Monstrous, artistic, or steampunk before the word was even imagined. Of all the singular skyscraping structures created for fairs or fantasy, Gustave Eiffel’s tower is the most timeless. With base pillars oriented towards the four points of a compass – 18,000 parts, 2.5 million rivets, and 10,100 tons of open-lattice wrought iron stretch 1,069 vertical feet (320.75 meters or roughly 81 stories) into the air. Admire it from afar, stand underneath and look up, or take the elevator to the top. But you can only really know the Eiffel Tower intimately by daring to climb 704 of her 1665 steps.
Parisians marvel at the amount and variety of personalized choices at café Starbucks, but in fact they invented the concept and without the corporate spin. Step into any bakery in any neighborhood in Paris and listen as people order their daily bread. It’s rarely just “une baguette, s’il vous plait.” The individual preferences are endless. There’s the standard baguette, the baguette moulée, the baguette farinée, or the baguette de tradition. There’s la boule, le batard, la ficelle, la flute, la fougasse, le grand pain, petits pains, pain de campagne, pain complet, pain d’épices, pain de mie, and pain de seigle. And that’s not all. Select your bread, then tailor it to your tastes: whole or half loaf, sliced or not, well done and crusty (bien cuite) or undercooked and soft (pas trop cuite). Time it right and you might even bring home bread fresh from the oven: tout chaud!