Just like those petite waifs that glide effortlessly down the Rue de Rivoli, seen at first-hand the beauty of Paris can be breathtaking.
Yet like those same Paris ladies who wear their hauteur like a badge of honor, the city is not without its dark side.
In recent years the French capital has had its elegant facade ruffled by an explosion of discontent among the city's disenfranchised underclass.
Young men -- many the offspring of North African immigrants -- angry at the lack of opportunities and perceived racism from state institutions have taken to the streets, fighting violent pitched battles with police.
All this has happened in the city's ghettoized suburbs -- the banlieues. If you stay in the pristine center, you'd never know it was going on. Read full article »