Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 4: Le Leche Vitrine in Le Marche aux Puces de Vanves

It means literally, "licking the windows" or french slang for window shopping.
And while there are no windows between merchandise and shoppers in the Marche aux Puces de Vanves - or Vanves Flea Market, for Jay and me, it was still just that -- "window shopping".

Here's Jay standing at the very top of Rue Lafenestre where one of Paris' most famous flea markets starts. The market stretches the whole length of the street, just a few hundred meters but it can take you more than an hour to traverse -- there are just too many interesting things to see and discover!
Paris is known for its huge flea markets and we discovered how much fun and fascinating they were on our last visit.
While Vanves is not the biggest, that title would go to the marche aux puces de Clignancourt, we think Vanves is more friendly, less commercial and a place where you can really unearth some genuine finds.

Sellers bring their trucks of merchandise and set up tables with their particular specialties.
While some trade in all sorts of curio and knick knacks, there are those with a specific category of goods to sell.

This load of old shoes and roller skates I classify under the junk category!

Vanves' vendors all have cars or trucks that back up right to the sidewalk and contain all the stuff they have to sell.
The market is open every week-end from morning till 2. After selling hours, everything unsold goes back into the truck.

There are all sorts of old and antique stuff -- this tapestry or rug looks like it could have belonged to some aristocratic old home.

There are paintings and artworks -- oils, watercolors, traditional paintings, modern paintings and more often than not, really bad paintings.

I saw this pair of unusual and beautiful wall sconces -- I was so tempted but didn't even ask how much they were. How would I ever bring these home?

Clothes are found at the flea market too. There's a whole section devoted to old clothes. Ukay ukay is alive and well in Paris, although they call it vintage clothing!

Old toys are particularly charming -- dolls, teddy bears, old cars -- and they're frightfully expensive too! I saw a small, very old doll in a glass case worth 650 euros!

Graffiti of a grinning cat head makes a nice backdrop and counterpoint for this table where everything that you see is worth 20 euros each.

It's fascinating to see all the items available for sale. A lot of it may just be other peoples' junk but you can and do run into real gems.

These leather bound books would make great additions to any bookshelf -- too bad they're all in french. However, if you just want to fill shelves with books that look like they have character and are well worn and read, then these would do the trick.

Matched chairs anyone? Aside from furniture which looks like it was passed down from one generation to the next, with this generation not finding it appropriate for their lifestyle, or their tiny apartments -- the other major find that you can get at Vanves is antique silverware.
Word is that young Parisiennes have no use for grand-mere's Christofle flatware that's why they've been turning up in Vanves -- selling for very attractive prices.

It's the end of the street and a snack truck selling hot coffee, fries and hotdogs is conveniently on hand for hungry shoppers.
It's taken Jay and me more than an hour to walk this short distance.
The happy thing is, we get to go through everything else again when we walk back to take the metro home!

PS -- It didn't turn out to be just window shopping for us. We bought antique silver flatware, service for 12 ... and a steal at 80 euros!

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