Both France and the States had long weekends! I hope that wherever you were you enjoyed your long weekend - unless you didn't have one. In that case, I hope you had or will have a good long weekend sometime soon!
For Paris, it has finally gotten warm enough to sit outside without a scarf or blazer. On Friday, I enjoyed an afternoon by the Seine which resulted in a bad tan line. To be honest, it was the first time that I actually partook in the cliché experience of "sitting by the Seine." I had a good book and sun and for a Friday, that was all I needed.
The weekend consisted of pretty much the same thing. One of my absolute favorite things to do in New York was Central Park. There were a few summers where a weekend without at least one Sheeps Meadow day was abnormal. So Sir Lancelot and I are very lucky that we live close to Parc Monceau - one of the only parks in Paris where you can actually sit on the grass.
Yes, in Paris until seven years ago, you actually were not allowed to sit on the grass - anywhere. At least that's what our neighbors told us. Isn't that crazy? To me the one thing that city dwellers dream of while they're stuck in their high rise offices during the week is sitting and enjoying the bit of outdoor space their city has to offer during the weekend. What gives? Central Park - after an influx of money from Wall Street taxes and generous donations has kept Central Park impeccable. During the winter, the grass is off limits and New Yorkais accept this with the agreement that during the summer, the public grass is theirs from April - early fall. City dwellers deserve to have green space to relax, read, eat, drink and socialize with friends!
Even though Parc Monceau is a "sit on the grass" friendly park - there are certain areas where you can and can't sit. We chose to sit where the grass was longer and subsequently had less people. This was clearly because it was the area where you were not supposed to sit. After paging through two French fashion magazines trying to find a blonde model that I felt would best suit the summer blonde I was going for the park police showed up. These cops weren't the normal French police in serious outfits with even more serious weapons. These "cops" wore unflattering polyester pants with even more unflattering colored polo shirts with lanyard whistles around their necks. The whistles of course were to get all of us "rule breakers" off the long grass and herd us over to the short grass, already rammed with people. Sir Lancelot was not happy and we walked around the entire park before he found a second spot that he liked enough to actually sit in. (High-maintenance anyone?)
|Looking out to the short grass.. where we were allowed.|
|Looking to the long grass where we went but weren't allowed.|
The following day we went to the Luxembourg Gardens with friends who have a newborn baby, At this park no one is allowed to sit on the grass anywhere at all times. And given the popularity of parks in nice weather (remember friends, it's a city), we were not able to find suitable seating in the "children friendly" area. So we ended up rounding together six chairs in an area that seemed to only be occupied by solo people reading. There weren't any signs which led us to think that this was not a designated area for quiet readers, but nonetheless we were the only baby people within 200 meters! And our friend was breast-feeding to boot! You can imagine how great that went down with our quiet, reading French friends next to us - especially once we broke out the rosé.
No matter what it was a lovely weekend with sunshine, friends and good park time but I really do wonder: why are the French so obsessed with not letting anyone sit on the grass? I understand their desire for perfectly manicure lawns but there must be an understanding that city dwellers need green space for peace especially during the hot summer months!