markets for produce, for cheese, for meat, for fish...
and even markets dedicated to selling books.
I must admit, having been born and bred in New York, I was beyond relieved upon discovering the sheer variety that these markets have to offer as well as how convenient they are to find!
You can find a market in just about every arrondissement and just as a tip,
produce is far cheaper on Sundays because the farmers are trying to sell the last of their stock before the following week.
For instance, just as a price gauge, last week I bought two pounds of crisp, juicy apples, a cantaloupe, a bunch of bananas, two avocados, a head of lettuce and a carton of strawberries for....
EIGHT EUROS! Outrageous!
One of life's greatest joys come from eating amazing, fresh, locally grown food
for just a mere fraction of the cost.
Moving on from my foodie ramble,
I happened across this beautiful set-up in the fifth arrondissement
and I must say,
I have never seen a more quaint, more charming space...
filled with venders who love nothing more than to show off their carefully selected display of novels with a side of their own literary recommendations.
Although I did not snap a picture of it for the sake of restraining a little foreigner dignity,
there was a small fire pit placed in the center of the market.
It truly made the market feel like a community of novelists, with different sellers sitting around the fire, eating their afternoon lunch, making small talk about the books they had hauled over from different regions of France.
I never thought that one could become so heart-warmed by a book market.
Some of the books I came across were quite unique. I mean, how often do you come across a book made of cloth?
I had intended to purchase it so I had made my way over to the small fire pit of sellers and asked to whom the book stand belonged to. The man was so excited as he walked me over to his stand, asking me which one of the lucky books I was going to go home with.
I pointed to this cloth book and he was so full of life, describing it's history and how it is a vintage piece from the 1950s, made by one of the few of the French who created cloth books at the time.
Unfortunately, after getting me all excited, he told me the price...
and that was the end of that.
Even though I didn't get to purchase it, I can still hold onto this book thanks to the beauty of photography and even if I don't go to markets with the intention of purchasing something, the experience, the atmosphere, and the things I learn from walking around each distinctive community is more than enough for me!
Monica Park is the Fall 2013 MOJO in Paris, France. She is currently a senior at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.