Hello! After an absolutely fantastic couple weeks away, I am back and in full work mode. I had an insanely wonderful time in France, and wanted to write about some of my experiences. I won’t go nuts with travel posts, but there are a few things I thought would be fun to share. First up.. my experience with the Paris flea markets!
Basically, they are LEGENDARY. And as someone who adores old crap, I was so psyched to visit and sift through a ton of dusty, random stuff.
Alas, I’m horrible at researching anything, and therefore wasn’t sure which flea was best. I did download an app that offered some tidbits, but other than that I was kind of lost.
Then fate intervened. I went on a food tour the 2nd day of the trip, and met a wonderful woman who happens to be the author of a book all about the markets of Paris. Her name is Marjorie R. Williams, and she just came out with the 2nd edition of Markets of Paris, a guide to all the markets in the city. YESSSS.
Of course I picked Marjorie’s brain on which markets I needed to visit. She offered up two suggestions for antiques, jewelry, and random treasures: Clignancourt and Porte de Vanves.
I managed to get to one of the two. And it was lovely.
We went to Clignancourt in the 18th arrondissement. It actually has like 20 names, or so it seemed to me. You’ll also hear it called Saint-Ouen, or le marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. (BTW.. puce means ‘flea’ in French. And it’s super fun to say.)
It was different than I thought it would be, but not necessarily in a bad way. I pictured makeshift tables set up alongside the sidewalk, à la your typical rummage sale, but this was definitely not the case. They had permanent stalls set up within private markets. These particular ones are open on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays.
We went on a Monday, which had its pros and cons. On the plus side, there were definitely no crowds to fight. But on the other hand, a lot of the booths were closed. And we got the distinct impression that the booth owners opened when they felt like it. It was well past 11:30 and a lot of the booths were just getting set up. C’est la vie or whatever. There was still plenty to see. I actually preferred the quieter feel of a weekday. But I tend to be socially anxious, so there’s that.
Basically, tons of knick-knacks and antiques jammed into tiny booths. I LOVED it. And a lot of the booths resembled actual living rooms. (Borderline hoarders’ rooms, but charming nonetheless.)
Each puce within the Clignancourt market was categorized in a different way. One was dedicated to furniture, another to books, etc. However, there was a hodge-podge of everything inside most of the booths, so it’s worth it to check out as much as you can.
We spent the majority of the time in the Vernaison puce, which is one of the closer ones to the metro stop.
There, they had a ton of random jewelry, postcards, albums, and these really fun vintage keychains.
Next time I go, I am definitely checking out the other market Marjorie suggested. And if you’re planning a big fat French trip, check out Marjorie’s book… it’s chock full of incredible tips on all markets: food, antiques, books, you name it. While you’re at it, check out her story on how she got involved in creating the book. It’s seriously inspiring!
I took TONS of pics of all things flea.. too much to put into one post. So please visit my Facebook page to view my lovely album des puces.