At one corner of the Place Bastille, every Thursday and Sunday, one of the largest open air markets in all of Paris convenes. From there it stretches half a mile along both sides of the boulevard Richard Lenoir, a thriving, crowded bazaar piled high under countless canopies with all the splendid variety of European (and North African) agriculture. Hidden within this exhibition of the wealth of French food, among the disarray of meats and fish and bread and cheese and fruits and vegetables and wine, are booths hawking less picturesque necessities like socks and children’s underwear – all of it cheap and much of it presumably made in China. Even in this bastion of Gallic pride, one can hear, above the vaunting of the marchands, the overseas cry of globalization.
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