who must have been intimately familiar with the parks of Paris.
Paris has dozens of parks, some large and imposing, others small and snugly intimate. All possess their own charm and certainly any traveler to Paris has a few that feel like a best friend.
When I sat down to write about a few of my favorites, I had the impossible job to narrow
down the list. Each park has its own character and chemistry.
So instead of trying to choose "Most Beautiful" or "Best Place to Stroll", I thought about
parks that get your day off to a great start.
We all suffer from mundane mornings from time to time. When in Paris,
there's no excuse to suffer from morning malaise.
Here are my suggestions for starting out your day just after that first cup of café crème.
- Put your feet up and catch up on today's news.
- Play a challenging game of chess or tennis.
- Take les gosse (kids) to ride the carousel and win the ring.
- Star gaze at local celebs who frequent the park.
- Float a sailboat on the water.
- Study the wooden bee "chateaux" in their own pesticide-free garden.
- Consult the queens who line the promenade.
- Practice tai chi to gain serenity & fitness.
-Marvel over the local color of the surrounding neighborhood.
- Check out the cute gendarmes presiding over the garden.
This is where the crowned heads of France started their day until the Sun King decided
Paris was just a bit too close for comfort.
- Pick up your favorite book across the street at WHSmith
and find a quiet spot before the crowds hit.
- Study a Maillol statue and embrace your curves.
- Launch a sailboat or follow a duck at the pond.
- Bounce on the new trampolines (if you're a kid).
- Contemplate a trip to the Louvre just down the garden path .... but then get sidetracked by
a steaming chocolat chaud at Angelina's across the street.
You won't get a better view from its summit.
- Think about that duck confit you consumed last night and climb the stairs -- twice.
- Honor Belleville's most famous icon by singing an Edith Piaf song .... or at least
look tragic and très triste.
- Lounge on the grass with the locals and share your clutch of cherries (found
nearby at marché de Belleville) with a cute boy/girl.
- Ask for directions to the artist's street rue Denoyez where street art is
not only legal but encouraged.
- Doodle a picture of The Triplets of Belleville.
- Congratulate yourself for veering off the beaten path.
- Stare at the Eiffel Tower in the distance distinctly mirrored in your sunglasses.
- Call Le Baratin for lunch reservations.
Style rules the pathways.
This park is gorgeous, upscale but still welcoming. Even the joggers look good.
- Embrace your inner Parisian as you stroll in wearing the latest carefully cultivated look. Les mamans and les nounous (nannies) will gaze at you with approval.
- Petit dejeuner couldn't be easier as famous market street, rue des Lévis
is just a few steps away.
- Look for the plaque that commemorates the first parachutist that landed here in 1797.
- Think of famous architect Baron Haussmann who inspired so much of
the surrounding neighborhood.
- Try to get over your gate-envy.
- Sit near the Corinthian colonnades and pretend you live in
one of the tony mansions that surround the park.
- Plan to rob a bank.
far from tourist central.
It's the people's park, a wonderful green space in the middle of an explosive immigrant population, as fun and unique as any in central Paris.
At first glance, I was underwhelmed because I saw a lot of concrete instead of nature. As I walked a bit further, the park revealed greenery and marvelously creative visual effects.
This is Paris magic at its best.
You get a canal, grapevines, a mysterious scary garden and
hordes of locals enjoying daily life.
- Kick a ballon de football (soccer) with the locals.
- Watch the little people slide down the Dragon Slide.
- Walk across the raised walkway to enjoy the view of the Canal de l'Ourcq.
- Contemplate the butchery of the slaughterhouse transformed into Le Grande Hall and nearby bistro specializing in, what else, beef.
- Check out the Géode IMAX Theatre or the Cité de la Musique.
- Tickle your inner child at the hands-on "Enfants" section at
the Cité de Sciences et des Industries.
- Scare yourself silly in the Garden of Childhood Fears.
- Count your lucky stars that you're bold enough to seek something your friends
probably haven't even heard of.
PARIS PARKS = A PERFECT START TO YOUR PERFECTLY PARIS DAY