When I first moved to Paris in 2008, the 19th seemed so far away. Over the years my vision of Paris has become smaller, and now 30 minutes by bike brings me to the city center, and a 30 minute metro ride can very well be to the other side of Rive Droit.
I have a vivid memory of being at Buttes Chaumont for Nuit Blanche a few years ago. There were lamps placed every few meters across one of their fields, and as the sun set the park lit up with Pixar-like lights. There was a panel with messages flashing, and many other marvelous installations.
It’s the ideal park for a picnic. Despite the hills, if you find a good spot on a slight incline, you’ll be set for hours. The park is filled with youth and laughter, with runners, families, music and ice cream. Climb around the back of the hills up to the path that leads to the tower where you have a panoramic view of the city, with the silhouette of Sacré Coeur and Montmartre in the distance. You’ll feel so high up. From that particular spot things seem so far away and spaced out so awkwardly. There was smog, but with the sunsetting it made for shadowed like buildings contrasting the pastel skies. It was quite nice.
If you’re just visiting Paris for a few days this spot may seem pretty far out, but make the treck, it’s a different kind of charming, not like the other parks in the heart of the city.