Travel

July 29

Some rampant opinions:

I think that Paris Plage, along the north bank of the Seine and dedicated to the hot beaches of Brazil this year, is a cute idea but overrated. Enjoy it as you will, remembering that it's basically bread and circus for Parisians who don't have enough money to spend August in Brittany or on the Côte d'Azur.

It's late July and the City of Light is already starting to close down for les congés. My neighborhood butcher shop is shut tight, and my greengrocer told me today not to expect any fresh fruit and vegetables after next week. Many American travelers say they love Paris in August, when Parisians go on vacation, leaving tourists in sole possession of the City of Light.

But if you live here, August is a desert. The best restaurants and shops are closed. You can't see your doctor or buy a pack of cigarettes on a Sunday morning.

What does this mean, except that the French go on what they take to be their rightful summer vacations while Americans slave away through the dog days of August, producing better employment and export rates?

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