I remember when we first moved to the 16th people would always be like, “but that’s such a lame area, there’s nothing to do”, amongst other comments. I’ve always just been happy to live anywhere within Paris’s city limits. Paris is small, and always evolving. It’s easy to get around, so I really don’t give a rat’s ass about living in a “cool” neighborhood. I’d rather like my apartment than live near a bar I frequent… My personal opinion, but hey. This is just to say that Parisian “lame” neighborhoods can surprise you!
My mother-in-law, however, immediately said when we moved where we did: “You guys will be so close to the Serres d’Auteuil!” with such amazement and excitement. Well, she was right. We are very close to what is now one of my favorite places in all of Paris for a stroll: Les Serres d’Auteuil. The park and botanical gardens were initially created in 1761 before being abandoned. The greenhouses that are present today were built in 1895 when the city of Paris took it over.
This magical part of Paris is just on the city’s southern border. It consists of a complex of greenhouses in the middle of a beautiful park that is never crowded. Valerie and I went for a stroll there at the end of the summer on a hot day, and since I’ve really enjoyed going back in the autumn (Stacey Lamb took some awesome pictures of Olivia and I there, that I will share in the near future on here).
The park and botanical gardens are open year round, with free entry.
Local flea markets are one of my favorite things. Across Paris, different flea markets, or brocantes, pop up on weekends every now and again. I find that these are sometimes the places with the most snazzy finds.
This brocante was in the 16th district, on rue Jean de la Fontaine, right by la Maison de Radio France. It was such a cold cold day, but I caught it by surprise on a random stroll in my neighborhood. It made me smile, as it had been eons since I had been to a brocante.
Some other reoccurring brocantes are on rue de Bretagne and Avenue de la Motte Piquet & Rue Cler, for example. You can find out about where they will be in Paris on sites like this one.
These markets are such a wonderful place to find gifts. So much eye candy.
I love thinking about the people who find all of these antiques, who search for them or inherit them, and spiff them up to sell at various little markets. It’s funny how you can find matching things at different ones over the years….
They’ve all got a story.
I always remember at which flea market I get some of my favorite things. It’s exciting. And then of course I can add my own stories to the life of the object.