Bordeaux is a city of stone, but not a metropolis a medievalist would call old. Its buildings are 18th century in their splendor. Their regal heft rose by pulverizing the preceding cityscapes. Numerous fountains, the swirl of the Garonne, and a recent mirroir d'eau help to counteract their ponderousness, bringing some fluidity to an architecture that can seem overly decorous. The Atlantic crashes not too distantly. Bord’eaux: intimacy to waters is in the city's name. Yet like the precisely crafted wine for which the region is famous, something feels artfully produced about Bordeaux's historic spaces: the balance of water and stone measured and executed for optimal aesthetic effect. A perfection, yes, but perfections are diffident.