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Published June 2003 All Rights Reserved

Visit Paris; create lasting memories

Trash the tour book, let your feet guide
Tour d'Eiffel
Tour d'Eiffel
Lifestyle
Flora
Climate
Paris' Metro transports 6 million residents each day. Every building in Paris is within 3/10ths of one mile from a metro station. Paris and surrounding suburbs make home to 11 million residents.

The lifestyle in Paris is easy going. Weekend afternoons are social time in Paris, locals frequent outdoor pubs. I'd swear the days and nights last longer there, but we know better. Eye contact is Paris elicits bonjour or salut. In the States, people do not recognize you unless you have been introduced.

On an unseasonably warm November day, I walked from Pere Lachaise, towards Chatelet Les Halles. It didn't matter how or when I arrived, wherever my head turned down a small street, my feet followed. The general direction was south and west. Paris is further north than the state of Maine. With fall sunshine strangely exaggerated to the South, shadows cast a late afternoon hue to keep streets cool. Slip into a tavern for a Belgium beer, then keep on the journey. Summer sunshine lasts well past 10 p.m. and Paris can heat up past 90 degrees.

cafe
Afternoon cafe ritual

Parisians are technically as advanced as any other high-tech city in the world. Most everyone has e-mail. The city monitors street tree health from a mainframe computer, and meeting people online is not as daring as it sounds.

Browsing the "friends" sections of social websites before you visit Paris is a great way to experience their city. I discovered parts of the city unknown to my friends who live there through people I met online. I reciprocated the favor when one correspondents visit New York City.

balcony
Flowering balcony
For friend's wedding I landscaped their apartment terrace. They were kind to allow me the hours I spent ogling over plants at the nursery. The variety, the colors, I wanted to use all the plants I spotted. But the climate in Paris is fickle, and I had to plan both for my friends' busy lifestyle, and the exposure to elements. Ivy geraniums popularly cascade over balconies across Paris, however, some winters will kill those plants. Perennials are a good choice for potted balconies, lavender, coreopsis, miniature roses.

Visiting the central part of France was more of a challenge, but worth all effort. Trains are efficient and a superior way to travel Europe. Unlike Paris, the small towns speak less English, however residents are friendly and accommodating. On a clear evening, the sky is breathtaking. For the nighttime sky alone, plan at least one evening in the country. I had lost the look of a starlit sky, and the occasional shooting star.
angles sur anglin
Angles Sur Anglin

angles sur anglin Temperatures and rainfall vary in Paris. France is fixed between the moderate Mediterranean climate South, alpine climate southeast, and cooler damp climate along the English Channel North and northwest. Temperatures in Paris vary depending upon elevation, usually the airport at Charles De Gaulle reports a few degrees cooler than the city of Paris. Paris is usually dry with humidity levels below 30 percent.

Historical records indicate extremes are winter lows in the single digits (0 above to 10 above Fahrenheit), and summer extremes in the mid-90s, both events are short-lived.

January: Cold, cloudy, intermittent showers, or snow event. Low 40s - upper 20s.
February: Cold, cloudy, intermittent showers, or snow event. Mid 40s - low 30s.
March: Spring arrives on time in Paris. Sunshine is plentiful, temperatures can warm to near 70. Rainfall is plentiful, temperatures change quickly. Mid 50s - low 40s. Paris begins to bloom the second week of March.
April: a moderate month, intermittent showers with sunshine. upper 50s - mid 40s.
May: sunshine is plentiful with intermittent showers. Some days will warm past 80. upper 60s - low 50s.
June: the days are long, sunshine warms the city. A day at 90 isn't unusual, nor is a rainy day at 60. Low 70s - mid 50s.
July: plentiful sunshine with scattered thundershowers. Temperatures above 90 are not uncommon. Upper 70s - low 60s. Indoor air-cooling is uncommon (except for office buildings).
August: days begin to shorten, usually the driest month of the year. Upper 70s - low 60s.
September: fall arrives ontime, rainfall increases and the temperatures cool considerably. Upper 60s - low 50s.
October: intermittent rainy days with cool weather and the first frost. Upper 50s - mid-40s.
November: sharply colder as winter approaches with clouds, wind and rainfall common. Low 50s - upper 30s.
December: wouldn't expect a white holiday season; however it is often cold enough. Clouds, intermittent rainfall, scattered flurries. Upper 40s - low 30s.

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