Bercy Paris, stiltskin dancers and olive oil

This post was written by admin on December 14, 2008
Posted Under: Daily Paris

Bercy was the place Parisians came to get merry when once upon a time it stood as a rural village serving cheap intoxicating liquors (untaxed). With time the area turned to squalor until its revival in the 1970’s. The dilapidated wine storehouses (chais in French) have been revamped into dedicated commercial shops, and a modern complex/cinema which I sometimes frequent, stands to one end.

I came to Bercy, in the 12th arrondissment, today with Mme Froggy (I swear I’ll invent a more creative name when my brain has some rest), to do a little Christmas shopping. She was the one to make the observation that there were many window shoppers, but scarcely anybody with bags full of purchases. It does seem the recession has come to Paris and France as a whole and Parisian’s are tightening the purse strings this year.

bercy, paris, stilt dancers

It was nice to see some festive decorations, although the French are far more conservative than the Brits in their luminary pursuits. Along the road some strange paganistic characters on stilts danced over the cobbles, drapes flowing from their arms as they lent over and leered with evil faces at passing shoppers.

bercy paris, 12th district

paris, costume

I took refuge in the nearby sweet shop where the various candies and nougats were all home-made in ye olde-styled boxes, but found the prices a little more frightening than what lay outside the door.

sweet shop, bercy paris

A few shops down is O&Co, mainly dedicated to selling fine olive oils and balsamic vinegar. The staff stand with spoons close at hand so you can try samples of fig vinegar or Moulin de L’Olivette – yum! Many months back we purchased a bottle of Pollichino Olive Oil which we use with cheese, salads and pasta – it’s very kind to the taste buds. I tried a cherry vinegar, and told the chap that British cough medicine often had a cherry flavour. Fortunately it didn’t quite resemble the same flavour, but was very acidic and sweet.

olive oil, O&co, paris

Right next-door to this pedestrianised shopping centre sits Parc de Bercy, a 173 acre park which is interesting by day, and well, dark by night. I took a quick snapshot of a heron lurking on the pond but I’m still having to ‘guess, point, click’ with the broken camera. A lone man stood with a laptop watching videos (nearly all the Paris parks have WIFI – it’s funny because I hear the French refer to it as ‘wiffy’ not ‘why-thigh’). I was trying to imagine a park in the UK (especially a city park), where you could stand with a laptop in the dark within a secluded park and not get mugged!

bercy park, parc de bercy, paris


Reader Comments

I would like to send you some very old photos by email for your comment. How can I do that?


Written By James on December 20th, 2008 @ 11:27 pm

I recomend you to try olive oil from Jaen (Spain). The picual one is the most common. I am have an explotation there. I recomend you to taste. Cold compress, 100% olive juice. Also the best way to surprise somebody giving a bottle as a present. You just could not be cooler.


Written By juan on April 2nd, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

Hi Juan, thanks for the suggestion. Next time I get the chance I’ll see if I can’t sample the Spanish one!

Written By admin on April 4th, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

Olive oil is very tasty and it has very low saturated fats.*~’

Written By Benjamin Hall on July 27th, 2010 @ 4:52 am

olive oil is a great additive on foods since it has low saturated fat:-:

Written By David Begum on September 13th, 2010 @ 7:12 am


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