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Playing basketball on Mars

A new perspective on the classic City of Lights.

This homme's about to go baseline.
This homme's about to go baseline.

No visit to Paris is considered complete without a glimpse of the iconic Eiffel Tower. And if you want to truly capture the full romantic grandeur of the occasion, it's best to approach from the southeast, with a stroll across the Champs de Mars.

The manicured gardens (literally the "Fields of Mars") spread several blocks from the tower's base, covered in grass, lined with trees and featuring a few notable monuments.

Enter from the street called Place Joffre, and you'll find a classic perspective of the world's most famous landmark, which becomes taller and more impressive as you move closer. As you walk, you'll pass the Monument de Droits de l'Homme (Human Rights) and the Mur pour la Paix (Wall of Peace), inspired by Jerusalem's Wailing Wall.

All this is common knowledge. But what the guidebooks fail to mention is that you might catch an interesting game of pick-up basketball taking place on the public courts occupying the park's southern tip.

But not the sort of pick-up players you might expect. These guys are wearing suits. Maybe they're on a lunch break – after all, nearby you'll find the UNESCO headquarters, as well as that of the European Space Agency and a few international embassies.

Then again, this is Paris, whose citizens are known the world over for how well they dress. It's entirely possible these guys are playing basketball in neckties because that's just how it's done in this always-fashionable, all the time City of Lights.

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This homme's about to go baseline.
This homme's about to go baseline.

No visit to Paris is considered complete without a glimpse of the iconic Eiffel Tower. And if you want to truly capture the full romantic grandeur of the occasion, it's best to approach from the southeast, with a stroll across the Champs de Mars.

The manicured gardens (literally the "Fields of Mars") spread several blocks from the tower's base, covered in grass, lined with trees and featuring a few notable monuments.

Enter from the street called Place Joffre, and you'll find a classic perspective of the world's most famous landmark, which becomes taller and more impressive as you move closer. As you walk, you'll pass the Monument de Droits de l'Homme (Human Rights) and the Mur pour la Paix (Wall of Peace), inspired by Jerusalem's Wailing Wall.

All this is common knowledge. But what the guidebooks fail to mention is that you might catch an interesting game of pick-up basketball taking place on the public courts occupying the park's southern tip.

But not the sort of pick-up players you might expect. These guys are wearing suits. Maybe they're on a lunch break – after all, nearby you'll find the UNESCO headquarters, as well as that of the European Space Agency and a few international embassies.

Then again, this is Paris, whose citizens are known the world over for how well they dress. It's entirely possible these guys are playing basketball in neckties because that's just how it's done in this always-fashionable, all the time City of Lights.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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