Park it in Paris: Parc André Citroën

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

The last park spotlighted in this series, the Square des Batignolles, took me a very long time to get around to discovering it. Similarly, this featured parc du jour waited a while for me to step foot inside. Over three and a half years of living in Paris passed by and just five days before our flight out to NYC, we made the trip over to check out the Parc André Citroën.

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Park it in Paris: Square des Batignolles

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

I used to think that parks were only meant to be visited in the warmer months of the year. That concept was formed in my suburban days, as I grew up surrounded by trees and grass and was even accustomed to seeing wildlife such as deer wander through our property. Living in a city as an adult made me realize the need to see nature all year round - something I had long taken for granted.

That’s why I’m sharing another “Park it in Paris” in the dead of winter. Today’s parc du jour was a brand new one for me to set foot in during my visit this December: Square des Batignolles. I love that even after living in Paris for a couple of years, I can still go back and continue to discover new places.

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Park it in Paris: Jardin d'Acclimatation

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

When I think about going to the parks of Paris, the first thing that comes to mind is my red picnic blanket - spread out over a green lawn with a baguette, some cheese and charcuterie, a bottle of wine and a fully loaded Kindle. My husband and I can sit for hours on end just people watching, reading, and grazing on our snacks. I've already written about two iconic Parisian parks, Parc Monceau and Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, which fit the bill for a perfect afternoon spent doing absolutely nothing of importance.

But I get it. You're on a vacation to Paris, time is limited, and you want to get up and do something! If that sentiment describes how you're feeling right now, the Jardin d’Acclimation is for you.  Located in the Bois de Boulogne on the western outskirts of the city, this park has it all - from peacocks roaming free to restaurants and even a museum.

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Park it in Paris: Parc de Bercy

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

For today’s parc du jour, I want to give a little love to Parc de Bercy because it doesn’t seem to get much recognition. It’s located in the 12th arrondissement in an area that is not often visited by tourists, even though it runs alongside the Seine. Similarly to what I commented on about the 11th arrondissement, the 12th doesn’t have much in the line of “tourist attractions” to entice visitors over its way, so it remains more residential and decidedly local. In other words, you’re not trekking eastward with a checklist of things to do, other than stroll, eat, eat some more, and drink. (Clearly I need to later address all the deliciousness that lies in the 11th and 12th, but for now let’s focus on burning those calories with a walk around the park.)

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Park it in Paris: Parc de Belleville

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

There are some parks in Paris that intrigue me because people give them glowing reviews. Then there are parks that peak my interest because there are large gaps of knowledge that I want to fill in.

Parc de Belleville falls into the latter category.

Before visiting this park, I only had heard murmurs from others that this park is known for its prostitutes who surface at night. Yet its tagline in Google maps kept staring out at me, promising “a hilltop park with panoramic city views.” As you might have already gathered, I’m a sucker for scaling heights to get a view of the city. Especially one with a view of the Eiffel Tower. No matter how many times I see it, I still fall in love with her all over again, snapping more pictures though my hard drive is full of images of the Iron Lady. All I have to say is I’m not sure why it took me so long to trek over to the 20th arrondissement to have a look for myself.

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Park it in Paris: Lac Daumesnil in Bois de Vincennes

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

Writing really can be therapeutic. I’m sorry if I’ve allowed you to step into the role of my attentive psychologist as I keep making declaration about myself. I love weird modern statues! I am always up for a climb to get a view of a city from above! And today’s new piece of info - I love boats! (If you do too, good news - you certainly have not heard the end of my enjoyment of a good boat ride.)

My affection for boats is a fickle one. I know little about boats and how they operate, but I know one thing: I love boat rides, on any type and any size boat. In fact, it’s odd that I still haven’t been on a cruise given this soft spot for being on the water. 

But enough about me. All this to say that over a year ago, I latched onto the idea of renting a boat to go out on Lac Daumesnil in Paris’ Bois de Vincennes. It’s been on my Paris bucket list, and feeling newly inspired to get serious about checking off those lingering items, Michael and I went set out last Saturday take a boat out on the lake.

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Park it in Paris: Jardin des Plantes

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

The fact that Paris is divided by a river has set the stage for the age-old debate of Left Bank versus Right Bank. At least we can say that the city's beginnings took place on the neutral ground of Île de la Cité, and it remains the heart of Paris. (If you stand in the square facing Notre Dame Cathedral, in Place du Parvis de Notre-Dame, look for the star plaque on the ground. All route distances from Paris are measured from that marker.) I like to imagine that when the city was ready to expand off the island, it was the time when the two camps were formed.

I will admit that I am a Right Bank girl all the way. I live on that side and spend most of my time there. If I didn't have friends who live on the Left Bank, it would be easy for me to go weeks with crossing over a bridge. 

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Park it in Paris: Jardin Tino-Rossi

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

Sometimes it's those things that are right in front of you that are somehow not obvious at all. Like the pen I search for that's on the table in clear view, or worse, in my hand. Or a cool sculpture garden right along the Seine that I somehow don't quite notice until after two years of living in Paris.

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Park it in Paris: Place des Vosges

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

It wouldn't be right to continue the Park it in Paris series without stopping to acknowledge one of Paris' most beautiful squares. Sure, Place des Vosges may not be a secret, but it is well known and loved with good reason.

Place des Vosges is in the Marais and has the distinction of being the oldest planned square in the city. Its example was followed throughout Europe. It was commissioned by King Henry IV and inaugurated in 1612 for the wedding of his son, Louis XIII (whose statue can be seen in the middle of the square, mounted on horseback). The square was unique at the time because the style of the building facades were designed to be uniform and harmonious, featuring all that gorgeous red brick.

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Park it in Paris: Parc Floral

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

The Bois de Vincennes is Paris' largest park, located in the eastern reaches of the city. It features not one but four lakes, a (recently re-opened) zoo, an arboretum, and gardens. The Parc Floral de Paris is one of the gardens within the vast expanse of the Bois de Vincennes and is one of four parks that comprises Paris' botanical garden.

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Park it in Paris: Promenade Plantée

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

People love to compare my two favorite cities in the world - New York and Paris. If you know both cities, you would appreciate the artwork by Vahram Muratyan as much as I do. Using simple illustrations, he contrasts the City of Light and the Big Apple in a creative and humorous way. There's the classic bread difference like the bagel vs la baguette. The glitzy shopping streets of Fifth Avenue and Champ-Élysées depicted side-by-side. The fall-back food option of the open-all-day diner versus brasserie. 

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Park it in Paris: Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

I'm just going to come out and say it. My favorite park in Paris is undoubtedly Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. 

I know that I really love this place because of the obstacles I've endured to picnic there. This park is perched up in the northeast corner of Paris in the 19th arrondissement, which is a hike to get to from my apartment. Even when I've faced transportation hitches to get there (like the bus by my house suddenly not running its normal route), I know in the end I will be happy that I withstand the hassle. And I always am thankful.

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