Come Flea with Shorehouse Chic!

Bonjour mes amies! It’s Laura from Shorehouse chic. Fifi has generously invited me to take you shopping at the famous Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt. And anyone who knows me knows I’m game for a flea market trip!

Paris was the first “big girl” trip I took by myself (with a friend joining me for the weekend, then leaving me solo week for the week). Of course, I wanted to go to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame…but I really, really wanted to go to the flea markets! I was living without roommates for the first time and my dream was to scour Paris for trinkets and antiquities for my Pad du Bachelorette. All on a very wee tiny budget.

I was particularly hooked - nay; obsessed - with finding a set of French kitchen canisters, and more obsessed with finding them at the grand Clignancourt. You know…the, café, poivre, etc….so my (itty bitty) kitchen would look tres chic. “My, what cute canisters,” visitors would say. “Oh those little things? I picked them up in Paris.” Then I’d sort of dismiss it with a bat of my eyelids, a la Audrey Hepburn.

Painting: The marché aux puces, Porte de Clignancourt, by Luigi Loir.
Armed only with visions of canisters, some expendable francs (ahh…francs. Those were the days!) to seal the deal, and some tres horrible French, I hailed a taxi on my second day in Paris. In my best possible French I asked to please take me to the really big flea market.

In (miffed) English, the driver: “Lady, there are many flea markets in Paris.”

“And there are many taxis. Shall I find another or are we going to St-Ouen?”

Touché. Score one for American Girl in Paris. My fabulous friend Jean Martha over at Renovation Therapy just returned from Paris and has graciously offered to join our tour. Merci, mon ami Jean Martha!

No matter what part of the world you are in, flea markets can be overwhelming and this one is NO exception. At last estimate there were close to 3,000 vendors jammed on streets, in alleys, under tents and in storefronts offering everything from tube socks to Louis XVI antiques. I would recommend getting in the center of things where the organized tents and table are lined up, but some of the quaint shops lining the alleys have the best (re: pricy!) eye candy…

Photo: Renovation Therapy.
How do I love this Bordeaux rack? Let me count the ways…

Photo: Renovation Therapy.
These linens are affordable, but no vendor in sight! That’s another thing you’ll need to keep in mind…you may find what you want, but no one to actually sell it to you. :-)

Photo: Renovation Therapy.
Jean Martha has mentioned that the prices are not what they used to be…le sigh…making things as simple and beautiful as this lace out of our price range these days…

Photo: Renovation Therapy.
“Back in the day” look at the fabulous chandelier Jean Martha landed – pre-Euro, and pre-devalued dollar – for $125 US!
Photo: Renovation Therapy.
She cleaned it up extensively, but my oh my was it worth it.

And what about me? You must be wondering by now whatever happened to me in my canister quest! Well, “back in the day” I scored these fabulous beauties that have moved with me from apartment to apartment, and now to the shorehouse:

Naturally, within two weeks of first moving in with Mr. Shorehouse, he accidentally sent “the” flying across the kitchen. The glue wasn’t the only thing that was “crazy” after that episode. She fixed up OK, all things considered.

Thank you for joining us at le grand flea! Phew…I’m exhausted. Let’s stop for a crepe before we leave Clignancourt, shall we? _________________________________________________________
Ooooh YUMMY... I'm sorry I missed out on those crepes... I was outdoors painting Paris... I can never get enough of painting Paris! I even painted your cannisters outside on a friend's balcony...

and these lovely flowers outside The Paris Apartment...
and these too...
Ooooh what a glorious EARTH DAY outdoors with Laura of Shorehouse Chic and thanks to her blogging for moi... I can VIRTUALLY roam around Paris with a paint brush... MERCI BEAUCOUP LAURA!!!
Paintings in this post are AVAILABLE... and to see more paintings visit My Paintings du Jour and My Etsy Shop!
Tomorrow Rue of Rue's Peanut Butter and Jelly Life invites me to a cafe with her!
BUT... for NOW... don't forget to visit other OUTDOOR WEDNESDAY PARTICIPANTS... and HAPPY EARTH DAY!

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