Parc de Bercy
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A Rose, by 95 Other Names
The little-known Parc de Barcy in Paris enchanted me with its Orangerie, its maze, its duck pond, and its statue collection "Les Enfants du Monde" (which I'm making a separte blurb for, because it's that great). And my romantic afternoon in the park ended on the perfect note with the rose garden, which has 95 different varieties of roses. Bring a baguette and some cheese to enjoy as you marvel at the flowers so you can stay as long as you want.
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The World in a Park
I list Les Enfants du Monde (The Children of the World) in my favorite five things to see in Paris (crazy, right?) and I can't believe I hadn't heard of it until the night before I saw it. If you cross the bridge from Parc de Bercy's gardens, you'll reach a collection of statues you won't be able to resist. Each of these 21 bronze sculptures wears the traditional dress of a different country. One of the most interesting aspects is that the patterns on the outfits were made from materials their respective countries use in their city streets, such as sewers, broken bitumer, and grids around the trees. Designer Rachid Khimoune made it so that the dresses, materials used, designs on the sculptures, and writing in different languages all indicate which countries they represent. You can see Italy with its Venetian carnival mask, Canada with its maple leaf, and Japan with its kimono. Each statue wears a representative name tag, as well. For example, Jim le New Yorkais (Jim the New Yorker).
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