9 Reasons Why "Paris Is ALWAYS a Good Idea"
“You can’t escape the past in Paris, and yet what’s so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn’t seem to burden.” —Allen Ginsberg, American poet. The Conciergerie, the 14th-century palace-turned-prison on the Île de la Cité, where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were held before their executions by guillotine ($11, conciergerie.monuments-nationaux.fr).
“I ought to be jealous of the tower. She is more famous than I am.” ―Gustave Eiffel, French engineer and architect. The Eiffel Tower from the Pont d'Iéna, a bridge connecting the city’s most famous architectural icon to the Jardins du Trocadéro.
"You gaze and stare and try to understand that it is real, that it is on the earth, that it is not the Garden of Eden—but your brain grows giddy, stupefied by the world of beauty around you, and you half believe you are the dupe of an exquisite dream." —Mark Twain, in The Innocents Abroad (1869). Versailles, the seat of the French monarchy from 1682 to 1789 ($20, en.chateauversailles.fr).
“I love Paris in the summer, when it sizzles.” —Cole Porter, American composer and songwriter. The Jardin Tino Rossi public garden on the Quai Saint-Bernard, which hosts spontaneous dance parties—in styles such as tango, salsa, and bachata—each night during the summer (en.parisinfo.com).
"Ah! cruel tree! if I were you / And children climbed me, for their sake / Though it be winter I would break / Into spring blossoms white and blue!" —Oscar Wilde, Irish poet and playwright, "Le Jardin des Tuileries" (1881). The Jardin des Tuileries with views of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, located in the western wing of the Palais du Louvre ($15, lesartsdecoratifs.fr).
“Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant.” —Honoré de Balzac, French playwright and novelist. A fashion photo shoot on the Pont au Change, the bridge over the Seine from which Inspector Javert leaps to his death in a climactic scene in Victor Hugo’s epic Les Miserables.
“I work at my garden all the time and with love. What I need most are flowers, always. My heart is forever in Giverny.” —Claude Monet, French painter. A pond covered in water lilies at Giverny, the tiny village about an hour outside Paris where Impressionist Claude Monet lived, planted his flowers, and painted from 1883 to 1926 ($13, fondation-monet.com/en).
“Paradoxically, the freedom of Paris is associated with a persistent belief that nothing ever changes. Paris, they say, is the city that changes least. After an absence of twenty or thirty years, one still recognizes it.” —Marguerite Duras, French writer and director. The 16th-century Gothic Church of Saint-Merri, which is said to contain the oldest bell in Paris (1331). (76 Rue de la Verrerie).
“Paris is always a good idea.” —Audrey Hepburn, in Sabrina (1954)
On her most recent trip to Paris, BT's photo editor captured unforgettable images of the City of Light, from gorgeous public spaces to intimate, quiet moments. Her photos were so spectacular, we were inspired to match them with the finest words ever written—or uttered!—about the world's most romantic city. Enjoy!