I’ve been slacking with writing on here lately, and for that I am terribly sorry. It’s been busy, and mom was visiting Paris for a few weeks so everything besides work was sort of put on hold.
On the Fourth of July, a colleague asked me what kind of things we did, and it made me thinking about all of the memories I have of family barbecues, neighborhood parades and nights in the mountains under the stars with fireworks across the sky. My American spirit has slid away a little bit being in France, but I’ve decided that next year that’s going to have to change.
More on summer adventures to come soon, promise.
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.
So, I’m a sucker for antiques… which by definition means that an item has high value because of it’s considerable age. Or it’s just adorable and cute, and oftentimes a better deal than the mass-produced stuff at places like Ikea (although I ADORE Ikea… ). In Paris, there are tons of markets.. .and when I say tons, I mean TONS. Of all sorts! Food, luxury goods, antiques, art, etc. etc. Weekly markets that are popular are definitely the Marché aux Puces and Marché de Porte de Vanves, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (mornings are best). You can also pop by Marché Saint Pierre any day for some fabric and trinkets.
This one just so happened to be in the 3rd last weekend, on Rue de Bretagne. From rotary telephones, to vintage books, and loud jewelry, this street was packed with treasures. And when I see rosey pink glass, I get weak in the knees. I must say almost all of my trinkets in the kitchen are from antique shops (broquantes) or markets. Plates, vases, frames, glasses, old bottles & jars…. and of course jewelry *cough broaches cough cough*. It makes my apartment feel more homey with my little grandma-style-spunk. Let’s just say antiques add to the Parisian charm.
You’ll never believe the things you’ll find at a market. Makes me stoked for the Brooklyn Flea Market this summer!
Over and out.
Tucked in between foreign markets and leather Moroccan bag sellers at the périphérique at the north end of Paris is the secret maze of treasures: Le Marché aux Puces.
You have to get off the métro at Porte de Clignancourt (line 4) and cross under the highway overpass- packed with vendors of just about anything you can imagine, and you’ll see a little entrance to the actual market on the left. Little shop vendors display their antiques, glassware, furniture, jewelry… just about everything, and it’s all worth a snapshot. (Heads up- be sure to go with cash- trying to find an ATM is quite the adventure, and plus, you probably don’t want to whip out your credit card just anywhere in this particular part of Paris…).
Above are photos of little treasures from Tombées du Camion- a little shop in the market which also exists in the city of Paris at Grands Boulevards or Abbesses, with the most random of all vintage things (baby doll heads?). There’s also what we called the keychain lady- and the purpose of our treck into the market. Her 1960’s keychains go for 1 euro, and there is just about every trinket you can think of – fruit, cans, cars, cheese, spaceships, dogs, people, and objects of just pure humor. This is basically the perfect to find someone a precious little gift.
The Moroccan bag vendor at the beginning of the market is always willing to lower his prices if you just chat with him a bit- in Arabic or French- and you can find beautiful colored leather backpacks or purses of just about any size.
This particular day we made the mistake of going on a rainy day– but in the sunshine it’s the perfect opportunity to get out of your apartment a bit to stroll and mingle.
The flea market is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
It’s best to go in the morning or early afternoon, as a lot of the places close up in the mid-afternoon.
Metro: Porte de Clignancourt