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Ever since I went there one night for a free Bastille Day concert, I’ve loved République Square. The place was packed, as you can imagine. People everywhere were dancing, young and old. One of the most joyful things I’ve ever seen. Didn’t see a single incident of anybody being unruly, nasty or drunk and sloppy. Just pure happiness.

République Square is huge. So huge, it’s almost difficult to comprehend. I’m going to say about as big as a football stadium in suburban America, including all the surrounding parking lots. Massive. I’m guessing it’s even bigger than Times Square. In the center of it all, there’s an enormous statue. The whole Square is mostly flat granite (a rarity in Paris) and no cars can drive through except on the very periphery.

During the day, people just hang out there. Kids skateboard. Kids play in the fountains. Kids skateboard through the fountains, no lie. Saw it twice.

There’s an intriguing flat fountain, too. Sort of like a sprinkler that kids can run through, with a shallow water rink that runs alongside it about a 1/2″ deep.

There are people on bikes and scooters. Young guys attempting, mostly badly, to do skateboard tricks. People watching, having a coffee, eating their lunch. Sometimes ethnic dancing is going on. République is constantly in a state of cheerful chaos. People get off the Metro in the middle of the Square and just join in. It’s fantastic.

So I went down there yesterday to hang out. No shopping, nothing specific to do. Just some people watching and photography on a gorgeous day. Loved every minute of it.