I woke to the sound of shopping trolleys, from the apartment above and the street below. Sunday is market day.
Jumping out of bed, I walked to the Bastille Markets.
It is difficult not to get caught up in the excitement, as shoppers, rugged up against the cold, with shopping trolleys and dogs in tow go about their Sunday shopping. A strangely dressed band, belted out music which added to the atmosphere, the place was pumping and alive.
Hot, steamy vats of curries, choucroute, paella, fresh produce, cold meats from Spain, olives of every description from Italy, cheese from various regions of France, freshly baked bread.
It isn’t difficult to see who sells some of the best produce, one fresh meat stand had a queue, almost as long as the market itself.
The vendors calling out selling their wares, happy they won’t have to take much home with them and shoppers delighting over the vast, marvellous array of food on display and on offer.
Walking home, with a spring in my step, carrying my bag full of delicious food, I felt like a local.
Dropping in for a quick hot chocolate at Petit Fer a Cheval, brought another great Parisian moment. I have mentioned before, sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time.
Not far from the bar a large crowd had gathered around. My friend Bouba called grab your camera and see what all the excitement was about.
A young woman, standing on a pedestal, flanked my two young men, acting as guards. She was dressed in nothing but a pair of underpants, electric green stilettos and a dress made from notes that were rapidly disappearing.
They filmed the artistic project, as passersby, without coercion, took a note each from her ‘dress’. Eventually she would stand naked on a box in the Marais. It certainly caught a lot of attention.
Bercy Village was the next destination for the day. The closest metro is named after the wine, Saint Emilion, which is one of my favourite French wines.
Before the redevelopment, wines arriving by train from the south of France were warehoused in the area. Now a vibrant ‘village’ of shops, restaurants and a large cinema complex with not a tourist in sight.
Rather than take the metro, I, of course walked.
I weaved my way through the large expanse of parkland, sitting on the right bank. A reasonably new footbridge, which connects the right bank to the National Library on the left, is aptly named the Simone de Beauvoir Bridge. It is the first out of the 37 bridges in Paris to be named after a woman.
It gives a birds eye view of the floating, Josephine Baker swimming pool.
The light was fading, it was getting late and it is Sunday, which means dinner at Jim Haynes.
Seamus served up a fabulous meal of moussaka, hummus, baba ghanouj, rice, feta cheese and dolmades.As always an interesting crowd from around the world. I had the honour and pleasure of delivering dinner to wonderful Madame upstairs, tonight. Such a delightful woman, I wanted to bundle her up and take her home with me.
Leaving Jim’s with a fist full of email addresses, a promise of some French lessons and a couple of new friends in tow, we headed to Petit fer a Cheval. We drank and chatted until closing.
Is this taking Parisian style and comfort to the extremes? I spotted this at a bus stop on my wanders today!