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March 25th, 2015

The 11th Arrondissement

Last weekend I spent a couple days in the 11th arrondissement of Paris - a neighborhood I'd never hung out in before. Some notes:

1. The Po.Za.Da. is the best restaurant I've ever eaten at  in France. Suckling pig, yummy.

2. I'ts a heavliy Jewish neighborhood and everything except bars and restaurants were shut down from late Friday afternoon until early Sunday morning. There was a roughly 45 year old woman in my hotel lobby the staff was trying to explain this to. She responded "I didn't know Paris was a Jewish city!" It took muliple attempts to explain to her the difference between a small neighborhood and a city. Eventually she simply asked where to go "bar hopping" and got stuck in a cab headed over towards the Hard Rock.

3.  Jewish weding supply stores are fascinating.

4. The Aquarium bar has 4 euro pints all day long.

5. Oddly, nearly all the bar bathrooms require a 20 cent coin to use. Odder still this isn't a money making scheme because the bartenders hand you the coins on the way to the bathroom. The neighborhood is upscale so this really doesn't make much sense.

6. There is a Belgian bar that has dozens and dozens of different interesting beers. It also has the most creative offensive bathroom grafitti I've ever seen and the strongest piss smell I've ever smelt. Of the offensive stuff written in the bathroom "Ducks won't sodomize you" was my favorite.

7. It is by far the most tourist welcoming part of Paris I've been in. Maybe they don't get very many of us.

French Racism - Now In The Public Schools

For years French primary schools have offered an alternative meal to Jewish and Muslim students on days when they serve pork.

But, now the leading politicians want to do away with that. They say that obliging dietary requirements in the schools would be a violation of the separation of church and state.

Former President Nicholas Sarkozy went as far as to say "If they want to eat special food they should go to a private Jewish or Muslim school."

Funny thing is, all French public schools give students a fish option on Fridays - and the politicians don't want to get rid of that, because they say it's a "French tradition."

The mind boggles.

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