Interiors and Exteriors
Art and Design
Objects and Antiquities

Monday, April 7


The weekend before I flew to Paris, my family and I went to a bird market near Woodstock, Ontario.  My mother was interested in looking at a couple of chickens to add to her coop.  The poultry selection was quite limited as this market was primarily focused on pigeons; some extremely common (to us who live in Toronto) and some more decorative.  There were a couple tables dedicated to more exotic house birds, and a little furry guy (who you'll see below).  

What I found most interesting was the crowd of collectors: all men, mostly retired, sporting ball caps and sneakers, driving dated sedans, and from various cultural backgrounds.  It doesn't show in these photos, but I noticed a community of East Asian amongst Portuguese and Italian Canadian.  The vibe felt more like a club meeting than a market place; men discussing the specifics of their shared hobby and drinking coffee (some speaking quite passionately with a bird in each hand).  A bit like our Sunday mornings spent at the St. Lawrence market where we casually peruse the antiques, chat with dealers and meet our friends at the snack bar.

While I observed the bird people back home, Heather had her own experience at a Parisian bird market.  Scroll down and read on to compare.

The Paris Bird Market is held every Sunday at Place Louis Lépine on the Ile de la Cité.  The site has been in use since 1808 as both a flower and bird market, with wares being sold from elegant green steel pavilions amid an avenue of trees.  Birds are perhaps not the popular pet they once were, but in among the tourists freaking out over baby ducklings, people were buying cages and birdseed (I didn't see any actual birds sold).  It's depressing to see these bright creatures crammed together into tiny cages, yet they are fascinating and beautiful to watch, making for a bittersweet experience.  White vans replaced the sedans of Woodstock, but it looked like the bird people of Paris enjoy comparing notes just as much as their Ontarian counterpoints.

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