Urban Escapes

Parc Montsouris

Parc Montsouris

Today was one of those days where I needed to see as much green as possible, and get away from the condensed nature of a the metropolis. To get my urban escape on, I went to two parks. The first was the Parc Montsouris, in the very south of Paris across the street from the Cite Universitaire. My buddy is fortunate enough to live there and I’ve been a little jealous, as the Cite bears the most resemblance to a college campus compared to anything else here in Paris. Compounded with the fabulous park, now I’m really jealous. Regardless, I strolled along the park after lunch, and instantly loved it. Despite the RER train crossing through the park, it is green, refreshing and very peaceful, with runners, children and old people sitting on benches. The park has everything; a playground, lake, statues and lush trees and plants.

Later in the day, in the midst of some exploration around the 5th, I showed my friend Sasha the Jardin des Plantes. The flowers were much nearer to death than last time I was there, yet it is still a wonderful huge space filled with tall trees rather than tall buildings. The Jardin des Plantes needs a lot more exploration. Its one of the largest Jardin’s, and has a number of green houses, the museum of natural history, a little labyrinth and a fair amount more. Its a beautiful place to sit and read, which I’ve done.

Paris has parks and jardins. Parks seem to be more for activities, whereas jardins are more tame and organized, there are flowers and you can’t walk on the grass. It reminds me of a quote I used to love:

A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule.

Jardin’s are under totalitarian rule, parks less so.

Parks truly are one of the greatest inclusions into the cityscape. It is easy in a huge metropolis to feel as if the walls are constantly closing in on your. People need to breathe, and be outdoors. I thrive in nature, so being able to escape into parks brings me great joy. Here are some photos:

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