martes, 6 de mayo de 2008

Paris produce market, Aug 1976 - 18

In August 1976, Toni and I took a fantastic vacation trip to Europe -- starting with a flight on the Concorde to Paris, then on to Venice, and then a drive through Florence, across the Mediterranean coastline of Monaco, and then up through France to Paris. When we reached Paris, we stayed at the obscenely expensive Ritz Hotel for a couple days before flying home ...

I remembered having seen the French fresh produce market on an earlier (1971) trip to France, and decided that I would go take some pictures early in the morning ... of which this is roughly one of a dozen. Tomatoes, oranges, potatoes, mushrooms, eggs, milk, sardines, grapes, carrots, cantaloupes, apples, pears, shrimp, clams, peaches, beans, radishes, scallons and lettuce were all on display -- piled high, in their own separate bins.

No one picture really captures the overall impact of this cornucopia of colors, smells, and sounds; it's only when you put a dozen of the pictures side by side that you begin to get a sense of it all. But each bin was artfully arranged; the bunch of dill (or whatever it is) carefully laid at a diagonal angle on the tomatoes in this picture is a good example of the French touch.

By the way, the sign appears to say that a kilo (2.2 lbs) of these tomatoes could be purchased for 2.90 francs. Since all of Europe has now switched to the Euro, I don't know what this would be in today's currency. But at the time, I recall that the exchange rate was about 6 francs to the dollar; so this sign would basically indicate that tomatoes were selling for about $0.25 per pound...