There is always a lot of life on the many squares of Paris when the weather is sunny. People meet and chat, street cafés are full, street vendors and artists fill the picture. People sit outside and enjoy their late lunch, fashionable women prance around while their husbands worry about their wallet and what the wife might come up with next. Young relax and sunbathe, students discuss their texts and the regulars stand by the bar in the brasserie's catching a quick cup of coffee before they pass by the bakery and buy baguettes for dinner.
Paris has its own unique mood, and on the squares in the city you'll always see something happening. It is where people meet before they continue shopping or before going to the museum. Before the museum for modern art, Centre Pompidou is a new one. The area used to be a poor and worn down area. Bulldozers cleaned the neighbourhood in the 70's and the plan was to make it a fashionable district. Instead it became the place for the tourists with plenty of shops and traps.
That doesn't make the neighbourhood less interesting to wander around in, and if you aim towards Opera you'll pass through some very narrow streets and alleys, where you really can feel the true Parisian feel.