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Basking In Your Bikini At Paris Plage

We watched it happen before our very eyes…Paris Plage. One day cars are whizzing down the quai and the next minute, kids are building sand castles on the waterfront. It made a splashing opening Wednesday as hordes of Parisians packed their picnic baskets and headed for the Seine — 3.5 kilometers of summer pleasures from the Pont Henri IV to the quai des Tuileries (a bit longer this year than last).

My visiting friend from Los Angeles remarked how nice and well dressed the people looked — not like the scantily clad strollers along Venice Beach, California. That remark stirred me into the realization of how we perceive things from our own cultural sensibilities…relating the beach front with beach bums!

Mais non, ma cherie! This is PARIS. We Parisians have respect for our beautiful city down to our well-heeled toes. Guess that’s why when we old-timer Expats see the summer tourists in their shorts, white athletic shoes and fanny packs, we cringe. (I must admit, however, that ever since last year’s “canicule” [heat wave], more men are daring to show their knees. Women…still NEVER in shorts…but a short skirt…my dear, the shorter, the better!)

I personally like to start at the Hôtel de Ville. On the Place de Grève there are three sandy volleyball courts backdropped by the magnificent City Hall and lots of willing players. It never ceases to astound me how this central spot in the city is transformed from one life to another — in winter it’s a skating rink, during the soccer matches it’s a viewing theater, in the summer it’s a volleyball court!

Then, walk to the quai and toward the rear of the Hôtel de Ville to enter one of the paths down to the beach strolling among enormous trees potted in red cane. It’s absolute eye candy and the beginning of your adventure.

The stroll along the waterfront, whether you choose to turn west or east, is a sensation-packed experience. There is always the stunning view of the grand buildings along the Ile de la Cité as you pass from one recreation spot to another, the blue flags along the water’s edge “gliding” you along. Naturally, the people watching is superb…so, don’t be surprised to see bikini-clad or topless Parisiennes…this IS France, you know!

If you’re one of the 3 million visitors (and even more expected this year!), you’ll find: three beaches (one of sand, one of grass and one of wood), 200 deckchairs, 40 hammocks, 3 volleyball courts, 4 trampolines, a wall for climbing, a musical set for 10 concerts, 2 picnic spots, 5 refreshment bars, 3 rescue stations, 20 first-aid workers, 2 police stations, 3 emergency medical stations, a 220 m2 swimming pool, a solarium, a wading pool, 2 information centers, 40 palm trees, hundreds of books at your disposal, 7 drinking water fountains, 4 “brumisateurs” (humidifiers) and 3 drinking fountains (1 on each beach). To accomplish this feat, 2000 tons of sand were brought in along with 30 kilometers of electric cable and 3 kilometers of water pipelines, more than 150 trucks of material that took 30 days and 30 nights of work, working 24 hours a day. To assemble it, the 300 workers spent 6 nights and 3 days.

The city and its sponsors spent a total of 1,378,640 euros (not including tax). It’s a bargain for an event enjoyed by millions from 7 a.m to midnight seven days a week lasting four weeks (until August 20th), don’t you think? And the big question is: how many visitors will come to Paris Plage 2004?

Want to venture a guess?

For complete information, visit:

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
[email protected]

P.S. You guessed it…today we feature apartments in Paris with a view of the Seine! This way, Paris Plage can be at your feet every day of the year.


Each week Paris Property Picks features a range of properties which we believe are on the market at the time of writing. These properties are featured in order to give readers a sample of what is currently available and a working example of prices being asked in various districts of Paris. As we are not a real estate agency, these properties do not constitute a sales listing. For those readers seriously interested in finding property in Paris or France, you can retain our services to do the whole thing for you. For more information, visit /frenchproperty/insider/propertyconsultation.html
or contact Jocelyn Carnegie at [email protected]


165m² on two levels with four main rooms, on the top floor of a 17th-century mansion (with elevator) overlooking the Sei

ne. Two living rooms (54 and 48m²) with balconies. Two bedrooms with bathrooms. Shower room. Equipped kitchen. Three toilets. Fire place. Two cellars. Attic. Double orientation. Stunning views.

Asking Price: 2,044,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee


On the 5th floor with a lift, in a pierre-de-taille building, a superb apartment with five rooms and 152m² with a 50m² living room with a marble floor, fireplace and molding, four bedrooms, a kitchen, 1 one-half bathrooms and a 13m² service room. Balcony with view of the river Seine and the Hôtel de Ville. Bright (South facing).

Asking Price: 1,580,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee (maximum 20,000 Euros)


On 4th floor with private lift, beautiful three-room duplex, 75m², entirely renovated. Superb view on Notre Dame. Light-filled.

Asking Price: 1,265,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee




On the 4th floor without lift in an old building, charming 22m² studio on street, including: an entrance hall, a living room with fireplace, a kitchen, a bathroom with toilets and a dressing room. Very good location with view on Seine. Sunny.

Asking Price: 203,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee


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