I’m back in America.  31 days in Paris was enough.  Here’s what I will miss/not miss:

Miss:  Seeing people riding bikes.  Bikes were a major mode of transportation.  Helping things along was a fleet of 20,600 rental fixies spread throughout the city, a bargain at $1.43/hour.

Not miss:  Looking at those stupid bikes for a whole month, knowing I couldn’t ride them.  The automated system accepts European “smart” cards, not our dumb American credit cards.  Fail!

Miss:  1 liter bottles of 6-7 varieties of fresh cider: Yellow delicious, Macintosh, Gala, etc.

Not miss:  Paying $22/gallon for this juice.

Miss:  The parks.  Small neighborhood parks on a weekday afternoon hosted 100-200 kids and adults.  Children from a rainbow of races harmoniously exploited 10-30 foot slides, zip lines, and a refreshingly dangerous giant pyramid.  Ignoring all of this were gabbing parents and nannies, sitting in the cool breeze under shade trees while teens/tweens played soccer and ping pong.  Too cool for this mundane action, old men played petanque (bocce) in the far corner of the park.  A modern Leave it to Beaver scene.  Who would have guessed?

Not miss:  Staring at the built-in foosball tables.  No one in Paris seems to know where to buy a foosball.

Miss:  The pastries.  They lived up to their hype.

Not miss:  The rest of the food.  I’m serious!  As a foodie of sorts, it is my opinion that “classic” Parisian cooking is a hoax.  Virtually every restaurant served the same eight nasty dishes.  Beef tartare?  That’s raw hamburger!  Andouillette?  That’s chitlins!  Tartine?  An open faced grilled cheese sandwich.  Oh, and don’t forget the endless parade of leathery steaks.  Over the course of the month, I had ONE satisfying meal!  Seriously Paris, wtf?