A Few of Our Favorite French Things
Our hearts are with—and stay with—the innocent victims of last Friday. It happened in one of our planet’s most open-hearted cities, full of people who adore beauty, culture, wit, freedom, and the fine art of simply being happy to be alive… or as they call it, joie de vivre.
The French have always been about spirit, but also about the things around them that represent that spirit. America has learned so much from France’s superb balancing act: knowing how to live, and what to live with.
Material things will never be what heals truly deep pain like that which was endured in Paris last week. But holding our heads high and refusing to stop loving the daily joys we have is indeed one step in embarking on the healing process.
Here, in no particular order, are just 10 (of the many) things that France has given us, that make our daily lives better in America:
#1. Our freedom: The French sided with us in a big way during the Revolutionary War, significantly contributing to our independence.
#2. Champagne. Nuff said.
#3. Chanel. One of the world’s most recognized, hypnotic scents came from Coco. But the world of Chanel is far beyond just perfume; it’s a way of life.
#4. Art for art’s sake. Almost every major school of visual art has a foothold—if not its roots entirely—in France. We have the country’s ubiquitous love of self-expression to thank for many of our favorite images. (Honestly, what would your college dorm room have been without an Impressionist poster?)
#5. Glorious cheese. From beautifully sharp Mimolettes to great, smelly and runny Reblochons, French cheeses are the kings of all extravagant dairy creations.
#6. Vuitton. He made the otherwise banal act of carrying our things around into an art form.
#7. High speed trains. France’s are faster and more efficient than some plane travel, and more stylishly designed than many designer boutiques.
#8. The movies. In the late 19th century in Paris, the Lumière Brothers invented the cinematographic process and the cinema culture that we know today.
#9. Hermes. It’s the stuff family heirlooms are made of (and yes, fought over) for generations.
#10. Chocolate. And sex. True, they didn’t invent either one. But they do both far better than at any 10 other countries combined.