|One of the only real parks in Paris is Le Jardin du Luxembourg, located in the 6th arrondissement, about 5 minutes from Saint Germain des Prés.
The name though, is usually shortened by locals to “Luco”.
“Going to the Luco” was a key element of my studying years in Paris, since the park was less than a minute away from my school and part of my commute. During the three months of decent weather that Paris gets each year (somewhere between May and September), many a days was spent chilling and taking the sun with friends in the park, all the while supposedly preparing our finals.
|The Luxembourg is the exact antithesis of Anglo-saxon parks such as Hyde Park or Central Park: here, you won’t find large lawns and semi-virgin bits of forrest inside the city. It’s all about symmetry, order and absolute control over every single element of nature. Archetype of Jardin à la Française (the technical gardening term for Control Freak Wet Dream), the Luxembourg features an appallingly low amount of grass for a “park”, and most of it is strictly off limits to pedestrians (numerous signs and whistle wielding security agents are all there to remind you that grass is too rare a commodity to be left for people to lay down on it: watch, but don’t touch). As a result, a sizable share of the park is made up of huge bare alleys planted with armies of meticulously aligned trees. Yea, it is about as exciting as it sounds.|
|Of course, there is some greenery too, though I challenge you to find one randomly placed item in this picture… There’s probably a guy responsible for measuring flower spacing and ensuring it never goes out of a predetermined variation margin. By the way, keep in mind that every single chair in that picture is strictly disposed outside of the grass area.|
|Depending on mood, weather and other factors, ideal spots can be: seated around the main basin, where one can check out at leisure cute tourists and young Parisian MILFs strolling their offsprings around, or in some corner of the park where that unforgivable law-breaching act of placing your derriere on a patch of grass will not catch the eye of park security…|
|Have you noticed how even the crappiest pictures taken with a substandard cheap piece of digital camera turn out nearly ok once you slather them with color filters?|
|Sometimes, standing in the middle of the park and looking around reminds you of a geometry class.|
|On one side of the park, is the French Senate.
Apparently, they set up an outdoor opera in front of it during the Summer (la Boheme was playing this week).
|And outside the park (the side that runs along Bd St Michel), the fence periodically hosts coffee-table style picture exhibits (this one dedicated to D-Day commemorations). When I came last year, stills from Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s awesome book Earth from Above were on display.|
|Of course, the park closes every evening (you wouldn’t want people roaming around in a park without close supervision, now would you?). I am told some particularly stupid people in their youth once hid inside and spent the night reenacting Giligan Island in the middle of Paris, but I’m sure you would never think of doing something that immature.|
|Beside it’s incredibly hard lighting up a small bonfire without getting busted right away by park security patrols (yea, they do patrol the inside of the park at night, no, they do not shoot at sight, as far as I know).|