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"Paris Plages" (Paris Beaches) opens along banks of the Seine river. (ERIC GAILLARD/Reuters)
"Paris Plages" (Paris Beaches) opens along banks of the Seine river. (ERIC GAILLARD/Reuters)

Surf's up at Paris Plage Add to ...

The latest openings and events from around the world.

Paris For the past decade, Paris Plages - the city's famed month-long urban beach program - has provided a leisurely respite from museum-hopping and Eiffel Tower climbing. This year, organizers have upped the ante, bringing in 10 times more sand and new chaises longues, giant deck chairs and beach mats. Those who want to do more can hang ten on La Villette Basin. A 15-metre-long, six-metre-wide wave simulator has been installed on the Quai de la Loire, so kids of all ages can body surf on inflatable manta-ray-shaped boards (open daily until Aug. 21). paris.fr/parisplages

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AFFORDABLE ALPS

Italian Alps If you can't afford a jet-set villa vacation on Lake Como, veer 40 minutes west into northern Italy's lesser known Valtellina Valley where Canadian expat Maxine Hyndman and her Italian husband, Lodo Marveggio, have converted their 19th-century stone villa into a luxury bed and breakfast. La Predera is perfect for active travellers who like to mix sightseeing with cycling, hiking and skiing. Hyndman can organize privately guided visits to nearby wineries and towns, and a three-course Friday-night feast ($40, wine included) that features locally sourced meats and organic produce. For $100 a night, you'll get homegrown hospitality, and a bedroom with plush linens, natural-stone rain shower and free Wi-Fi. lapredera.com

AFRO PUFFS AT BLUE

Boston Blue-haired chef and Hell's Kitchen alumnus Jason Santos has opened his first restaurant in Boston's financial district. Blue Inc., a 50-seat dining room, shows off Santos's far-out fare, which has been described as Julia Child meets Willy Wonka. Expect fried chicken with habanero barbecue syrup, calamari spaghetti with squid puffs, and pizza with blue cheese and grapes. The cocktail menu includes such signature libations as The Anorexic Model (cognac, lychee bubbles, a garnish of "twiggy and berries") and Chilled Chocolate Afro Puff, topped with a giant marshmallow. blueincboston.com

URBAN INSPIRATION

New York Wedged between the Lower East Side and the East Village, the BMW Guggenheim Lab makes its international debut on Aug. 3. Consider it a pop-up portable public gathering space devoted to exploring issues relevant to all big-city communities. With a broad theme entitled Confronting Comfort, the lab's lineup of events includes talks about wastewater management, classes in guided meditation and film screenings (Blank City, a documentary about the underground arts scene in 1970s Manhattan, screens Aug. 3). Foodies won't want to miss the Aug. 26 evening with Gabrielle Hamilton, owner of PRUNE restaurant and author of Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef. All events are free and run until Oct. 16. After that, the lab moves to Berlin. bmwguggenheimlab.org

 

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