Bastille celebrations start the night before at local fire stations all over town where firemen and police host massive parties, serve alcohol to the public, DJ the music with a sound-system that can be heard for miles around, and dance and flirt with the locals. No one is worried about liability–something you’ll never see in the US.**** I started Bastille Day, July 14th, at a brunch hosted by a French chef and her New Yorker husband, where the other guests were from Germany, Canada, Puerto Rico and England. Later, faculty and classmates from my writing program watched the Eiffel Tower fireworks from a boat on the Seine. ****The American Cathedral in Paris is a peaceful place to spend Sunday mornings.