Saturday, April 19, 2014

Postcards from Paris: Les Puces de Saint-Ouen

On Saturday, we took the Metro from the end of our street to the end of line, to the huge flea market (Les Puces) at Clignancourt. You must walk past a disconcerting number of cheap stands selling gaudy tee shirts, athletic shoes, and worse, before you get to the antique markets themselves.

It's a lot like a French Brimfield, with 17 acres of stalls and several big marchés, or markets, but those covered markets are in a class by themselves. You can find everything from jewels and high-end antiques to pristine Victorian clothing and ancient books. Some shops specialize in garden statuary, while others are loaded with vinyl records, so there's something for everyone. There are also little restaurants tucked here and there, as you might expect, because you're in France. And the dealers can be seen sitting down their mid-day meals in their showrooms or stalls — often elegantly, serving their bag lunch or take-out on china and silver — while seated at some antique table they hope to sell.

You can click on any photo to enlarge it. I kept them smaller so they won't take an eternity for you to load:

The Marché Dauphine holds dozens of dealers... vintage clothing, records, magazines, books....

The outside stalls are more like the ones at Brimfield, filled with cheaper finds.
But you won't find any gorgeous wisteria at Brimfield.

We admired the expensive, inlaid Syrian, Persian, and Egyptian furniture at this antique shop.
It's rare to see an entire shop filled with it, even in Egypt, so we were dazzled. 

Generally, the furniture in the markets is French, of course. And much too formal for us.
But I would have liked to bring this lion home on the plane.

There was a booth with three walls filled top to bottom with old key rings.

There is also a spaceship...

... with a groovy French interior. 

Lots of skulls in this shop.

And the inevitable rusty-metal garage-type stuff in this one.

Charming vintage dresses in the sun.

There's also art... 

but you can't have this chair covered in nails if you have cats.

I'm embarrassed to report that all we bought were some old Egyptian postcards, but we had a great time.

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