|The crowd of partiers on the Champ de Mars is thicker the closer you get to the Eiffel Tower.|
Several days ago on the subway, when we were coming back from the far reaches of line 10, a man boarded with two large shopping bags full of 6-packs of Heineken beer. He proceeded to unpack them so that he had loose bottles separated here and there by pieces of cardboard from the packs he tore up. By the time he disembarked at the Motte-Piquet station (near the Champ de Mars), he was ready to add ice to the bags and sell some beer.
Obviously, beer prices are cheaper out on the edges of Paris than in the middle, where the Eiffel Tower is. This young man was maximizing his profit margin.
I have different feelings about the illegal selling of the Eiffel Tower trinkets as opposed to the alcoholic drinks, although I'd never buy either on the Champ.
When these men sell the tower trinkets illegally, they are directly competing with the legal souvenir shops located in the areas all around the Champ de Mars and Trocadero. The owners/managers of the souvenir shops pay lots of taxes and have many expenses related to their legal shops. The illegal selling of those trinkets hurts these legitimate shopkeepers. I do not approve of the illegal selling of those trinkets on the Champ de Mars.
The alcoholic drinks on ice are another matter. There is nobody legally selling these ready-to-consume beverages on the Champ, but there is obviously a huge demand for them. A few people who plan ahead bring their picnic hampers with them, fully stocked. But most people on the Champ, especially in the evening, have been out and about elsewhere during the day. In the evening, they're tired and they rest on the grass, waiting for the Tower's light show.
The ban on drinking there is not enforced. People want these beverages. The vendors add value by icing the drinks and having them readily available. Therefore I approve of this activity. A need/desire is being met. Local stores benefit, if anything, when the vendors sell out; they go to the nearest Monoprix, Franprix, Champion, or Carrefour and re-stock.
|Wine is neatly displayed on the walls at Pietro Commerce. Prices are very reasonable: 11 euros for a 50cl pitcher, 15 euros|
for a bottle of the wine of the month. Pizzas are 14 to 16 euros each.
In spite of the alcohol they consume, the nightly revelers generally remain harmless and peaceful. Rarely do we see out-of-control drunks on the Champ. Party on!
|Good pizza is not easy to find in Paris. But you can always find it|
at one of the five or six Pietro locations.
After dinner, we walked up to the Champ after depositing the leftovers at home, arriving just in time to see the tower twinkle again. We stood in the middle for a few minutes, right in front of the Peace Pavilion, and I made another video for you, so you can see what the party is like. The twinkling lights start after the first 20 seconds or so.