Pre-Paris, I spent many late nights online reading blogger accounts of Paris. Part of the fun of travel is the anticipation, I guess. One of my stumbles was to Oh Happy Day’s account of living in Paris for a year. She seems to have guides for everything, from the viewpoint of a Paris resident.
It is through her that I first read about the Les Puces de Saint-Ouen Market, which opened in 1885. It is also the largest flea market in the whole world, and I could have spent days there and not seen everything.
To get there take the metro to the last stop, at the Porte de Clignancourt. From there, follow this suburb map that Oh Happy Day created. The place is seriously hard to find. That map was essential travel information!
We showed up on a sunny Saturday morning, fully caffeinated. Shops started waking up slowly at about 10am. We walked down avenue Michelet to the far side of the market. Then, we worked our way back, so that by noon we were close to the freeway (and metro) again.
There seemed to be everything imaginable, big, little, expensive, cheap. Furniture, books, lamps, clocks, tools, linens, clothes, toys, you name it, they had it. Some of the stalls were in fact stores with doors and antique dealers everywhere.
I really wanted a Paris Carousel horse for the house.
I am still dreaming of these vintage Paris Christmas colored chairs.
It was so challenging to leave this place. I seriously could have browsed for days. Luckily for my credit card (which they totally take, bring minimal cash), my backpack didn’t have much space available. If ever in life I want to decorate my house with French antiques, or design a space with a zillion vintage light fixtures from Paris, I will return!
One of the best things I brought back to the US from my trip was a small gift I got my high school small group gals. They are pretty cute, after all, and dealt with my departure with minimal whining. I could not wait to come back to them and gush about my trip, the art, and the sheer joy of travel. I so hope they will grow up and go explore this great world we get the privilege of living in!
This one vendor had vintage postcards of Paris. I hunted down a selection of different churches around the city. Most of the postcards had stamps and written French messages to decipher.