Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 1: Place Louis-Lépine - bird and flower market

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ITINERARY: Sunday Day 1 of a week in Paris

The Islands: Ile de la Cité - Ile Saint-Louis

  • BREAKFAST Hotel? (not sure if la patisserie is open Sundays)
  • Notre-Dame; tour and climb tower (last post)
  • Place Louis-Lepine - Marché aux fleurs (flower market) but on Sundays Marché aux Oiseaux (bird market) - TODAY'S POST
  • Sainte Chapelle; tour and purchase billets for evening concert
  • LUNCH Brasserie de Isle St-Louis -- Look for the stork!
  • Walk Isle St-Louis; ice cream at Berthillion; Square Barye
  • SUPPER Sandwich or omelette?
  • Evening concert at Sainte Chapelle
Day 1
The Islands: Ile de la Cité - Ile Saint-Louis
Place Louis-Lépine - bird and flower market

We can look for the flower market on the Île de la Cité, but what is the flower market every other day of the week, becomes a bird market with parakeets and finches on Sundays. They do sell flowers on Sunday too. This market has been in Place Louis-Lépine 100 years.

This square was named for a police chief - Louis Lépine - who armed gendarmes with whistles and truncheons and was world famous as "The Little Man with the Big Stick - known the world over for handling criminal cases." Click on in his name in the first line of this paragraph and look at the archived New York Times article - amazing to find and a real treat to look at - from Feb. 23, 1913 (!) on the occasion of his retirement from the Prefecture, which is just next door. This area of the city was a center of activity when the Resistance rose up against the Nazis in August 1944. Marie Curie's son Pierre made Molotov cocktails as part of the Resistance here. For a fast and fascinating read about this time, read Is Paris Burning?, in which you learn about Hitler's plan to blow up all the great monuments, bridges and artworks of Paris!

This bird-selling gentleman, below, saw me snapping pictures and started gesticulating wildly (unlike one of his caged, docile birds) with his hands. I didn't know enough French to follow what he was saying, but I could see he wanted me to take his photograph and send him a copy. So my sister Nancy snapped this of me with him, below. He wrote down his mailing address - very badly - and I've included it above the image there. In the photo I am re-writing "La Leay" with his direction, which you can also see to the left of his hand-writing. I don't know if he ever got the print, but I wouldn't be surprised if I mis-wrote his address on the envelope. If I'd just photographed it and taped it on the envelope, maybe that would have been better.


PARIS Métro: Cité

12 comments:

Donica said...

Ruth,
It is so nice to see you writing about Paris again. I know this is a very special place for you and I am so thrilled to have memories of Paris with you guiding the way. I miss you!

Ruth said...

Donica!! I miss you too!!! Oh, wouldn't it be lovely to sit with a café crème and try to get some Final Four on the computer? Hahaha. What awesome memories I have with you there.

Ohhhhhhhh.

Sandy said...

I'm enjoying reading here. I'll have to remember to come back so I can keep up with your Paris memories.

Ruth said...

Sandy, it is fun to have you here, and I think you would have enjoyed the bird market! :) Maybe with your sketchbook . . .

Susan said...

Ruth, now I have two books to add to my list of ones to read. I knew of the movie 'Is Paris Burning?' which I haven't seen, but didn't know about the book. It sounds fascinating. And I've never read The Hunchback of Notre Dame, so there's a lot of catching up to do.

I love the picture of you with the bird seller. I hope he got his copy.

Ruth said...

Susie, I haven't read Hunchback either. I'll add it to my list.

I learned a lot from Is Paris Burning, can't wait to talk about it with you. After reading about Marie Curie's son there, I then read her biography and found that fascinating as well.

The Things We Carried said...

I love Paris and these pictures!

Ruth said...

Merci, The Things We Carried!

Oliag said...

I love the picture of you with the bird seller...my favorite pictures of places tend to be the pics with people in them...

Ruth said...

Oliag, people do bring scenes to life, it's true - even if they're me. :)

Kassten said...

When one buys bird, how does one transport home? Does one must buy cage too?

Ruth said...

Kassten, I am not sure since I didn't buy one, but I think you must have to buy the cage if you do not bring your own.