Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fête de Pain - bread festival in Paris and two things you couldn't make up

Fete de Pain, in it's 17th year, is held in tents in front of Notre Dame. Here all the future little bakers of Paris tested their mettle under the supervision of the masters of the metier. No less than the head Baker who every year encourages little ones to join and become skilled in the 'patrimoine' of making French baguettes.
 The wheat which produces the flour - for some of the city kids this is news.
 Hard at work rolling out the dough.

 Maybe one day they will become bakers and patissiers who keep the legacy of these delicacies going.
 A patisserie even at Guerlain, the perfumers, who've made a cake celebrating the little black dress fragrance.
 Besides the fete de la Pain in Paris, last week two events happened that would be hard to make up. During an excavation at the Thiais cemetery, outside Paris - site for pauper burials, those unknown or without families, a discovery was found.  In extending  the grounds the construction crew came upon one hundred cadavers of German soldiers from WW2 in a mass grave. Details were sparse in the reports I found but since the cadavers were identified as German soldiers they must have had ID, dog tags and/or partial uniforms left to identify them as soldiers.
On the heels of that in the well know Pere Lachaise cemetary near Belleville in Paris, home to many famous dead celebrities: Edith Piaf, Chopin, Colette, Oscar Wilde and you name it - a fresh body was discovered by a tourist in the afternoon wedged between two graves. The corpse of Monsieur Bourard, 66 years old, and nearby resident of Belleville was found bloodied and with his head bashed in. Hard to imagine the thoughts and shock of the American tourist who discovered Monsieur Bourard when he was en route to pay homage to Chopin at his famous gravesite. The newspaper reported that Monsieur Bourard was well known to the crew at Pere Lachaise as a nice local man who lived nearby and liked to share his stories of Pere Lachaise with tourists. The crew also led the police to a Monsieur X, a man in his late 20's also living nearby, who'd become violent with cemetery visitors and was a neighbor of Monsieur Bourard. In Monsieur X's apartment, which he shared with his father, they found bloody clothes and the DNA of the blood matched the victim. Case solved? But why I asked my friend, a flic, did Monsieur X with a history of violence attack his neighbor and there of all places?  She'd heard it had a been a gay rendezvous gone bad and among the living and the very dead in Paris.
 Spotted this little taped drawing outside the Metro - a drawing of Marianne - the Symbol of France with a long Pinochio nose over the words 'Liberte,Egalite, Fraternite' - so that's the pulse on the Paris streets before the European Elections.
Cara - Tuesday


  1. Bread and corpses! Wow, Cara, Paris in the spring is always beautiful, but this year it's also grist for the mill of us mystery writers. That scene with the Chopin fan Pere Lachaise, what an opening to a story.

  2. Thanks, AMA. Imagine coming to pay homage to Chopin and finding a corpse - the truth defies fiction!

  3. Ahh, from pastries to Pinocchio amid the passed away of Paris. What more could one ask for...I guess we'll hear come the elections.

  4. Love the fête de pain. Being a baker myself, I've always aspired to a great baguette but never have come close.