Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Bastille Market and Paris Arsenal

In a previous post I wondered about the viability of the famous French markets.  Do not be concerned, they are alive and well.  The presence of more grocery stores does not seem to have made inroads into the culture of the twice weekly market.  The Bastille is a good one.  To reach it you may exit the Metro at Brequet-Sabin on the 5 line, or the Bastille exit on the 1 line.  This stop puts you right in the market so there is no uncertainty as to which way to walk.

It is a huge market. There is much more than food.  For some reason I did not get photos of the bins of ladies underwear.  See the cart the woman in the center of the photo is pulling?  That's an indicator of someone who it there to shop.

There are hats.

There are kitchen implements.  There are many scarf vendors.  After catching the fringe of my scarf in my jacket zipper again, I bought a new silk one today for five euro. No fringe is good.

There are many fruit and vegetable stands.

Some vegetable vendors are more popular than others.  This one had a lot of people wanting to buy.   It's pretty cool, some of the vendors will call out their products, others whistle to get your attention. One of the popular fish vendors had a running "allez allez" going.

This is escarole.  I don't know if it comes like this, or if they fanned it out, but it's a nice display.

There are a few flower sellers.

I admire the French and their willingness to cook difficult things.  Would you know what to do with an octopus?  This is so out of my comfort zone, so is horse meat.  The French still eat horses - it's odd looking.  It's very red. 

Note the dots on the flounder.

This guy was filming the fish monger.  They had a huge hunk of tuna in the case.

I'm hoping he was filming me, photographing him.

The sign says live langostino.  They were lively.  There was one on the left waving.  I got video of it, but can't figure out how to get it up to Youtube.

I have wondered why they leave the heads on the chickens.  It's because they are selling a particular breed.  Leaving the head on allows the consumer to know they're getting that breed of chicken.  It still weirds me out pretty much.

After slow walking in the market, the feet needed a break.  We decided to get coffee.  Two coffees - eleven euro.  Even by Parisian standards this seems a little high.  A three course lunch is fifteen euro ninety!

The other cool thing in Paris is the Paris Arsenal.  There used to be a blog written by Bill and Nancy from San Fransisco.  After retirement, they had an old barge converted to cruise the canals of France.  After a few years of that, they were able to get moorage at the Arsenal and spent a few years there.  They really enjoyed the experience.  It was sometimes very difficult, but overall they loved it.  That was what sparked our interest, but we ended up with an RV instead.

Look at that sky.  We decided to cut the walk through the Arsenal short as we did not bring the umbrellas.  It was a good decision.  The weather is being difficult.  It's nice, then the temperature drops ten degrees, the wind comes up, it rains like crazy and then it's nice again.

For those of you following men's fashion, this is what we're seeing this spring in Paris.  It's the year of the short pant.  Check out the pant length on this stylish young man.  His are the most extreme case to date, but we are seeing a lot of short suit trousers.

There will be more walking around tomorrow, weather permitting.


  1. I am glad to see the vast array of colors available in the French beret. I thought they only came in black.

    1. I've looked longingly at one of those pastel berets, but can't figure out how to wear it, especially in the gale force winds we've had.

  2. I've shopped at a number of ethnic grocery stores and never seen a chicken with the head on!

    1. It's common here at the markets. They also do it with the quail and some of the rabbits. That also weirds me out some, as well.

  3. I hope you got free refills with those coffees! Yikes!!!
    Box Canyon Mark

    1. No such luck, Mark, just a bunch of attitude from the waitress when I reacted to the price. Hate to say it, but we have started going to Starbuck's for coffee, better and cheaper.....