There’s something sneakily satisfying about strolling the grounds of a place once reserved for European royalty.
It was only a few hundred years ago that if you lived in Europe, you enjoyed the distinction of being in the highest social and cultural echelons of world. You were French, German, English, or Spanish and civilized, and everyone and everywhere else was not.
No wonder royals spared no expense in decorating their chateaux (castles) jardins (gardens) and palais (palaces.) By that logic, to refrain was barbaric.
You there! Oui, Man-servent! Stop I say! This is a high class garden!
Sometimes I wonder how the bourgeoisie of three hundred years ago would react if they knew that all classes and peoples were gathering in their most prestigious, reserved and private places such as the Jardins Tuileries. I imagine the scene in the Count of Monte Christo where Edmond, in his transformation as Count, shows off his new digs to the French aristocrats by descending from a fireworks-strewn sky in a hot air balloon to welcome his fancy-schmancy guests to a ball. If only they knew 600 years later I was going to stroll their jardin in skinny jeans pushing a
lightweight embarrassingly-haggard stroller from Target without getting dressed up, quand même (many meanings; this context means sheesh.)
Something about this woman is quintessentially French to me.
She reminds me of the men Kate describes in this video:
Three things to know about the Jardin des Tuileries:
- It’s free! ‘Nuff said.
- Kids can run around to their little hearts’ desires. That makes this a great place to enjoy a piece of Parisian history and a tasse espresso (espresso in one of those tiny cups in a kid’s tea set) all while letting your enfants burn off the calories they consumed from all of those pains au chocolats. It’s a great place to take babies, too, because franchement (frankly) they don’t have a choice.
- The Jardin des Tuileries is so large, it flanks not one, but three metro stops. The Tuileries stop on Line 1 is the closest and therefore easiest, but the stops “Concorde” (Lines 8 and 1) and “Palais Royale – Musée du Louvre” (Lines 7 and 1) are also good choices.
Psst… I was talking about the baby video in this post.
One final note about the Jardin: it is a really beautiful and safe place for running enthusiasts. I have friends who talk about running as if it were therapy, which I understand because acupuncture is another painful yet widely accepted form of personal therapy. When my running friends recommend that I try running in the city I say “that’s a good idea,” which what I say when I really mean “haha.” Which is why, although the Jardin des Tuileries, with its sculptures, flowers, pools, and tree-lined pathways may be a runner’s paradise, I will never enjoy it.
À la prochaine,