Europeans Just Want to Have Fun

Long vacations. Lots of dancing. So why can't we loosen up?

Walking across Boulevard St. Michel in Paris last week, on the night before Bastille Day, I bumped into an old friend--an American who has lived in the city for 25 years--who told me he was taking up the tango. When I asked him why, he suggested I take a stroll along the Left Bank of the Seine, opposite Ile St. Louis, and so of course I did.

It was one big party. A drop-dead-gorgeous crowd was tangoing away in a makeshift, open-air amphitheater. Nearby, a multiethnic group was doing the merengue. Hundreds of others were tucking into picnics by the river...

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