Paris, the bird market, 1982


On Sundays the flower market on Ile de la Cité becomes a marché aux oiseaux. It used to be more extensive and raucous than today. It began around 7 a.m. and there was coffee and sometimes baguettes or croissants to eat as you walked around. Because relations with the former West African colonies were still tight, and there were no EU rules about transporting exotic birds, the plumage was spectacular. But birds — even yellow and orange and red and green birds with sword-like tails and Michael Jackson plumage — they get dull eventually. So a little 5 year old girl, up on vacation from Spain, wants to look at rabbits instead.

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