I know, I know: we promised boots-on-the-ground election coverage from Paris, yet now that we’ve been here over a week — no news has been forthcoming.
There’s a reason for that. There’s not much to tell you about.
Our apartment is pretty much in the heart of Paris, in the Marais district, two blocks from the Pompidou Center, ten minutes (on foot) to Notre Dame, and about half that to the River Seine. Yet here, in the heart of Paris, all we’ve seen of the election is an occasional poster. Yes, there’s plenty of media coverage, but the media make their money by attracting eyeballs, so if you go by the media coverage the election seems to be having more of an impact than it really is.
So here we are, the day before the election, and the most interesting item we’ve seen is a poster I saw in a bookstore window yesterday:
The biggest crowd we’ve encountered was at Tata Burger, Paris’s interpretation of Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts, where the specialty is a burger molded in the shape of male genitalia. (Selfies abound.) And as for news, on CNN International, which is our primary televised source of news here, Portland’s Mayday riots got about as much coverage as those in Paris.
So tomorrow’s the day. The polls have Emmanuel Macron leading Marine Le Pen by some 20 points, but you know how well to trust the polls. Stay tuned to the blog: we’ll wander the streets of Paris tomorrow and let you know what we see.