On your next trip to Paris, I would like to recommend (urge) a visit to Parc Monceau.
I first discovered the area while on a “Paris of the Impressionists” guided tour. I was taken aback by the variety of greenery; exotic looking palms among huge deciduous trees with purple leaves, and flowers the likes of orange lilies, geraniums, and celosias (or more specifically, Cock’s Comb). It is most simply described as picturesque; always clean, frequented by Parisians with their children and/or dogs, active sorts such as tai chi practitioners, or sole adventurers looking for paradise on a park bench. Just beware of the joggers, they run laps around the periphery in hoards and threaten to mow you down if you linger too long while crossing the path. May I just say, I was kind of shocked to see anyone running in this city, besides to make it through rapidly closing doors of the metro.
Believe me when I tell you this place is unique, and well worth a wander to discover the many sculptures and features scattered within it’s expanse. My favorite is the faux roman ruins located within the northeast quarter of the oval. A slice of Corinthian columns surrounding the eastern “bank” of a pond frame a weeping willow island. It’s a bit ridiculous, considering how out of place it is, but once you get past that, it’s an incredibly serene scene.
Parc Monceau is a retreat, a peaceful haven. Because the city can be… annoying… sometimes. It can be loud, dirty, disgustingly smelly, the people can be obnoxious, and Parc Monceau – is Gold.