Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Fleas

We recently spent a couple of days in Paris, and I had been very much looking forward to searching out a few bargains at the markets in Porte de Clignancourt.  Officially called Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, but more commonly referred to as Les Puces, or 'the fleas'. 

It was our first stop (after dropping bags off).  We traipsed through the Parisian ghetto in the pelting rain, got ripped on a street side umbrella purchase (15euro, which we then accidentally left in a cafe a couple of days later) to reach the market, then squelched through endless alleys of  imitation american clothes to get to the antiques section... Unfortunately August is the time when many Parisiens go on holidays (probably to escape the tourists), and so this is what we found:
Oh how my heart broke.  Only about 10% of the stalls were open, and they were mostly full of baroque style antiques. I had half expected it, but it was still a major downer. I had dreamed of buying 2 or maybe 3 lamp shades for above our dining table, since everything in London is a complete and utter rip off.  Case in point:
This guy is retailing for £235 here.  I'm still kicking myself for not buying a few of the ones I saw for about 40euro in  a Berlin flea market.  And then selling them on ebay over here.  I could have bought so many beautiful things with my squillions of profit.  Next trip will definitely be to Berlin to go thrifting, that place is a goldmine.

In the end I came home with just these, dated 1905.  Unfortunately they all seemed to be from the same collection, somewhere near Chambon-sur-Lac, so no early images of Paris, but I love the handwriting.  These days I can pretty much only type.  Not sure how I'm going to frame them yet.

The next day, while GG lay at home in bed one day with Paris-belly, I went for a shopping trip, stopping for lunch at the legendary Les Deux Magots, home of the existentialists - its a shame GG wasn't there to soak up the atmosphere of his predecessors.  

Next stop was Le Bon Marche.  Oh the homewares. The homewares!  I managed to restrain myself (mainly due to transportation issues), and came home with just this one small but perfectly formed tea cup to add to my collection:
I'm sure most French people would argue that this cup was intended for coffee, but let me tell you, tea never tasted so good.

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