Sunday, December 30, 2007

Au Marchée

It's Sunday in Paris and we woke up unusually early, (8 am ;) so we headed off to our favorite market... our favorite mostly because it's the one in our old neighborhood where we met three years ago. We took Metro line 1 (from Châtelet, bien sûr) to Concord and transfered to line 8 to Ecole Militaire so we could have coffee and walk past the Tour Eiffel and my old apartment on Avenue de la Motte Piquet. People were out jogging and walking their dogs, but we left Filou at home.

When you go, take either line 6, 8, or 10. The market stretches all the way between two stations on line 6... La Motte Piquet and Bir Hakim. The view from Bir Hakim is worth a stop on the stairs...

There are markets all over Paris on Sundays, and on every other day also. This one is also open on Wednesdays. You can find just about everything you need here.

... shopping baskets and bags, quilts, tablecloths and linens, rugs, furniture--old and new, scarves, gloves, clothing, jewelery, handbags, shoes, souveniers, kitchenware, wine, milk, fresh eggs, cheeses...

...we bought my favorite camembert, La Vache Normande, and some fresh chèvre--goat cheese, which I like to put in omelettes with shallots and fines herbs. He loves my omelettes.

... fois gras, dried fruit, tarts and cookies, bread, spices--dried and fresh...

... garlic...

... fish...
we bought two hands full of scallops--at least I think that's what the giant Noix St Jacques are called in English--that I will attempt to cook for New Years...

... roasted pig, cow's tongue, whole chickens, roasted and raw, rabbit, duck, organs and body parts of all sorts... I'll spare you the visuals!

... paella and potatoes ready to eat... fruits and vegetables, of course!

... cherries from Chili,

and mushrooms...

... litchis must be in season... they're everywhere! A screen saver for Eric... thinking of you! xOO!

Some of the merchants will let you select your own produce, but many prefer that you let them pick it for you... a sort of hands off policy. We've been scolded more than once!

And you can see why...

... this vendor even took the time to line up his haricots verts... so French!

The displays are very often artistic, especially first thing in the morning. There's nothing like arriving before dawn to see them all arrive and set up their stands in the dark...

... some provide samples or cut their goods open so you can see what's inside...

Two, please... s'il vous plait!

The flowers are always tempting, but he bought me a lovely bouquet of red tulips and lillies the other night on his way home from work... it has been a trying week. ;)

When we got home, the streets were still fairly empty...

... and the cats were very happy to see us!

So what exactly do we do with all these vegetables?!?!

Couscous, of course!

... which reminds me, my poem "Couscous" is due out in the spring in Pearl ... for a copy, go to Pearl Magazine and send in an order for issue number 39.

In the meantime, here's a poem I wrote this past May while I was visiting Paris to study with Cecilia Woloch... I read it at Shakespeare and Company. It may be a bit sentimental, but it's a very telling way to top off a very expat day... untitled because it is, perhaps, forever unfinished.

I love him for his
mother’s paprika—smokey
like his lips, spicy as a spanking.
His smart derrière is softly firm
like camembert. I love his big
ears, how they hear further
than sound, even across the
Atlantic and North America.
His eyes—demanding blue—
can sing the notes missing
from his broken English.
His teeth—the imperfect
tiles of an ancient mosaic—
embellish his smile like
a picket fence on a country
hillside. His kisses— meticulously
messy, relentless—are too many
too early in the morning, and his
faithful beard—too prickly.
He has the hands of a carpenter
of love, smooth as purple,
hospitable as ladyfingers with tea
under the bending birch trees
that are his arms. He reprograms
my hardrive when he eats
his words, never too proud
to dance naked.


Ryan said...

Baby Cakes
what a wonderful treat!
You have taken me back to the day that we spent at that same market. What a memory to have that come back to me, the smell and sounds, all the people doing there shopping. those are the moments that truly take me back to that fist visit with you in Paris.
Keep up this wonderful blog of yours, it help me remember those happy moments in Paris.

all my luv

Brooke said...

I love this! Remember when I bought my quilt at the market by your apt? I love the Paris markets. You took some beautiful pictures and it takes me back to the time I visited you in Paris. I will visit you again, I promise, and I can't wait. In the meantime, I'll continute to admire your beautiful pictures.

Shaun said...

Suzanne ~ What a bountiful spread on your counter! Eric and I are officially jealous. I told him about your mention of the lychees, and he remembers seeing them when we were there around this time last year...

The concept of fresh goat cheese baffles me, only because it is so hard to find here. There is a cheese producer not that far from my parents' house, apparently. I'll have to recruit a friend to tag along with me. The cheese industry is barely being developed in New Zealand, but to buy cheese is expensive because it is treated as a gourmet industry, unlike in France, where cheese is all but a necessity after a meal.

And the spices, fruit and vegetables...Don't get me started! I've already said that I am jealous, right?