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

July 7

Times Staff Writer

Life goes on in Paris after that announcement that London had won the 2012 Olympic Games.

Although Bertrand Delanoe, the mayor of Paris, suggested that England hadn't played fair by hustling hard at the end, today's "Le Monde" was more analytic than bitter. The newspaper characterized the loss as a political come-down for a country that a scant two years ago held the high moral ground in Europe for opposing the war in Iraq. Moreover, it said, French dreams for a much needed economic miracle in the form of Olympic hoop-la have been dashed, leaving the public morose.

Accordingly, it's turned cold and rainy in Paris.

Having traveled frequently between the English and French capitals in the last six months, I'd have to say that I can see, even feel, why London was chosen. During the run-up to the decision, there was a palpable vitality and buzz, while Paris seemed to me more and more like a museum. Then came the non vote on the EU constitution, which happened for complicated reasons but still looked on the face of it like social and economic backwardness.

Even many Francophiles and American expats in Paris are applauding London's win. I just hope that, instead of turning morose or blasé, the French will rethink and retool.

Delanoe aside, they're pretty good losers. When I asked the woman who runs my neighborhood newsstand about it, she gave one of those inimitable French shrugs and said, "C'est la vie," which, of course, needs no translation.

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