Beachy Keen

For those struggling to hold on to that last sliver of summer, some shots of our visit to this year’s Paris Plage. Each year the city transforms a stretch of the Seine’s north bank into a beachy oasis for people looking to pretend they’re not in Paris (gasp) and instead basking under the sun of Cannes or St. Tropez. Sand, palm trees, and ice cream stands are shipped in so that rows of mademoiselles can partake in one of the coolest verbs in French: bronzer, meaning to tan.

In a textbook example of married couple bartering I agreed to brave the crowds & walk the strip with Charlotte if she would allow me some historical treasure-hunting detours along the way on Ile de la Cité. In the end both parties were satisfied with the time allotted to each.

It’s an amusing sight to have the modern bikini and beach towel vibe plopped in the middle of the town’s historical center, and I suppose if it were permanent we’d consider it too far outside the usual refined Paris feel. But as it stands, having a temporary respite from the usual landscape is not only fun but a confirmation that we Parisians are capable of letting our hair down (well, for a few weeks anyway—but give us credit, that’s a long time for us).

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    • Excellent question, I like where your head’s at. I was searching for 3 things that day: an old plaque marking the level of a huge Seine flood in 1910, which I found a couple of. Secondly, part of a medieval chapel that was one of several serving Notre Dame in its heyday, which I didn’t manage to find. Thirdly I verified the address of a wonderful story of a butcher in the 1300’s that occasionally murdered his customers Sweeney Todd-style. Stay tuned for an eventual blog post about it.

  • Great post! I’ve never been in Paris during its “plage period” and have always been curious about it. Thanks for confirming what I suspected: I’d rather stick to the bouquinistes and the historical treasures. Loved your pictures, tho — especially the incongruous juxtaposition of a palm tree with the Pont Neuf. C’est drôle, ça !

    • Thanks munro! By the way, did I ever thank you for listing my blog as one of your favorites on your site? No, I didn’t, so thanks! You rock.

  • Oh, Corey, how magnificent! I’ve never heard of a “Paris plage,”–your pictures show such a wonderful time. And, that sand castle (!!!)–I reacted like a little kid when I saw it flash on the screen. Beautiful.

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