Paris in the Spring
Each year, when the first rays of sun make their appearance and the days become longer, Parisians are transformed. Men and women sit at outdoor cafes, immediately feeling Latin; there is a sense of festivity in the air. To celebrate Spring, one might begin with an evening of Lebanese mezze at the elegant Rimal restaurant, at 94, bd Malesherbes in the 17th arrondissement near the Parc Monceau. While exploring the Buttes de Chaumont park in northern Paris, stop in for lunch at the tiny and colorful Comme sur Une Ile restaurant, at 83, rue Orfila, 20th, which serves specialties from the Ile Maurice. After exploring the multiethnic neighborhood of Belleville, stop by La Bague de Kenza at 106, rue St. Maur, in the 11th, and pick up a box of scrumptious Algerian sweets to restore energy. The Luxembourg Gardens are the perfect place to soak up rays while sprawled in the classic green metal garden chairs. Afterwards, lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant would hit the spot at the sleek Tao, 248, rue St. Jacques in the 5th. Finally, don't leave Paris without a box of green tea madeleines to take home to friends, made by Sadaharu Aoki, the enfant terrible of the Parisian pastry scene: Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki, 35, rue de Vaugirard, in the 6th.