I've got a confession to make. I've always had an aversion to expats who rave about Paris as if it's the greatest city in the world. For many people, being posted here is like holding the ultimate trump card. Nothing, it seems, can beat the experience of living in the "City of Light". But over time, I've started to change my tune. And now, at the risk of sounding like one more overly enthusiastic expat, I've got to admit that I understand why everyone is so proud to live here. It's because when Paris does something, it almost always gets it right.
Paris inaugurated the Berges de Seine yesterday. With an archipelago of floating gardens on the banks of the river, entertaining play spaces for children and al fresco dining options for adults, it's an incredible public space stretching for 2.3 km from the Musée d'Orsay to the Pont de l'Alma. There are organized free yoga, tai chi, fitness and Zumba classes for people who would like to exercise. Alternatively, there are many hidden nooks and crannies with wooden chairs facing the Seine where people can relax while reading a book.
And, that's not all. There are teepees where children can celebrate their birthdays for free. Parents simply need to reserve them in advance. Reservations may be made at the information booth at Les Berges or online.
For adults, there are aptly named 4 Zzz. These shipping containers may be reserved for 90 minute periods on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. They provide a private spot along the river to take a nap, read a book, play cards or even get married. And they're free! If you would like to have a picnic, it's possible to order salads, sandwichs, soups and desserts from the nearby catering company, Omnivore. As with the teepees, reservations for the 4 Zzz may be made at the information booth at Les Berges or online. There is a maximum limit of 8 people and alcoholic beverages are not allowed. On the days when the containers are not reserved for personal use, they will host exhibitions, workshops and performances.
There are plenty of play spaces for children...
... as well as games for adults. Just ask one of the attendants wearing a white shirt for assistance.
But if you would rather watch the sun set while sipping a glass of wine, the Terrasse du Faust is a wonderful spot for riverside dining. It's open from 11 until 1am, Monday to Sunday.
Please click here for the official website for the Berges de Seine and here to see more photos.
|Terrasse de Faust|