Category Archives: markets

Paris Montagne Sainte-Geneviève 1 : up and around rue Mouffetard

The south way to climb Paris Montagne sainte-Geneviève is to go up rue Mouffetard, starting at Saint Médard square.

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It was former – long ago – a working class district, and the whole area was called “la Mouff‘”. All the lower part of rue Mouffetard and its crossing little streets was an outdoor food market. It still has beautiful remains.

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Facing Saint-Médard, a completely tattooed old house – a pork and poultry shop, as we can see, shows this area’s historical tradition. Nowadays, you find there “Androuet“, which is one of the best cheese stores in Paris, and a fine Italian products shop.

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Going all the way up, you’ll get to place de la Contrescarpe. There you have several options.

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You can sit at one of the numerous cafés around. You can go down rue du Cardinal Lemoine and pay a visit to hotel des Grandes Ecoles courtyard and garden. You can go straight ahead on rue Descartes, and and pass Pierre Alechinsky‘s poetic “street tree”.

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At rue Clovis corner stands Henri IV high-school, which is one of the “grandes écoles” left in the neighborhood, and at the end of this street, you have a glimpse on place du Panthéon.

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From the Contrescarpe, you can also climb higher, taking on the left rue Blainville and rue de l’Estrapade. It goes through a nice little square:

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Next to it, a former coffee roasting plant

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has become a town house.

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At rue des Irlandais’ corner, meet a shooting soccer player by FKDL

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You can also stop for a drink place de l’Estrapade at the Café de la Nouvelle Mairie

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Though it is rather chilly, many people sit outdoor, under heating devices : the smoking costumers. This is part of a recent phenomena.

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Since the beginning of this year, it’s forbidden to smoke in all public places. So smoking has become a significant outdoor activity. You’ll notice people smoking outside offices and stores – where large outdoors ashtrays have been set on the ground. There are more people outside cafés than inside – when outdoor is heated. And even at home, rain or snow, you’ll see people smoking on their balcony. What’s more dangerous for your health, smoking or catching a bad cold?

You can get to rue Mouffetard by metro station Monge or Censier-Daubenton.

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Sunday Morning : Aligre Market

Food markets are part of Parisian way of life, there are at least 69 outdoor and 13 indoor markets, and they’re all very popular. Sunday morning’s market is a social institution, and one the most famous is” le marché d’Aligre“, located in east center (between Bastille and Gare de Lyon). It happens to be my market.

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The outdoor market opens every morning except on Mondays, but there are only a few stalls in the beginning of the week, so it’s better to visit it on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays, and it gets crowded around 11 am up till closing time (13.30).

Customers lining up around the best fruits and vegetable stalls meet friends, also talk to people they don’t know (and not only to their cell phone), and joke with the stall holders.

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On the Aligre square stands a covered market, le marché Beauvau-Saint Antoine, a bit more expensive, but opening in the afternoon also, and offering many other products, like cheese, fish, meat, poultry, delicatessen, Italian food, selected olive oils and Caribbean dishes.

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A lot of film and television people live nearby and make the place a bit trendy, but Aligre used to be a working class district, and the market still has an informal and independent spirit. There is an associative FM radio channel, Radio Aligre (93.1 on FM band) and an active district association, “la commune libre d’Aligre” (Aligre free community).

At the end of Sunday morning Market, it’s too late to cook lunch, and there are plenty tempting cafés around to sit and rest.

Another Aligre Sunday morning institution is to sip a glass of wine and taste oysters at the Baron Rouge. If you don’t go for oysters you can feed on a plate of “charcuterie” or cheese. The place is always crowded, and people drink and eat on the sidewalk.

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On the opposite corner, you will find the Penty, where you can sit and taste a delicious and burning oriental mint tea, unless you rather go for the traditional “pastis”.

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Marché d’Aligre : Place et rue d’Aligre 75012 Paris (Métro Ledru-Rollin) everyday except monday : 9 am to 13, 13.30 on week-ends. Beauvau- Saint Antoine covered market : place d’Aligre, same hours plus afternoon 16.30 to 19.30.

Le Baron Rouge: 1 rue Théophile Roussel (almost at place d’Aligre corner )

Le Penty : rue Emilio Castelar / place d’Aligre

For more informations : http://marchedaligre.free.fr

Radio Aligre schedule and programs : http://aligrefm.free.fr

district association activities : http://www.cl-aligre.org