Paris 'Beach' Opens

<p>The annual transformation of riverbanks to beaches has begun in Paris, where the River Seine becomes a widely visited outdoor public space known as Paris Plages.</p>
July 23, 2008, 8am PDT | Nate Berg
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"It is pure hedonism to want to transform a capital city into a seaside resort, bringing 2,000 tons of sand by boat, displaying more than a thousand deckchairs on its river banks, loaning 85 boats for people to sail for free, planting 950 trees in a single square and building 61 beach cabins on what is, for 335 days of the year, an expressway."

"The scheme has been expanded this summer to include more free activities, more palm trees, more concerts, more sand and more bamboo forest; and is about to be launched in many new Parisian locations."

"Aside from its original location on the Right Bank, from Pont Henri IV to Quai du Louvre, this year sand and entertainment can also be found in waterside spaces in the north-east of the French capital, along the three canals that lead up to the Villette basin, and from La Villette into various suburban towns."

"Paris Plages started life as a socialist fantasy: bring the beaches to those who can't afford summer holidays and create a bit of joie de vivre for the millions of tourists who make Paris the most visited city in the world."

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Published on Saturday, July 19, 2008 in The Guardian
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