Paris is like a canvas that an artist has been painting for 2,000 years, blending the old with the new, the serene with the glamorous. Grand palaces, heroic and tragic figures, creative geniuses, and even legendary cuisine all have their place in the masterpiece that is this city. Artists like Mozart, Monet, and Hemingway have flocked to it for centuries seeking inspiration. The on-going courtship between past, present, and future creates vistas of ancient monuments rising up next to chic boutiques launching the haute new trends. Museums overflowing with treasures share plazas with unknown artists, exhibiting their creations on makeshift stands.

As the paradigm of high style, this is perhaps the most tantalizing city in Europe, yet it is deeply rooted in traditional village life. Nowadays, some of the most palpable pleasures of Paris are found in the daily street life and along the spirited banks of the River Seine. Fortunately, the city is so clearly laid out that you can easily discover the different personalities of each section - the arrondissements - as you saunter around at your own pace. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris." The smart ones don't wait around 'til then!
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