Saturday at the Paris Flea Market
One of my favorite ways to spend a few hours in Paris is by visiting the flea markets (marche aux puces or brocantes). There's the famous market (actually hundreds of vendors located together) at Clignacourt (Marche aux Puces de St-Ouen) as well as smaller traveling brocantes of independent vendors who set up around Paris on most spring weekends. Here's a schedule for brocantes and vide-greniers (yard or garage sales) around France.
I especially like Le Marche aux Puces de Vanves that runs on weekend mornings until about lunch time. (Those antique sellers love them some dejeuner and no potential buyer is going to keep them from it so get there early.) It's much more manageable for an hour or two than Clignacourt and still has some great finds. I ventured out on a recent Saturday, kids in tow. (This I do not recommend. Ahem.)
I'm a bargain hunter at heart and love finding unique pieces that can really bring a room to life. (Those chairs and the vintage globe? Love.)
I've made a few small brocante purchases since we moved in (not having a car keeps me from the reckless, oversized splurge). I spotted these paintings and couldn't resist. These two are by the same artist and for 30 € for the pair, how could I say "non"? Modigliani's they're not but they make me happy. (Isn't that the point?) I nabbed the abstract for just 15 € at a neighborhood brocante. Like it? In fact, every brocante item I've bought tells a little story and means so much more to me than things I find at larger chain shops. So next time you're in Paris, think about adding a brocante visit to your itinerary. It's shopping, history and French conversation all in one. What could be better?