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Michel_Paris Jul 21st, 2010 08:47 AM

Paris Plage (aka beach on the Seine)
Little info on the yearly Paris Plage along Seine (text courtesy of Parler Paris)

Paris Plage 'opened for business' yesterday on a beautiful warm day with 2,800 meters of boardwalk, 1,350 tons of sand, 250 chaises longues, 800 chairs, 200 tables, 250 parasols, 40 hammocks, 50 palms, 80 trees, 10 cafés, 6 ice cream stands, not to mention a 220-meter swimming pool, barges, paddle boats, canoes, sail boats, security, rescue workers, etc., etc.

The quays along the right bank of the river between the Ponts des Arts and Sully have been transformed into a quasi 'beach/boardwalk' rendering the traffic to the streets and the pedestrians to the river's edge.

Could it be more delightful? Perhaps, but I dare you to name another city with such imagination, desire and willingness to entertain its inhabitants!

As we strolled along the path, we contemplated if such an endeavor were possible in any U.S. city, without commercializing it or depending on private enterprise to make it possible. Perhaps, but again, think about the sheer scope of an almost purely publicly-sponsored event that can take a major thoroughfare and transform it into a beach in less than 24 hours, then run it for one full month from 8 a.m. to midnight, just for the pure pleasure of the city's residents and tourists.

Our first stop on the Plage was to have a light dinner at one of the cafés. The settings are lovely, particularly the one just east of the Hôtel de Ville entrance to the Plage, where the tables are virtually on the river. It's a "crêperie" with a 10€ "formule" of one "galette" of your choice, one dessert crêpe of your choice and a "bolée à cidre de bretagne" - a mug of Brittany cider.

On this first day of service, the young staff were completely disorganized. We sat for over one hour with nothing but the cider, but the atmosphere and view were so perfect, that it hardly mattered. As we waited patiently for our dinner to be served, we watched dozens of different boats cruise past, snapping photos of each and every one. There were tourist cruise boats, such as the "Bateaux Mouches" and "Bateaux Parisiens;" the dinner cruise boats complete with live music, elegant tables and professional photographers; tugboats; barges; riverboats (Proud Mary style); private yachts showing off their private parties; speedboats; luxury liners -- one so long that it was almost impossible to photograph in just one photo; police boats; cabin cruisers and public transport boats such as the! "Bat-o-bus."

Life in Paris as seen from the Seine is a point of view we don't often have, except for these four weeks in the summer when the Plage makes it possible. As the sun went down, the lighting over the water and along the "bord de la riviere" turned the river into a silver snake and the boardwalk into a cool respite for picnickers and summer strollers. Lovers embraced, friends joked with one another, children played and the people on the river were happy to give...and take it all in.

TPAYT Jul 21st, 2010 09:17 AM

How wonderful. Other people may think of the Eiffel Tower, etc. but when I think of our time spent in Paris, my first thoughts are always of the Seine and walking along (day or night)enjoying the scene and the people.

Everytime we have been to Paris there is always something unusual going on.

A few months ago with all the plants on the Champs, and now the annual beach scene---how creative. It's no wonder that so many of us adore Paris.

Michel_Paris Jul 21st, 2010 09:47 AM

I think we have parallel brains :)

michele_d Jul 21st, 2010 10:07 AM

It was so much fun last year strolling along the Seine with ice cream cone in hand, people watching from the bridges and along the Seine while the Paris Plage was going on. What a fantastic idea for those Parisians who are trapped in the city and cannot leave for vacation. It was packed with people day and night. Great memories!

FrenchMystiqueTours Jul 21st, 2010 11:48 AM

Perhaps you'd like to meet there for a kir?

Michel_Paris Jul 21st, 2010 12:27 PM

FMT...might be time to get out the Bike-CAM. We have a project for you..pre-kir.

CaseyMorgan Jul 21st, 2010 12:41 PM

We arrive in Paris on 2 Sept. Will Paris Plage be gone be then?

FrenchMystiqueTours Jul 21st, 2010 01:14 PM

Name the time and place, I'll be there. Just posted a bike report about riding to Provins if you need some pre-bedtime reading.

Michel_Paris Jul 21st, 2010 01:33 PM

Finishes 20th August

sicilyan Jul 21st, 2010 04:08 PM

Paris Plage......nudist beach or topless beach...just curious??

michele_d Jul 21st, 2010 05:14 PM

Neither nude nor topless, at least from what we saw, sorry.

sicilyan Jul 21st, 2010 05:25 PM

Well, I am not interested in this beach broke my heart!!...I think that you can see all these ladies from Pigalle getting a suntan during the daylight hours...LoL

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