Yesterday, we went to our old neighborhood in Brooklyn to check out the French holiday market as well as support small businesses and artisans. I love going back to Brooklyn and pointing out to the girls where we used to live and where things used to be. In fact, I was so immersed in the whole act that I started walking back to our old apartment, just out of old habit I supposed. It was only after a block or so that everyone pointed out to me that we parked the other way and asked me why I was walking the wrong way.
We first lived in Brooklyn Heights in the mid-90s and then in Carroll Gardens in the late ’90s, eventually moving to the suburbs in 2001. When we lived there, we can count with one hand the number of French families we knew in the neighborhood. Today, there are French schools and even an intense French program within the local public school. There are so many French expats in the area that it’s now often called Little France or Little Paris. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like if we had stayed in the area.
The French holiday market was well worth it for us. We saw a friend, Jean-Jacques Bernat, owner of the restaurant Provence en Boîte. He delighted our girls with crêpes while we stocked up on French goodies like merguez sausages and paté. His wife who sells Provençal linens gave the girls little wallets as treats. We also met a few jewelry makers — Atelier Wen-Ling, who’s based in Montclair and specializes in dainty jade pieces, and Bijoux d’Ange who designs jewelry out of beautiful natural stone pieces.
The holiday market will have its last run next weekend. Don’t miss out on the fun if you are in the area!