cafe in Paris
It’s Saturday morning, I sit at a café drinking my second café longue (espresso with a little water). As the sun peeks down the street warming my face, the city wakes to a flawless weekend in Paris. There’s a street-market on Wednesday & Saturday mornings on the sidewalk outside Gyorgyis’ apartment.  A hint of fall trickles forth this week as the clothing worn by Parisians changes from flowing summer silks to lightly layered cashmere.
In most communities you’ll find the street-market is a staple of life in Paris. The dedicated patrons roll hand carts for their weekly food transport. Why carry excess bags on your arm when you can ferry them effortlessly with practicality and style?
roll cart
I’ve found the children, generally speaking, to be well-behaved, they seem accustomed to the weekly routine of shopping at open air markets. The vendors share tasty nibbles with the budding Parisians exchanging open smiles and obvious familiarity.
The people working the various stands are friendly and attentive, acknowledging shoppers and passers-by with “bonjour” (hello) followed up with “avoir une bonne jour née” (goodbye-enjoy your day).
The fish lady recognizes us walking by and greets us with an affectionate smile. The exchange between Gyorgyi and her sounds something like “how was your week, are you well?” She fillets our fish and after inquiring if we require anything else she sends us warmly off with;  “avoir une bonne jour née” before greeting her next customer waiting patiently for their turn.
The market is unhurried as customers understand their turn will come, the ritual of market day is one of patience and community.
olives & assorted nuts

olives & assorted nuts

Gyorgyi is a blossom enthusiast, she buys at least one bouquet a week. Even though she’s only lived in this location ten days, the flower man greets her like a lifelong customer.
Flower ManHe is passionate about his craft. I must admit it is delightful watching someone so enthused with their work. He moves comfortably amid the colourful blooms all the while greeting his customers with charm and respect.
Cheese, oh the cheese in this country is an art unto itself.
From the silky texture of a creamy Brie to the complexity of Roquefort… You could spend months exploring every cheese available in the this country. The French adore their cheese with a passion that borders on obsession.
The croissant is as iconic as the Eiffel Tower. You have the buttery, the flakey, the dry, the melt in your mouth freshness of them. I can’t say I’ve had one that I’d toss out, however if you sample enough you do find your favourites. One for every hour of the day if you like, unfortunately my waist line would not survive that kind of dedication to the beloved French tradition.
The vegetable stand is a carnival of colour and texture. The meticulousness of their presentation will have you dreaming of a fresh salad with olive oil and lemon.
Enchantment abounds in Paris. I highly recommend a visit if only for a day.  A week is a delight, a month spent here you’ll find your heart and in a year you’ll be changed forever.

About Italian Living

I'm an interior decorator from Canada. I own a design firm. I have three grown daughters who are confidant women living busy lives. I love my family my friends and my life, however, something is missing. December 3rd, my eyes open at 3:33 a.m. It's time to fulfill my lifelong dream of living in Italy..... I rent my house, pack my bags, say a final farewell to all the people I love most in this world and hop on a plane January 13th.... alone. This is my story...
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