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Le Marché Parisien

The day is mundane. I did some grocery shopping at a near-by store. Today is also a day of le Marché- the make shift market (le marché volant or the Flying Market is more like it!). In the locality I live, it is held for three days in a week. There are such markets in all parts of the city though the days vary. It is almost invariably open from 7 in the morning to around 2 PM when the 'marketers' wind up their stuff.

 

Parisian Market

 

Here, one can buy fresh farm, sea, dairy, poultry, meat produce and organic products straight from the local farmer/ producer/ buyer or at least with as less 'middlemen' as possible. This is an excellent opportunity for small producers who are able to reach their customers directly without having to go through someone else. Benefit is two- pronged. For the consumer, it means fresher products and price without inflation. For the producer, it means instant realization of his yield and a direct reach.

 

Then there are always the enterprising marketers selling clothes, shoes, handbags, flowers, hardware, plastic, costume jewelry, watches, undergarmets etc. at an affordable price. There are always a few sellers with hi-fashion collection from previous years at give away prices- be it clothes, shoes or hand bags. The only hitch here is that you may not be able to 'flaunt' your prized possession because the 'labels' are usually ripped off or cut. This is a requirement (either from the first party to whom the collection belongs or from the government, I am not sure). But if you do love good clothes and cut, then this is a minor hiccup to owning and even lesser to enjoying a quality piece. However, this requirement, obviously, does not hold good for the shoes, handbags or sunglasses. So you can freely go and indulge. 

 

While any of these markets will let you sample the Parisian life as a local, le marché of Bastille is the most popular with locals and tourists alike. Held every Thursday and Sunday from 07:00 AM-02:30 PM (Metro: Chemin Vert, Line 8 or Breguet-Sabin, Line 5), there are more than a hundred sellers lined across the streets (rue St.-Sabin & rue Amelot) on the Boulevard Richard Lenoir.



Trivia:

  • Le marché (pronounced 'luh mar.shay') is different from the flea market (called le marché aux puces) and from the antiques' market (called Brocante)
  • Le Marché des Parisien (or the Parisian Market) is also the name of a one act comic ballet first presented at the Imperial Bolshoi Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1859. Presented in Paris, two years later at the Paris Opera, the name was changed to Le Marché des Innocents (The Market of the Innocents)