Paris Flea Market


Visiting the famous Paris Flea Market or “Clignancourt” had been on my list for a while.  The problem is, I am not the greatest flea market person.  I go to them with the best intentions, see acres and acres of stuff, get overwhelmed and want to run.


My friend Julie, a designer with finely honed flea market skills, tried to show me the joys of a good flea when we lived in Charlotte, NC.  She took me to our local Metrolina flea market (we even paid up for the early bird tickets so it wouldn’t be too crowded) and enthusiastically began the tour.  But, about an hour into our journey, she ended up parking me at a picnic table with a sandwich.  I failed the test.

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So, when I told my husband I wanted to go to Clignancourt while we were in Paris, he was floored.  We took the Metro to “Porte de Clignancourt” early Saturday morning (the flea is open Saturday to Monday, 9-6).  We walked up Rue de Rosiers to the center of the market, stopping first at the Paul Bert section.

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It was a visual feast of shapes, colors, furniture and antiques.

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The weather was beautiful, so wandering past stalls and down the winding paths was a pleasure.

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Not to say we didn’t take any breaks.  We took a crepe break, an espresso break, a pomme frites break….  It is easy to stop and recharge with little cafes dotted all over the flea market.  We sat at a tiny outdoor cafe in the sun for 30 minutes eating Nutella crepes.  Heaven.


We purchased a few things and had them shipped home.  They conveniently have shipping stations in each section of the flea market.

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 It was a wonderful day thanks to a patient husband and gorgeous weather. I lasted about three hours and every minute was well worth it.  Julie, Metrolina?

Julie (right) and I in Charlotte 2005

Julie (right) and I at a party in Charlotte 2004

Julie Exley – Trellis Interiors – San Francisco

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Paris on Foot

The Tuileries

The Tuileries

The Polar Vortex had all but done us in this winter.  So, when my husband offered to take me on a quick business trip to Paris, I jumped.  Imagine my surprise when I landed and the sun was shining, grass was visible and it was (gulp) almost 65 degrees!  All I have seen since mid-December is dirty snow and freezing temperatures.


We declared this a “walking” trip and made every excuse to be outside.  The goal: to cover a wide swath of city sights in this beautiful weather.  I threw aside the winter coat I secretly wanted to burn.  Put on flats and grabbed my sunglasses.  The Tuileries, the Louvre and Sacre-Couer started our tour.

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Pink and purple was everywhere.  Laduree displayed pink macarons and Ralph had pale pink in his window.

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Notre-Dame glowed against the bright blue sky from our boat ride on the Seine (ok, the only time we were not walking…)

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Pierre Frey had pink and purple stools.  Manuel Canovas had a wall of pink fabric.  Spring was all over Paris.


We ate at some fabulous restaurants.  Our favorites were Semilla, Beaucoup, Le Christine and Ralph Lauren.  As a ham lover, my husband is obsessed with Le Comptoir du Relais Saint Germain.  More specifically, L’Avant Comptoir which sells the best take-out ham and cheese on a baguette in the city.


We went to the Musee de Parfum and to the Palais Galliera to see the “Papier Glace” exhibit – a century of fashion photography by Conde Nast.  I owed my husband big time after those two museum visits and am pretty sure I got paid back in spades when my cousin and his wife (who live here) took us to dinner.  We went to an old Parisian institution called La Tour de Montlhery in the Les Halles district.  Think MEAT for all courses.  Brains, kidneys, livers, intestines.   I had a lot of bread (and wine) and vowed to pick the restaurant for the four of us the next time we come to Paris!

Tim (left) and my cousin at La Tour de Montlhery

Tim (left) and my cousin at La Tour de Montlhery

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