They say that Paris itself is a museum, what with its graceful architecture, fountains, and outdoor sculptures at every turn. Counted among this museumlike city's rich displays are Aristide Maillol's 18 zaftig women in bronze, which are spaced among the topiary hedges at Jardin du Carrousel, the garden between the west wings of the Louvre. (There's no merry-go-round; the place is named for a horse exhibition that was held there in 1662 by Louis XIV and which featured a parade of 655 horsemen and their assorted entourages and trumpeters.) The sculpture collection and the entire garden are ungated and always open.
If art isn't your pleasure and somehow you can't manage to find anything else to do in Paris, perhaps you have a VCR or DVD player in your hotel room and will settle for watching a movie. You and your credit card can put together a night's worth of entertainment at the nearest outlet of Cinebank, a national video automat that has dozens of locations in town.
If you prefer to make your own entertainment, try Les Chimères, a burgers and- tapas restaurant and an all-night bar in the Marais. The two-level venue attracts an eclectic young crowd by offering a happy hour, major sporting events on TV, and - for incurable extroverts and those who enjoy watching them - karaoke from 10 p.m. to five a.m. When the karaoke machine goes silent, the place closes for an hour and then reopens at six a.m. for the early breakfast crowd.
Another place for late-night activity (although not 24 hours - it's closed from 5:45 to 11 a.m.) is the century-old billiard academy Cercle Clichy Montmartre, which has 16 tables. The air-conditioned academy - don't call it a pool hall - hosts regular tournaments, requires an ID for entry, and allows no minors. "Retirees come in the afternoon," the doorman explains. "At night, you see lawyers and people coming from the office in white shirts. Older people play bil- liards; the young ones play American pool. We have a snooker table for the English."
Do you need a couple of aspirin? In a back corner of the Galerie des Champs, a two-level mini-mall on the Champs-Élysées, you'll find the Pharmacie des Champs, which dispenses aspirin and a lot more. There are bottles and tins of whatever you need to stop your pain, to stop smoking, to lose or gain weight, and to fix up your insides and your outside. McDonald's and the other shops in the Galerie may close during the late hours, but the Pharmacie des Champs does not. And if you're up near Montmartre and need to fix a headache or a stomachache, look for the big green-lit cross flashing across the place de Clichy - it shows the way to the Pharmacie Européenne, which never closes and is a larger drugstore.