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December 15, 2010


Another Christmas Market

by soundlandscapes

MY LAST POST WAS ABOUT the Christmas market in La Défense. This post is about a Christmas market even closer to home – the Christmas market here in Neuilly sur Seine.

This Christmas market is a short hop from the bottom of my little street. Walking past a couple of cafés, the best boulangerie in Paris, a Chinese traiteur and an electrical shop, one comes to the Parvis of the Hôtel de Ville which hosts our Christmas market. It comprises about thirty wooden châlets nestling close together on the Parvis selling everything one would expect to find at a Christmas market. It’s all very local and very intimate.

Small it may be but this Christmas market still manages to throw up surprises.

Much to my delight, I found this gentleman playing his little street organ and singing as I was walking through the market the other day.

And more was to follow. A small group of children from the Ecole Maternelle close by were being shown round the market. When this gentleman saw them he ushered them around him and began to play a popular French children’s Christmas song – and the children all joined in enthusiastically. It was a real delight to listen to.

Compared to the giant Christmas market in the Champs Elysées our little market here in Neuilly is tiny – but I know which I prefer.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dec 16 2010

    I have to confess that I find Neuilly to be a very creepy and sinister place – and I work on its outer limits!

  2. Dec 16 2010

    Hi Adam,

    I am intrigued by your comment that Neuilly is creepy and sinister. I have lived here for the last 12 years and your comments do not compute with me. I would like to know why you have come to the view that you have.

  3. Dec 19 2010

    Hi Des – I’d like you use your recording of the man, his street organ and the children on my next radio programme (an Xmas/winter special). Can you let me know what that song is? It might be popular in France but not here in Australia!


  4. Dec 20 2010

    It’s difficult to explain, but I just never feel comfortable in the place. I guess it’s very different from the rest of Paris and the nearby suburbs, and very residential which gives it a kind of ‘Desperate Housewives’ feel. The buildings are set back quite far from the street (and often behind gates) which gives me the sensation of being watched without knowing myself what is going on in those buildings. The people (not yourself I should imagine!) look a little different from elsewhere too, and it is no surprise that Mme Bettancourt lives there!

    You live in the town and so must know it much better than I do, but all I can say is that from my place of work I always prefer to go either into Paris or Levallois where I feel more at home.


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