Not So Secret Garden

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Luxembourg Garden, Paris

Where do you go for private conversations?

When you live in a small town you expect that there is always someone nearby who might know the people affected by what you are talking about. And if they hear what you are saying, they may not remember all of the background or the conditional statements that you carefully explain to your confidant. They will remember, and will repeat, the controversial and sensitive comments that you make about their friend, sometimes with added heat.

But if you live in a big city, say Paris for example, there must be millions of quiet, out-of-the-way places; cafés, stores, bars, museums, and public gardens etc.

Luxembourg Garden is one of my favorite places in Paris. There are so many little distinctive areas, it is like a large collection of specialty parks combined into one big park. In one back corner in the shade there are pétanque courts where men pass long afternoons throwing steel balls to see which team can end up closest to the cochonnet. Of course, there is a crêpe truck nearby.

There are long alleys of grass separated by gravel paths that are used by schools nearby for running tracks. And you can find all kinds of vendors; ice cream, snacks, gifts, toys, and naturally, wine. There is an open grassy area near the old chateau with sculpture and walking paths. And wherever you go in Luxembourg Garden you find the comfortable heavy green steel chairs. There are thousands of them.

Within the Garden there are many quiet little alcoves. These are perfect for reading, napping, or for a private conversation. The two women in this photograph were carrying on a spirited conversation while eating their lunch. I did not eavesdrop and there was nobody else around.

But even in this secret little niche in this massive public garden you may still want to be careful what you say. You never know when someone is lurking in the bushes. If you need to discuss confidential things it is always prudent to look over your shoulder to see if anybody is nearby.

You can see more Parisian photos in the France gallery by following the Photography link above.

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