Back to Paris… This is art. It is called Buren’s columns, after Daniel Buren, french conceptual artist who did this on commission of the french government in the inner courtyard of the Royal Palace. But les 2 plateaux was actually the original name of it when it was built, in 1986. I was living in Paris at that time, but I’m sorry to say that I never understood it. I remember well the intense discussion it provoked, over the integration of contemporary art and historic buildings. But hey, this was a car park before!
No, nothing to do with a rather average movie a few years back! This is better, this is Paris plage, Paris beach! Here is what it says on the municipal website:
A Seine-side holiday. That, in a nutshell, is what Paris Plages is all about – complete with sandy beaches, deckchairs, ubiquitous ice cream sellers, and concerts for French and foreign guests. Holidaymakers at the Bassin de la Villette (Paris 19) can also borrow books free of charge, play beach volley, take an aqua-gym class in a mini pool, or kayak around the lake – or, of course just chill and enjoy. The Seine’s banks become pedestrian and the beaches are spread across three spots (Louvre/Pont de Sully, Port de la Gare and Bassin de la Villette).
This was the first beach that opened in 2002. It spans three kilometres through historical Paris, and features open-air attractions (rollerblading, tai-chi, wall climbing, boules etc.). Refreshment areas, play areas and deckchairs are available for your time out unwinding by the river.
This is the latest addition to Paris Plages, and opened in 2007 round Bassin de la Villette (Paris 19). It stretches from Rotonde de Ledoux (nearest Jaurès Metro station) to the former Magasins Généraux (in Rue de Crimée) and features a proper water-sports complex (with rowing boats, kayaks, pedal boats and dinghies) alongside quaint quay-side restaurants and boules courts.
It all finishes next Sunday, so hurry up and go to Paris!!!
And back to Paris! Beaubourg, better known now by it’s official name of Centre Georges Pompidou (a former french president). It is a huge culture center/museum/library/exhibition center, with some cafes, situated in the Beaubourg area of the city center. Quite a lot to say about the place, you can click here and here for more info.