For the past 5 years the entrepreneurs who own small businesses around the neighborhood have celebrated the fact that they made their businesses happen, even under often difficult circumstances. Starting a business is a challenge anywhere but the French system seems to make it especially difficult, so these intrepid individuals have reason to celebrate their accomplishment.
On this rainy Saturday morning a small group of us met at the steps of the Opera in the Place de la Bastille not sure where to go to see this celebration.
As often happens, one only needs to follow the music. A troop of a dozen percussionists, dressed in sunny costumes and head gear, walked down Rue de la Roquette to the Bastille playing a syncopated rhythm that had everyone moving. With drums, shakers and something like a wash-board, they lead the way like the pied piper and all the crowd followed them through the neighborhood’s narrow streets.
Little businesses and cafes waited with their doors open and passions showing, many with demonstrations to watch.
The eye glass artisan was the reipient of an MOF or Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best of French Workers) a title awarded only in France by type of business in a competition between professionals organized and recognized by the Ministry of Labour . This man proudly wore his hard won medal, displayed the bone, nuts, plastics and other materials used in the creation of his one of a kind, very unique glasses.
Just another morning stroll in the neighborhood ends with more music . . .
Some friendly games…
Then back to the boat and lunch . . .