The main reason I organized my trip this year the way I did was so that I could be in Paris for the 50th birthday party of a good friend, Dominique. We met in 1991 when I was living here, and have been friends every since. Last night, with a group of about 50, we celebrated and ate and danced and shared a bunch of stories and laughs and love for Dominique. It was especially interesting to me to see his friends and his family come together in the way they did. His family is a large, Morrocan Jewish one that spans several continents, yet they remain incredibly close knit. They also run the gamut from totally secular to highly religious, and it was fascinating to see them all come out for Domi’s birthday and mix with his (largely gay) friends and ex-boyfriends. I would guess the crowd was about half friends and half family, and I was really touched by how much love was in that room. And Dominique’s partner Anthony seamlessly planned the affair and navigated the huge variety of guests with surprising grace. I was also impressed by how all of the family and friends took turns dancing with Domi, including his parents who are well into their 80s. It was quite a trip down memory lane for me, as Domi and I share many friends from that time who were there as well, most notably Arnaud, Sonia and Bruno (but also others I had not seen in many years).