In the month of August, most Parisians take their vacations and head out of town for the month. Many stores close up shop, even the best ice cream place in Paris, Berthillon. But what do the visitors and residents that stick around do? They go to the beach! Well, sort of.
In the summer months,two miles of Rive Droite along the banks of the Seine is transformed into a 'beach' a make-shift boardwalk if you will. Sand is trucked in and dumped onto the roadway, huge palm trees in planters are scattered about, blue umbrellas and beach chairs line up like soldiers at role call. There are fun looking water fountains, men fishing, and restaurants even spill out onto the beach.
Activities like petanque, cycling and roller blading are ever present too. It looks like the Nice of the North! And the crowds come with it. But you can't swim in the river. After six years, this year they installed a swimming pool to cool yourself from the hot sun.
I suppose this is an attempt to psychologically beat the heat in the summer, as many don't have air conditioning, but honestly I don't get it. It seems silly to go through the cost to transform part of the city into a quasi beach.
Why not justmake the short trip down to the Cote d'Azur for the real thing? Because no matter how hard they may try, Paris is still a major city and can't capture the atmosphere of the French Riviera.
Paris Plage….what do you think?