Parc André Citroën
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Paris' Weirdest Park
Built on top of the site of a former Citroën manufacturing plant, Parc André Citroën is a unique concept park space. On the site of the former plant are six "Serial Gardens" were designed to associate with a day of the week, an element, a metal, a body of water, and a sense. A Garden of Movement, where plants grow wild and free. Two greenhouses stuffed with exotic vegetation. Both "white" and "black" gardens, designed to suit the moody whims of you, the mercurial visitor. Even a moored hot-air balloon, which you can enter for a little bob up in the air and then come right back down (for a fee of 12€ on a weekend). This park, in the 15th Arrondissement of Paris, is one of my favorite places in the city.
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"Access to the fountains prohibited"
The signs sternly say no one is to play in the fountains, but the actions of every Parisian in the Parc André Citroën will tell you otherwise. (And it's hard to imagine which park official hammered that sign into the ground, expecting the rules to be followed, after unveiling a field of waterjets that begged to be played in.) Once the local children are starting to become resentful of your presence in the fountains, you can wander over to the park's lawn, stretch out, and let the sun dry you - a privilege among Parisian parks, where grass is often off-limits.
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West of the Eiffel: the André Citroën Park
From secret passages to underground clubs and less-trafficked neighborhoods, Paris is an endless source of surprise. One of the places visitors rarely go, but should, is the André Citroën Park, situated further afield in the 15th arrondissement on the grounds of the former Citroën car factory. The modern park boasts 35 acres and is the only park in Paris to open directly onto the Seine river. While the space is known for its beautiful lawns, exotic plant-life and monumental greenhouses, it's the tethered gas balloon that draws attention from the road. Rides are available in the balloon for kids and adults (up to 150m) and promise stellar views of the city. During the summer, sprawl out on the lawn with a robust picnic and cool off in the dancing fountains.
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