Thursday, 25 April 2013

For the Birds- Marché aux Oiseaux

My favorite time to be wandering the streets in Paris are sunny Sunday mornings. The world is hungover and signs of last night's excess are littered on the sidewalks. It's almost required of you to whisper and tiptoe around the city, lest you wake the head-ached masses. If I'm motivated to get up early, the city is quiet and I can get to the market at Bastille without being crushed in the crowd, and then enjoy some wine and oysters on the sidewalk in front of Le Baron Rouge before strolling back to the maison to make a dinner with the market spoils.

Musée des Arts et Métiers

So I definitely have my routine, but occasionally, I'll mix it up. One recent Sunday, we headed to île de la Cité to check out le Marché aux Oiseaux- the bird market. I had heard that there was such a thing, but it never occurred to me to actually visit until a friend in town read about it in a guide book.

Just a couple blocks from Notre Dame there is a 200 year old flower market set up at place Louis-Lépine, it's old greenhouses stretching down the block positively crammed with a riot of orchids and exotic plants and really interesting garden decorations which makes me positively crave for my own twisty-path green space with secret little pockets to decorate with treasures.

On Sundays, the exotic bird sellers step in and set up shops on the sidewalk along the greenhouses. You can hear it long before you can see it- there is a lovely symphonic chorus of hundreds of birds. While photographing birds in cages is notably tricky, I couldn't help myself. There was such a riot of color as the tiny bundle of feathers bounce from their perches.

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Animals in cages always seem to make me a bit sad, and birds especially. I've never been tempted to start a collection of them despite the gorgeous vintage birdcages that beg to be collected and put to use. The willingness to wake up very early every morning combined with the melancholy of keeping a creature meant to fly in jail has always dissuaded me.

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They also sold rabbits, hamsters, pigeons, doves and chickens at the market.

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The tiny tropical birds were just so lovely. I can totally understand the urge to keep them as pets.

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  1. I agree with you about caged animals, especially birds.

    1. I know, right? It just seems really selfish to want to keep them. Also, they are infuriatingly cheerful in the mornings.