A funny thing happened on the way to the bookstore today: as I was looking for Shakespeare & Co. (lame American tourist thing to do, which I completed by buying Ulysses), I came across Paris's gay pride parade.
At first, I thought it was very poor. "My grandmother could throw a better parade than this!" etc. Then I realized that this -- the people standing aimlessly on a bridge across the Seine, the pretty young women handing me flyers -- was just the warm-up.
The real parade swung through about half an hour later, complete with motorcycles, floats, a "Just Married" couple and a moving concession stand selling shish kebabs. There was a slight corporate feel to the whole event, with a radio station sponsoring it as a whole and several companies' names plastered on floats, but I suppose that's part of going mainstream.
Incidentally, the New York Times recently featured a Christopher Caldwell article about same-sex unions in France, which have erupted onto the front page with a small-town mayor's having performed the nation's first.