Because vacationing is a practically a fundamental right of every human in the French psyche, Paris proudly expands the role of the French government to include offering vacation environments for those who are not fortunate to actually leave the city. By this I mean, Paris Plage. I had heard about how the city covers the banks of the Seine in sand so that those not able to travel to a real beach can still benefit from the ambience, but this was my first time seeing it. It was decidedly less impressive than I might have imagined, as you can see by these pictures.
But what is impressive is that it is done at all, that leisure, vacationing, and la joie de vivre are taken seriously in France. By brother was recently passing a couple days with me in Paris. At one point we were sitting in the sunny Luxembourg gardens and Zach was marveling at the French ingenuity that insisted on filling all the public gardens with metal chairs that are in a permanent reclining position. We were discussing why Paris is better than London, and had come to the conclusion that it was a emotional rather than a logical argument. Zach summed it up by declaring that Paris is better because in Paris the chairs in public spaces recline, and if you need an explanation for why this makes it better you don’t deserve to be here.