Long before Rue Mouffetard became the famous open market street it is today, it was a Roman road, built around 2000 years ago to connect Lutetia (the predecessor of modern-day Paris) to Italy.
More recently, Rue Mouffetard was made famous by Ernest Hemingway in ‘A Moveable Feast’ in which he described it as ‘that wonderful, narrow crowded market street’. Hemingway lived just down the street at 74 rue de Cardinal Lemoine with his first wife Hedley (I’m staying at no. 40). Many of the neighbourhood cafes, bars and bookshops he haunted with his ex-pat friends – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Miller, Cole Porter, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas – still exist.
Some travellers avoid Rue Mouffetard – especially on a Sunday – as it is so busy and a very popular tourist destination. But for a street photographer, it’s perfect for capturing some of Paris’s interesting characters.