After a crepe lunch in Montparnasse with a friend and her partner, I called another friend to meet up. After hemming and hawing for a few minutes about where to go, I apologized for not having thought beforehand. I hung up, and after a quick look my Paris map, called right back. Often a quick reflection alone is all it takes.
What about Parc de Bercy? I asked. I hadn’t been there in a long time, and it would be convenient for him to get to.
We met by the Bercy Arena, where I used to ice skate with a friend who would speed skate around the rink ahead of me. We would go on weekend nights, when the rink turned into a sort of club, with loud music, darkness, and buckets of teens on ice skates, plus us.
My friend and I spent a moment at the ledge overlooking the adjacent outdoor skate park, where skateboarders, bikers, and rollerbladers attempted tricks on the ramps. They’re just okay, huh? my friend said.
Continuing on, we reminisced about our previous rendez-vous in the area. Passing the quaint shopping strip Bercy Village, I remembered one of our outings early on in our friendship.
Crossing a bridge above the park, we stopped and looked on both sides; one showed the Seine and a shopping mall, and the other was this road of zigzags and a green city bus and bikers and still-summer trees.
I am still not sure why the pedestrian bridge Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir would be appropriate to bring one’s would-be beau, but I was delighted to walk on it for the first time. Somehow, in all my park and river wanderings, I had never ascended and descended the wooden waves of this bridge bearing the name of my beloved Simone.
On a related note, I once crossed the bridge Pont des Arts with someone who told me that it was known as being a place where men draguent women. I had never heard that before and was skeptical. Where do French guys get their information on bridge drague-ing? And here I am, perpetuating what is probably a myth.
We made our way back through the park to meet a friend who was joining us. On the way, I stopped to giggle at this large bunny that bounded next to the smaller carousel horses.
We strolled in a garden within the park that housed a brick structure that made me feel we were far from the city of Paris.
Our afternoon in the park ended with us around a checkerboard table with stone seats and grass underfoot.