Sunday, 24 April 2011

Paris Eye 25/30 - Down and out in Paris


On Thursday I read 'Prime Numbers' by Margaret Turton in the SMH in which she mentioned Parc Georges Brassen down in the 15eme. Negotiating Metro lines due to Easter closures on some lines, added zest to this must-do excursion.

Parc Georges Brassens is an old industrial area that is now used by families from the surrounding high-rise buildings to sit in the sun, and to commune with friends. It is quite different from the parks in the single-digit arrondissements. It has more in common with Parc Monceau in the north, but that still slight. It used to be an old abbatoir, which goes some-way to explaining the inscription on the central tower building: Vente à la criee - Sale by auction. The young boy making like a mountain goat was fun, until I realised I was waiting for him to tumble.


Under a cloud of disappointment, it was only on my way out that I discovered why I felt compelled to visit this park. I stumbled upon the market, which book-ended the entire excursion for me. It was peopled by 'geeks'! The market is held all year around, on both Saturday and Sunday, from 9am until 6pm. The boquinistas on the Seine cannot hold a candle to these stall-holders.

Oh, how I would like to take home one old volume from each stay in Paris from here on out. Dare I return tomorrow? Oh, that I could find a tattered copy of Orwell's 'Down and Out in Paris'.

19 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

You are really getting around Paris, Julie. This park is wonderful, and you might so easily have missed it. What a great way to spend your time!
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Luis Gomez said...

Gorgeous shots. Beautiful Julie.

Ann said...

Oh look at those wonderful books. I've always thought I'd like to learn book binding one day.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Aren't those books just delicious. We found an old book like that in an Antiquarian shop in London publish 1725 which has an map of Australia before Cook filled in the gaps ... a great find which we could not resist buying. In Paris however we have generally bought art to remember it by.

Mary Ann said...

I love the first photo of the books. I love how they glow in the light.

Davine said...

I have just been catching up on your blog and I am enjoying your Paris photos - enjoy.

J Bar said...

The covers look amazing.

anjoe playhouse said...

Great photos from Paris - and all those books just waiting for you ;-)

Thérèse said...

Joyeuses Pâques!

Peter said...

And a Happy Easter to you, what a wonderful find - I hope you find your Orwell in one of those leather bound gold trimmed volumes. Paris in Spring looks superb. Easter in Sydney always rains.

Virginia said...

"waiting for him to tumble"! You ARE a true photographer Julie. Love the books. Go back to day and buy the whole lot!
V

PS Most of the schools here are out on Fri-Mon. but call it "spring holiday" or some such so as not to offend anyone. I swear!

Jack said...

Lovely photographs today. I can almost smell the old books. Glad you are enjoying your sojourn in Paris.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

The shots of books made me drool and the "mountain-goat boy" made me laugh with your comments. My carry-on was so full on this trip after buying antique linens that I could not have squeezed in even a piece of chocolate much less a book... I usually check a duffle on my return trip and will do so next time... perhaps, for a book!

Bises,
Genie

Julie said...

Genie: is a duffle what I refer to as a 'back-pack'? Un sac au dos?

Steffe said...

I am reading up on your Paris posts and they are all very informative and the candid portraits are great.

Julie said...

As much as I enjoy your portraits, Steffe, and your interviews of you subjects, I want my people to just be doing what they do - au naturel. And yes, I have had the discussions about invasion of privacy. I don't know how to solve that.

diane b said...

You are finding all the interesting nooks and crannies of Paris. It must be fun what you are doing. I wouldn't be brave enough, I'd worry about getting lost. I could spend hours in a market like that. Were there many English books?

Julie said...

It IS fun what I am doing. But having done it for a month, I sort of know where I am most of the time. I have the map in my head, so to speak. Not the detail, just the broader brush strokes. And being a country girl, I use the sun a lot (even though it took me a couple of days to reorient myself), and I take maps and metro diagrams with me everywhere.

The market was wonderful. But when I look online the prices are a bit high and I could have haggled more. English ... maybe 10%. If one lived here, and went every weekend, I am sure you could find treasures at reasonable prices.

I like the style of the woman whose book I have detailed on Plumbing. I will try to get more of her stuff online and again when I return to Paris in the autumn.

Jilly said...

Oh the books, the books. Stunning.