Life in Paris is a ‘Beach’
There’s sand between my toes and I’m loving every minute of the gritty feeling. Opening day of Paris Plage, the tables were already full at the open-air café adjacent to the Hôtel de Ville overlooking the Seine. The tables and benches are green, the umbrellas broad and white, the willow trees hang delicately into your hair and the Seine glides smoothly past as you sip a cool glass of wine or beer. Considering the chefs and wait staff are working from make-shift huts, the food is acceptable, priced to be very affordable and the service we found to be amazingly friendly…in several languages, I might add.
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“La Table du Roi” (“The Kings’s Table) is a one bedroom slice of old world charm, destined to please those looking for luxury and elegance. On the first floor (European) of a 17th-century building on rue du Roi de Sicile in the heart of Le Marais (4th arrondissement), it is steps from rue de Rivoli, rue Vieille du Temple, the Hôtel de Ville, Place de la Bastille, the River Seine and everything that Le Marais has to offer. Portable air conditioning keeps La Table du Roi cool through the warmest periods.
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Parler Paris Nouvellettre® continued…
The first day got off to a good solid start under cloudy skies and warm air, but we knew that in the days to come, more and more of the street musicians, artists and entertainers would come out to perform along with the visitors who will come out to play. In the hottest days, you will want to stroll down west of the Hôtel de Ville to find the “brumisateur” — the cool mist under the palms that will replace your beads of sweat with fine rain drops. During the “canicule” (heat wave) of 2003, it was the coolest spot in the city, after the Fontaine de Medicis in the Jardin du Luxembourg and the frozen food section of the “supermarchés.”
Paris Plage is one of those public offerings by the city of Paris that has us in awe by how well they construct, reconstruct and deconstruct the makings of a ‘boardwalk’ on a surface normally fit for fast-moving vehicles once a year for only 30 days. It’s taxpayer money and aren’t we happy that it’s so brilliantly spent? In fact, while the French may see creative tax planning as the ‘national sport,’ the truth is they don’t complain about how little they get for their money. “Au contraire!” They are quite proud of their free public cultural events, perfectly kept roads and sophisticated infrastructure.
Paris Plage is also a semi-antidote for what I miss second most about Los Angeles — the beach. (Top of the list missed is the weather.) At least one can take the time to picnic, snooze in a hammock, build sand castles and get a tan next to a body of water, if not splash around in the ocean. And the views are stunning — looking out onto the islands in the river — the Ile de la Cité and the Ile Saint-Louis, hundreds of years old, still standing elegantly and proudly.
Sunday I’m leaving the beach along the Seine behind for a black beach on an island in the Cylcades of Greece…Santorini. I’ll be trading the Seine for the Aegean Sea, cloudy skies for bright blue, “pierre de taille” (cut stone) for whitewashed stucco, French rosé for “Retsina,” “salade Niçoise” for “salata” with feta, and “entrecôte” for “moussaka.”
For just one week, I think this “Parisienne” can handle the ‘burden’ of absence from Paris Plage…but just for one week. Then withdrawal pains are sure to set in.
Visit the official site for daily videos and photos of the scene at the beach along the Seine or come on down to take your own!
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. Now’s a great time to visit Paris at a bargain price. Take advantage of our Last Minute Deal at all Parler Paris Apartments. All stays of 4 nights or more will be priced at the weekly reduced rate for stays during the month of August…visit /parlerparis/apartments to book your bargain stay!