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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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