A to Cray-Z 2017 –
All about the week that I nearly drove my husband crazy. In Paris.
Last October, my husband and I spent a month in France. Nine of those days we spent in Paris. We sought out a street in Paris for every letter of the alphabet, and we set foot in every arrondissement de Paris. This is not for the faint of heart. Or anyone who fears lots of walking. Or stairs. Or trop de baguettes. Or le Métro.
Ça veut dire — Do not try this at home, folks.
Alors, mes chers lecteurs…have you been to Paris? Have you walked on this street? Does this street make you dream or think of a story? Tell me in the comments!
French verb for this street: Oublier
N’oublie pas qu’on doit acheter du poisson au marché.
O is for Rue des Oiseaux
Rue : Rue des Oiseaux
Arrondissement : 3e
C’est où ? (where is this?)
What was it like for us?
This street is a tiny little L-shaped street which goes right through the Marché des Enfants Rouges. It’s a covered market where you can find all kinds of foods, but one that I remember is couscous. One stand had two or three different kinds and it all looked great! But we weren’t there for lunch, sadly. So we passed it up. The funny thing is that Rue des Oiseaux is actually the path that goes right through the market and we didn’t realize it until we’d walked through the market about three times looking for the street !
It is actually more of a ruelle, which means “little street” or what we would probably say is an “alley” in the U.S. I love French ruelles however, because often there are charming little surprises on them, like this hidden park, and the back entrance to the Marché. No wonder why someone wrote “Je t’aime” on this street!
What’s in a name?
This street has had a lot of names over the years, and has only been called “Rue des Oiseaux” since 1740. You know, not very long! Before that, it had been called the “Cul-de sac de Beauce”, “Ruelle du Marché”, and then “La Petite-Rue-Charlot” because of its proximity to Rue Charlot. That is a lot of names for a tiny street like this. The word “ruelle” means “little street” or what we would probably say is an “alley” in the U.S.
It got its current name due to the fact that “back in the day” there were no house numbers in Paris, making it difficult to find things! So the wealthier folks put up enseignes (insignia) on their homes and businesses to make them easier to find. On this street there was once upon a time an enseigne which featured two birds, which is how the street got its name.
Bonus : Marché des Enfants Rouges
The market through which the “street” of the day runs is one of the oldest covered markets in Paris and was given its name because the children of a nearby orphanage created by Marguerite de Navarre in 1534 wore red uniforms. It was declared a historical monument in the early 1980’s and has been saved from near-destruction.
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