The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

July 13

Is Paris burning? If so, the source of the conflagration is a fifth-floor terrace in the 7th arrondissement, where the impatiens are blooming, James Taylor is blaring and pave de boeuf is cooking on the little Weber kettle I carried home from L.A.

Really, I don't want to set the City of Light on fire, but I am celebrating Bastille Day in a good, old-fashioned American way. I sit by my barbecue with two buckets of water at the ready, in case. Then I cut into a charcoal-grilled steak, which seems to me a fine meeting between America and Gaul.

But then again, our Independence Day just passed, unmarked in France. Maybe I'm homesick.

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