Sunday, December 26, 2010
Shopping in Paris...
No, not upscale, fashionable, tourist shopping, but ordinary "student on a budget" shopping that my son does... Paris street market style. Twice a week, just a block from sons apartment they have a street market. The market is sort of a combo farmers market/flea market, with vendors selling just about anything you might need. Food items, household items, rugs, shoes, leather purses, and of course cut flowers. My impression is that they have these all over Paris, even in the more upscale areas. Unlike the farmers market back home, which seems yuppy, upscale and often more expensive than the grocery store, the Paris street market is the more affordable place to purchase fresh food. Matt says he buys much of his food there, and judging by the quality of the produce I don't blame him. Interestingly, it is not a seasonal thing either, as here we are in middle of winter (and Paris is cold in the winter!) and the street market goes on and is very well attended. I much enjoyed seeing all things we don't find in the US, like the bins of olives, and piles of dried fruits, and even the dead pigs hanging from the awning. Back home I would have no idea where to buy a pig for a pig roast, but they appear easy to come by here. And the salami's... I'm finding myself wanting to try all the salami's. I'm going to be tempted to bring home a suitcase full of cheese and salami!
I would love to know what these bobbins of thread are for....as I have no idea... they are pretty cool looking though.
After breakfast we headed off to a decidedly untouristy part of town. It was Amos's last day here and he wanted to check out the "thrift market" that's near one of Matt's friends homes. This was essentially a big flea market, just like in the US, with a mix of new clothing, funky designer knock offs, junk sellers, used clothing sellers, all sort of crazy stuff. Is it weird that I kind of like flea markets?... The treasure hunt aspect of them is kind of fun. I think if you were patient there probably were interesting vintage gems in the piles and racks of clothes, but the shear number of sellers and goods was pretty overwhelming. Sarah, my girl of original style, loves thrifting, but I think it was even too much for her. We did find, (new) a package of bulky over the knee socks that she's been lusting after... all for the bargain price of 3 pairs for 7 euros. I was quite fascinated by the fabric sellers, who had beautiful, fancy fabrics, for just a few euros/meter. Made me wish Sarah was still little and I was still designing belly her dance costumes. My favorite find of the day, was the clown shoes. It's really hard to find a nice pair of clown shoes!!!
Right next to the flea market was a regular shopping mall, which we dashed into for a minute to find a bathroom (thank you McDonalds). It was pretty much like an american mall, except for the "rampelator"... OK, I don't know the proper name, but it was an inclined moving side walk, rather than escalator. Having never seen one before we had to play tourist and take a ride!