Friday, March 25, 2016

French Friday: Rue Mouffetard

I did not think my series on French markets complete without mentioning Rue Mouffetard.

Situated in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, Rue Mouffetard can trace its origins to the Medieval time period. This area is commonly known as the Latin Quarter, in reference to the ancient language spoken among the intellectuals of the Sorbonne. In the present time, the Latin Quarter is popular among university students and young millennials.

I remember first visiting this section of the city in high school. We were there less than an hour, but I was immediately enthralled with the colorful outdoor stalls, the lively clientele, and the daily shopping routine (vs the American once-a-week visit to the neighborhood superstore).

When I returned in 2011 the market seemed a bit more run-down than I remembered. Rue Mouffetard is a true neighborhood shopping district: no pretension - no gentrification - just  practical goods and services.

I encountered more homeless and/or beggars in this market than the other two I visited, but perhaps that was due to the time of day rather than location.

I was especially enthralled with the Delizius delicatessen on the corner. The painted scene above the shop doors reminded me of a rustic Italian village. Of course, I was first drawn to the loyal canine tied up on the post outside the shops, waiting patiently for his master.

I could easily acclimate to this lifestyle.

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