Les Puces de Paris

The Paris flea market, called Le Marché aux Puces, is definitely an experience like no other. I’ve been to my fair share of flea markets, but this place is HUGE! There is so much stuff – from historic antiques, funky vintage trinkets, to new cheap clothing. According to their website, it’s the biggest flea market in the entire world, which I would believe! This is truly a place where I don’t think you are simply searching for a bargain, but for some really extraordinary and one of kind objects.

When Audrey and I walked out of the metro, I was a little hesitant about what we would find, as this is definitely not the nicest part of Paris and the first place we saw were stalls dealing quite glamourous antique tables and chandeliers, ancient statues and grand armoires. I was worried that this was what the entire flea market would be like, but little did I realize the larger flea market is made of smaller little markets each specializing in just about anything you could ever imagine. 

The Marché de Vernaison is the original flea market, established in 1920, and where I think the true treasures are to be found. I spent ages sorting through a box of 80 year old postcards, reading love letter and poems. I tried in vain to pick out a tea cup, but realized buying a tea cup in Paris did not seem all that practical. I even found an Oregon memorabilia plate, but unfortunately the owner of that stall wouldn’t let me take a picture. 

One could easily furnish their entire house from the marche. It was clear that anything you wanted to buy required some serious haggling skills. For anyone who is a watcher of Pawn Stars on the history channel (seriously, check it out) this is the place to be! Rick would be in heaven. While we didn’t spend hours sorting through piles of junk, I’m sure if you did, there are treasures to be found.

The flea market was really quite amazing. It made me think about how old Paris is and how steeped in history you are. Whenever I walk down a street, I imagine what it must have been like to be in that same place 100, 200 or even 300 years ago. Unlike New York, where I feel so many buildings have been rebuilt in near recent history, walking down the cobblestone streets of Paris still feels very old, almost as if nothing has changed. Obviously, walking down my block, where you have Starbucks, Gap, Sephora and a movie theater all within 100 yards of each other, you know that Paris is still a 21st century city, but walking in the Marché au Puces certainly took me back in time again!
A newspaper celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps: 
Johnnie Walker: Stereotypical American couple? The French did give us Ms. Lady Liberty: Hilarious name plates:
We all know those hippies smell bad 😉 

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