This is my 3rd in the Paris Travel Series. Flea markets, secondhand stores, junk shops, I love them all. Flea markets are just another glimpse into the way society lives. It’s reusing an object; it’s knowing that that object lived in another person’s home and they loved it when they bought it, and now I will love it too.
I am all settled into my Paris apartment and searching for the best flea market in the city. There are several really good ones, and usually only open on Saturdays and/or Sundays. I decide on one of Jennifer’s recommendation (Jennifer is one of our Paris guides and now a dear friend.) Point de Vanves–take the metro to Invalides then change to the #8 train — easy. As it turns out it was the very same flea market that Maggie and I had attempted to visit last year but by the time we arrived they were already packing up to leave. This time I decided to be there earlier.
The tree-lined promenade was flanked on both sides with tables filled to overflowing with wares from long ago and from not-so-long ago. I stood at one end of the street, in delight. Silverware brooches, linens, artwork, wooden carvings, watches, furniture, curtains,–I was aquiver. My attention soon shifted to watching the locals.
What were people rummaging through? What did they find so interesting? Was it books, was it linens? I watch two women looking over chinaware, and another couple perhaps not haggling, but certainly discussing a price. I found great joy in watching the people shop, as much as I did, myself. Of course the dilemma is I live in Louisiana and I’m shopping in Paris so size and weight become an issue. The other thing I’ve noticed over the years of shopping abroad is that what feels right in Paris seems so out of place at home. And then there are those objects of desire that you simply must have. They are treasures abroad and continue to be treasures at home. And so with each trip, with each visit to a new country, a new city, a new village I love to bring something special home that will complement my space and remind me of a lovely Saturday afternoon from my trip to Paris.