We leave today for a quick weekend trip to New York City. We are going for the purpose of seeing this concert on Saturday night. I always love the chance to go to New York, because hands down, it is the best city that the USA has to offer. Yet, this week, when I saw a book that compared New York to Paris, I felt sorry for New York, because how could it possibly be expected to compete with Paris?
Take for example, the parks. I loved living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan because it was so easy to get to Central Park and I loved Saturdays in the Park more than any other weekend activity there. Yet, after becoming with the Jardin de Luxembourg on this trip to Paris, I thought that if I were a posh parent, I would endlessly prefer to have an apartment in walking distance of the Jardin de Luxembourg over Central Park. They had a pretty amazing playground area. Oh, and did I mention the pony rides?
You can relax while overlooking the French Senat building and watch the miniature sailboats.
Central Park is lovely and well-manicured, but it can’t compare to the detail paid to these Parisian parks. I think I am being fair with this assessment. Olmstead created a brilliant park in Central Park, but I think his work in designing the gardens and landscaping at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville is even more amazing, since the natural landscape was so well-suited to his ideas. In Paris, the same park that houses that amazing playground, you find beautiful areas like this, less “natural” perhaps, but well suited to a city park:
Let me also talk about the plethora of seating options available in French parks. It is always easy to find somewhere to take a load off, even in the shade. This is not always the case in NYC parks.
Here is David taking it easy in the Jardin des Tuileries:
I also prefer the gravel walkways to the paved walkways of NYC parks.
Also, I am sorry to say that no place in New York can compete with the loveliness of the Place des Vosges.
In spite of my comparisons, I am pretty excited to spend this weekend in New York, even if it is expected to be 99 degrees in the city on Saturday. Having lived in the city, I don’t feel any rush to have to do anything this weekend, so I am looking forward to just taking it easy in my favorite American city.