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Mockup Sand on the Seine — Paris Plage

Paris is not quite a ghost town, but already showing the signs of the height of the summer vacation. The streets are quieter, the traffic is greatly reduced, the number of people out is minimal with the exception of the tourists who are flocking to the main attractions.

One summer, I took my then very young daughter to the Galeries Lafayette department store for a shopping spree thinking it would be as void of humanity as our neighborhood only to discover it was busier than the Eiffel Tower. Last night at dinner in a lovely open café on the Place de la Sorbonne, the tables were filled with everyone but the French or students. Even Place Saint-Michel was virtually deserted.

While I was on the beaches of the Riviera, Paris Plage opened (July 21st) along the Seine for the 10th year (on until August 21). Passing the Plage while on a bus headed home last night, I couldn’t help but remember going there the very first day that oh so many years ago clad in a bathing suit to catch the summer rays on the sand next to the Seine. How crazy was that?

My friend and I were interviewed by the media and little did we know that it would become a permanent event by the city, just for its residents who aren’t on vacation at the beach to have a little bit of seaside spirit…at the cost of more than 2.5 million euros.

This year it opened under gray, rainy, skies. I can recall many Augusts in Paris that were not so Plage conducive. This is once again a cool summer, sadly following the most stunning spring season I can ever recall. The year of the “canicule” (heat wave) in Paris (August 2003), however, the plage was the coolest spot in town thanks to the “brumisateur” (atomizer) that sprayed a cool mist and kept our suffering to a minimum. We were eternally grateful.

This year, they’ve brought in 10 times more sand on which to play racket sports and build sand castles — even Disneyland Paris has recreated Sleeping Beauty’s castle in sand this year. Here’s your chance, too, to show off your sculpting skills.

If you’re here in Paris this month, be sure to take a stroll along the three kilometers of R and R spaces and relax in any one of the many chaises longues, giant deck chairs for two or beach mats under blue parasols. And if central Paris isn’t convenient, Paris Plage number two is just along the Bassin de la Villette in the 19th!

For complete information in English, visit parisplages.paris.fr/en

 

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds Editor, Parler Paris

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P.S. Many of you have taken an interest in my daughter Erica Simone’s growing photography career. With success often comes copycats, and so it is with her latest collection of “Nue York Portraits.” Take a look at “Lawsuit Waiting To Happen: Zappos Steals from Artist Erica Simone” and “Is Zappos Ripping Off This Naked Lady?” and if inclined, click here to let Zappos know what you think: zappos.com/contact

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