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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Fourth of July in Paris is almost as much fun as the whirlwind of nothing that is Bastille Day in the U.S. What makes the understandable lack of fireworks and delicious hot dogs ok is the prevailing thought that the typical American in some way misses the gaudy, trashy, over-hyped, and ultimately stupid awesomely bad treasures of home. We do. Let me rephrase, I do. I LOVE the outdoor caf├ęs, deadly bakeries, and refined culture of here, don't get me wrong. At the end of the day, I truly do love both the city and to a lesser extent, the people who reside here. But there is something about a huge batch of flaming hot wings served in a sauce that I will walk away wearing that brings a tiny tear to my woeful expat eye. That's why places like The American Dream were created.

The American Dream is a hybrid of all things awesomely bad and totally trashy about The Motherland. What should tip you off is the fact that it's a beacon of over-the-top Americanism shining from amidst tiny boutiques and flower shops. It's not the lifesize Blues Brothers statues nor the 17 neon signs that really won my heart the first time I saw it, rather, it's The American Dream's primo location just around the corner from the Paris opera house, one of the most classically beautiful buildings in the city.

Stepping inside The American Dream is just as good as looking at it from the outside. There's so much Betty Boop memorabilia and so many vintage tubas on the walls, it's hard to see the faded yellow screens that play Nelly videos on a constant loop. The true gem of The American Dream isn't found on the menu or on the walls, but instead is located upstairs where every weekend night the diner-style second floor throws out the underage soda jerks and ushers in strippers. The world hasn't seen something so damn trashy since the creation of South of the Border. Should you ever visit the city of Light, I will take you to the only place I've ever heard of where you can sip a rootbeer float and enjoy a lap dance, because unlike Virginia, that shit ain't illegal here.

I haven't been for the strippers yet, only for the chili, but the sheer novelty of going to a diner-turned-stripclub on the most nationalistic day of the year makes my heart fill up like a balloon that's about to burst. If I can find someone, anyone to go with, then I can promise both a good story and photos later this week. Happy 4th people. See some strippers and think of me.

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