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The Vintage Vertigo Team ~ An Etsy Team Spirit Finalist

07 March 2014

The Les Halles Shops of Paris

Ar Vag is the author of this blog post. Her shop is in Brittany, France - BrittanyArmor
Do you know the meaning of the word CLOCHARD ?

This is the name that was used in early France to describe poor people or the neediest.

Paris is well known for le quartier LES HALLES. It is a wonderful place where many bistro and Hall merchants work and play hard

The nightlife was very different. With such a life, many friends were made. They had a sense of sharing, close friendships between them  une belle époque ! :) ,
The shops would ring a bell,  sonner la cloche ! This was to announce the beginning and the end of the sales each day !

Thus, Clochard is a derivative of Cloche (bell)  pointing the neediest. They used to come at the end of sales day (at the sound of the bell) to get some leftover food and various unsold goods. 

Note: The word CLOCHARD was not considered as negative to poor people, the neediest ... Unfortunately, the word clochard has another meaning today ... of a profiteer.

Back then and now, la soupe à l'oignon ; onion soup was very popular, many bistros in Paris are cooking onion soup at 5 am !
Parisian onion soup is cooked with thinly sliced onions :) , and added to pot au feu ( stew) juice of the day before, stale bread rubbed with fresh garlic, at last grated gruyere :) , then, this is poured into an earthenware terrine for baking in the oven,
It is Miammm ! Yummy :),  alors, bon appétit !

                                          French Onion Soup

To try to understand the life and mindset of Clochard in the early time period, there is a famous French movie ARCHIMEDE LE CLOCHARD performed by Gilles Grangier, featuring Jean GABIN, Darry COWL, Bernard BLIER, Jacqueline MAILLAN. The screen writer was Michel Audiard.  He is a famous French satirical poet.

It was shot on location partly in le quartier LES HALLES.
Archimede de Clochard

One of my favorite French movies stars Jean GABIN ! Such a clever script, such an amazing and funny movie ! Ce clochard is a True lovely one ! la belle époque ! ;-) This is because the main character chose the way he was living and he was simply HAPPY in life ...

I hope you'll love it too ! :)

ar vag  


Tanjla said...

I love the French perspective of shopping.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post! Thanks for telling us about it! And the onion soup, too!
Sherry anonymous

Renee Tielkemeier said...

I love your article - I feel much more cultured and would like some soup now please!

Anonymous said...

A very interesting story, thanks so much, I enjoyed reading.

Anonymous said...

I want to go shopping in France....

Lisa with The Vintage Porch

Anonymous said...

Great post! Very enjoyable!

Debbie FreeLiving

arvag said...

Thank you ! :)
as Tanjla pointed out, this reality belongs to past 19th and early 20th ! Sure, nowadays is another turn here !as you certainly know, over here, some stores do prefer now to throw out unsold food and goods into large garbage cans covered of bleach... Shame on them !
take care or à bientôt :)
ar vag :)

Angela Spiess said...

Thank you very much for this fascinating article! Please do not be surprised if we all come to France for a visit! :) :)

Blue Moon Attic said...

So interesting. I would love to go shopping in France one day with the thoughtful and charming, Ms Boat. ♥

NeverTooOld said...

Bonjour et merci pour la lecture merveilleuse! La soupe à l'oignon semble délicieux et je rêve d'un jour en visite à Paris!

MrsRshop said...

Wonderful article........now I want a bowl of French onion soup!