When I tell people I’ve been working on a book about the markets of Paris, it’s a bit of a Rorschach test. Business types assume I’m talking about financial markets. (Years ago I was an editor for business books, so it’s not that much of a stretch.) They try to appear interested, but I see their eyes glaze over. Some jump to the conclusion it’s about supermarkets. Daring ones who know I also write fiction guess a detective novel. People who know me better make the connection with my interest in food, farmers markets, and local markets of all kinds. Ding!
Markets of Paris covers 120 market destinations. About 80 of them focus on food. These are open-air food markets, street markets, covered markets, and a couple gourmet markets. Other items are sold there, but food is the emphasis.
But that’s not all. Forty or so other markets included in Markets of Paris yield treasures for the home and unusual souvenirs across all price ranges.
and antique markets,
book markets, fabric markets, postcard and paper markets,
fabric markets, arts and crafts markets, flower & bird markets, even postage stamp and telephone card markets.
What it comes down to is this: The Markets of Paris covers all the markets that Paris has to offer (except the Bourse). Dixon Long and I feature some of our favorites in each category with lengthier write-ups and photos.
Markets abound in Paris. It’s part of how Parisians have been sourcing provisions, selling goods, and satisfying their interests for hundreds of years. It’s woven into their history and culture. And so, visiting markets in Paris is one of the best ways of experiencing the local culture. Listen to how people interact, watch what they do, jump in and participate yourself. You can spend half a day or, as I did, over 6 months happily exploring markets of all kinds…and still be left wanting more.
What are some of your favorite markets? I’d love to hear.
Marjorie R. Williams describing different kinds of markets in Paris, excerpted from her presentation at International Culinary Center in New York City (2012)