France, American Style

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


“Why would a restaurant have a movie theater (one that would put most New York City theaters to shame) located directly above its dining room,” I thought to myself as I sat back in a plush theater chair waiting to hear from various representatives associated with France travel? Well, it turns out this wasn’t just any restaurant, it was a restaurant owned by Robert DeNiro, so naturally you’d save the second floor not for renting out to lame residential tenants but rather for the installation of an intimate theater for personal late-night screenings, Tribeca Film Festival showings, and, of course, the well-funded press junkets and corporate events that must make up for more than the difference of lost costs associated with your normal restaurant (comped meals, foodstuffs leaving out the back door with the chefs, mafia kick-backs).

Given that France is the number one destination for travel in the world (82 million in 2007, followed behind by Spain – 58 million – and the U.S. – 52 million) it doesn’t seem like people need much convincing, but for the first-time traveler as well as the seasoned tripster, there are more than a few good reasons to take a look at France this year (and I say this without having any undue influence placed upon me by the complimentary glasses of Syrah, the duck confit, or the stern warning by DeNiro that he “knows people” and that I should “do what’s right”).

RailEurope began an online deal called “Anywhere Anytime France,” especially suited for backpackers or other free-spirited travelers who eschew itineraries or the confines a day-job. Go anywhere, and whenever, via train in France for $159, then go anywhere else for $50, then $70 after that (you’re looking at saving several hundred dollars overall easily).

Looking to find a little amour beginning on your flight over? Air France started up they’re own Facebook for travelers called Bluenity, ostensibly for travelers to share tips, but come on, you know you’re going to use it to find that special someone to sit next to on the plane.

Lastly, Normandy’s gearing up for the 65th anniversary of D-Day with various commemorations for a handful of folks that likely will not make it to many other anniversaries. They are also highlighting the fact that they have one of the largest collections of Impressionistic art in the world in the many museums scattered about.

So you should tell your friends to go, tell your parents to go, tell your boss “Va te faire foutre enculer” and go yourself, and have a great time. Tell them Bobbby sent you. Please.

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