I got it baaaad....SO bahadddd, I'm hot for pic-nic!
One is not born, dear reader, knowing how to picnic. Nay, this is a craft to be mastered bite by glorious bite over the course of a happy lifetime.
When I was a child, having a picnic meant a bucket full of KFC, a bag of BBQ chips, and a giant cooler full of pop (or soda for you non-Kansans). And it always involved driving somewhere.
Today, a picnic entails the following steps:
1) Empty out the kitchen: cheese, fruit, sausages, more fruit, hellloooo wine. The only time I "cook" anymore for a picnic is when I make pan bagnat.
2) Find a pretty place to sit. In Paris, this isn't hard. The classic choice is Seine-side, as pictured above and discussed here. Picnic along the Seine and you can look at this as the sun goes down. Other picnic spots abound, even/especially where I live in the 19th. Regular spots for us include the (city's largest) Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and the Parc de Belleville.
My favorite by far is along the Quai de Loire of the Bassin de la Villette. In good weather the picnickers are joined by dozens of others playing ping-pong, boules, and Bob Marley. What's more: the nearby Bar Ourcq sells cheap beer in take-away cups and has a stash of lawn chairs that they loan out for free.
3) Save the drama (for yo momma). Picnics have no martyrs. There are no hours in the kitchen, wasted paychecks, or nasty cleanup. No negotiation about attendees and how they'll get along. Don't get me wrong: I love a good dinner party and have a 10-person table that engulfs the entire apartment. But I realize during picnic season that life can be so much easier.
"I think of all the education that I missed, but then my homework was never quite like this!"
--David Lee Roth, Hot for Teacher