Third week in December, I risked my life and rented a Vélib to ride to work. Face-smacking loveliness of a day, and while I navigated around Place de la Concorde and began climbing up the Champs-Elysées, I heard a loud rushing RRRrrriiiiiipppppppp. Whence cometh hell.
It had sounded like a scooter revving its engine. In fact, my crotch was gone. I’d pedaled too hard, and the seat had been ripped out from my jeans. So I made a diaper of my trench coat, attended a meeting, and rode the Métro home to change my pants.
Around the same time, the president became enviable. “Bling bling” Sarkozy had a new squeeze: Carla Bruni, ex-model, successful musician. And where did Sarko l’Américain take his new girlfriend for the weekend? Disneyland Paris. Sarkozy was in love—same for the newspapers, with the spectacle. Especially because Bruni was the ex of Donald Trump and Mick Jagger, and she confirmed the papers’ worst suspicions about Sarkozy’s lust for celebrity, especially non-French celebrity (never mind Bruni’s thing for powerful men).
“Power crazy, this girl,” Julie said, confirming much of what Paris thought, “but it’s true, she can sing.”
According to reports, also attending the Disneyland Paris weekend were Bruni’s mother, a concert pianist, and Bruni’s son, whom she’d had with Raphaël Enthoven, a philosopher whom The New York Times reported Ms. Bruni had stolen away from an author named Justine Levy, who was the daughter of the philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy, and who’d gone on to write a novel about Bruni’s romantic poaching.
Sometimes the French were so incredibly French—so cultured, so reliably contradictory—it thrilled me. There was nothing else to say. What a wonderful place.
From Paris, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down by Rosecrans Baldwin