There is a place, far, far away, on the other side of the city — in the up-and-coming ‘hood known as Belleville, aka the 20th — where I love to go for Vietnamese food. I read about Little Hanoi in Le Point when I first arrived, and it immediately became my favorite place for bo bun, nems, spring rolls, and the most incredible pho perhaps anywhere.
I love going to the market. Well, now I do. It wasn’t always like this – when I first arrived here, I wanted to shop when I wanted to shop, not when someone else told me I could. I whined incessantly about grocery stores not being open on Sunday, which was my favorite day to shop back in Dallas, at the Whole Foods just down the street. Now I know better, and like generations of Parisians who’ve been shopping the food markets with their cute little straw bags since the 1500s, I schedule my shopping around the twice-weekly Avenue du President Wilson Market, a few blocks from my apartment. Every Wednesday and Saturday, I reorganize my schedule to make it to the market by 10 a.m., after which it’s so crowded with people with wheelie carts and dogs and children in tow that it’s impossible to negotiate through the traffic.