The boys and I were standing in front of the Eiffel Tower nine years ago this evening, as ’99 gave way to ’00. This was easily the most dazzling New Year’s Eve fireworks display of my life. It began three minutes before midnight (“Wait…it’s only 11:57…who cares!”) and continued to erupt like some Krakatoa volcano three minutes after.

The metro shut down an hour later and tens of thousands had to walk home. It took us the better part of two hours to get back to our Montmartre studio, but the spectacle of it it all was partly Jacques Tati and partly Cecil D. DeMille, like some inebriated exodus out of Egypt, moonlit multitudes flooding the streets and sidewalks…amazing.