Link Friday

One hot and humid day last May when I was still living in Paris, I heard at the last-minute about a multi-day spectacle taking over the Champs-Élysées. It was called Nature Capitale, a large-scale event designed to promote agriculture, and it transformed the famous, glitzy boulevard into a temporary farmland and menagerie. Only a few hours remained before the event was over so I scrambled down the five flights of stairs in my apartment building and into the stuffy metro where I quickly realized that everyone else had the same idea as me as it was wall-to-wall with perspiring passengers.  Once I climbed out into the glaring sunshine at Concorde, I saw aisles and aisles of trees, flowers, grass, vegetables and other plants. Parents took this first-ever event as an opportunity to expose their children to the wonders of farming. It was quite an event. Today's New York Time's article takes an interesting look at the advances Paris has made in becoming a more ecologically-friendly city, thanks in large part due to their mayor, Bertrand Delanoë. I find it wonderful that they are one of the pioneers in European cities choosing to go pesticide-free in their park system. It also mentions the all-organic Raspail Sunday market (where my favorite onion-potato galettes are sold) as well as other markets to enter the bio scene.  If you have been to Paris, do you enjoy using the Velib' bicycles? (That is, if you are able to rent them without the micro-chip in your American credit card). What other efforts to promote greener living did you notice in Paris? How about other cities?

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