Jonathan Fryer

Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 3rd November, 2008

  Of all the streets in Paris, the rue du Faubourg St.-Denis is my favourite. The photo doesn’t really do it justice, as it is one of the most colourful and multicultural thoroughfares in the French capital. French delicatessens jostle with Turkish and Mauritian grocers, Indian restaurants and a whole series of Arab and African telephone centres and internet cafés. Three hundred years ago, before the French Revolution, it used to be very grand, but now its popular edginess is its greatest attraction, at least for me. There used to be street stalls as well (which featured in Jean-Luc Godard’s film ‘Une femme est une femme’), but they were long since evicted. Nonetheless, it’s still a great place to do one’s daily food shopping — a habit I acquired when I lived here 30 years ago and have not abandoned in London, where the ‘weekly supermarket shop’ culture reigns supreme. Eating fresh produce and being able to choose which particular vegetable or piece of fruit one wants, unhindered by packaging, is a facet of the quality of life too many people in London have sacrificed.

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