move on.

Those ancestors of mine arrived on Staten Island when it was still part of New Amsterdam. Farmer soldiers would be a good description. Their descendants eventually moved on to New Jersey where most of my relatives still live. One of the things that brought me back on this trip was to return to the Cluny. That's the first pieta I had seen and it had a powerful impact, as did the first church I stepped into in Paris, over near Bir Hakeim, a local parish. Moving from a busy city into the serenity of a sacred space, whether St. Patrick's in NYC or Paroisse Saint Léon, the effect is the same if one is open to the experience.

Ishmael Zechariah

Thanks for the piece. Very nice. Wish I had time to travel.
However, I think you are being unfair to Donald. Not many people have read the 2nd part of Faust; reading it in translation truly detracts from it, and many readings are needed to "get" it.
As one of my sainted teachers used to say "please be charitable to those less perfect than yourself".
Ishmael Zechariah


Rooster Year does not commence till the 28th.

PA is still up to monkey business.


I am envious. Being one of your coastal elites, I never had the financial means to visit Paris. But once when I was working in Heidelberg, I did get across the Rhine to see Strasbourg.

Beautiful city! I strolled through the Place Kleber. Attended services in the Pink Cathedral. Saw the statue of Marshal Kellermann. Walked a 13th Century bridge, or two. Ogled the many beautiful ladies jogging by the river. And I ate choucroute from a kiosk that was better than the finest restaurants in which I have ever eaten – but that is not saying much as my idea of fine dining is an Irish Pub or a Carolina Crab Boil. The crepes in the Petit Paris neighborhood were pretty darn good too, almost as tasty as my Swedish sister-in-law's.





Very good points, I found something similar in reading Ortega in translation. I was unnecessarily brief in my comments to Donald.


Thank you for your wonderful writing Fred. I share your love of central Paris...and the proper dogs one meets in various establishments.

What I think means most to me, and perhaps also to you, is the sense of continuity I feel in such places.

The Beaver


Confit de canard comme plat principal :-)


Fred: They have a parish named Bir Hakeim, Egyptian Copts/Christians?



Pont de Bir Hakeim is a bridge (there is also a metro stop) named after the battle the 1st Free French Brigade fought against the Afrika Corps. The church is Catholic, Paroisse Saint Léon.


WTF indeed...

"Man who jump off cliff, jump to conclusion!"

"Man who smoke pot choke on handle."

For some gender balance...

"Woman who wear jockstrap have make believe ballroom."



My sisters were both station in Heidelberg when they were in the army. I was envious of them traveling through Europe on a Eurail pass while I was sailing the med under water on a submarine. Used my frequent flier miles this time, turned out to be less expensive than a trip to Florida.



I wanted to kidnap the pup! It's been a long time since I owned a dog. I spend too much time on the road to be fair to one. My experiences in Paris have been good, even with my very poor French language skills. Having lived in a tourist city I am surprised how kind-hearted most of the people I have met are. (Other than the one who picked my pocket this time out. And skillfully done too).


The Beaver,

The desert was even better.


Fred: Sorry, I thought the battle was in Egypt not Libya. The French were real proud of this feat of arms, in that they slowed down the Afrika Korps south of Tobruk.

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