One of the things I really like about Paris is how many patches of green spaces there are. Instead of one massive park, like Boston’s Commons or New York City’s Central Park, Paris splits up its green spaces in smaller chunks, providing city-goers with close to 40 parks and gardens to choose from.
Each park seems to have its own identity. It’s Champs de Mars for picnics and drinks, les Invalides for football, and le Jardin du Luxembourg for leisurely walks, or perhaps a nice run if you’re up for it. But when it comes to reading your favorite book in peace and quiet, look no further than le Jardin du Palais-Royal.
To me, its this magical oasis, smack dab in the middle of the city (it’s in the 1st arrondissement…!). Closed off from the rest of the bustling streets by the arcades and courtyards of the Palais Royal, its all but silent. Carefully manicured trees stand in sharp rows on either side, while blooming flowers and a magnificent fountain are found in the center.
What’s best about this garden, however, is how few people you’ll find there. Of course, when the weather is particularly beautiful, you might have a hard time snagging one of the reclining chairs, but generally there’s some space on a bench.
So with a free afternoon to myself, and sunshine galore, I spent my Saturday here. Just me and Anna Karenina.
By the way, here’s Daniel Buren’s installation that I mentioned in my last post. It’s right before you enter into the garden. What do you think?