Paris – Baguette crumbs through the city…Part Deux…
The breadcrumbs through Paris adventure continues on Saturday morning as we drag our jet lagged bodies out of bed early to visit one of my favorite places, the Marchés aux Puces de Saint-Ouen arguably the best and most extensive “flea market” in the world. All thoughts of sleep and jet lag disappear the minute we leave the Metro at Garibaldi and head toward the maze of markets.
A sunny day makes the markets that much more fun. You will rub elbows with serious buyers, people in the trade, tourists and locals out for a stroll and a look around. The Usine is open to people in the trade (buyers and dealers who then resell their finds to clients or in their stores) and Monday’s are generally quieter days when dealers and professional buyers meet by appointment. The weekend is for anyone and everyone to look, bargain and enjoy. Wandering through the charming market alleys you will see everything from period furnishings to vintage birdcages, clothing and light fixtures. If you want to find a bargain, don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path, deeper into the market areas to the “less charming” looking alleys, look under things and in boxes – feel free to negotiate and get into the spirit of the market. There are always bargains to be had and even better, there is always something unique and interesting to look at and possibly take home.
You can also visit the warehouses that house some fun vintage finds and some great artwork. Habitat 1964 has a really fun vintage location in the market area that is open only on Saturdays and Sundays.
It has a more retail feel to it but great fun to look and get ideas!
I also had fun getting some dorm room decor for my daughter at Tombées du Camion in the Marchés Vernaisons. I picked up some vintage typesetting letters – they had giant and very small sizes that we plan to hang on her walls. I also brought back a small size for me – the letters are different sizes and some backwards and so on, as they were used for printing.
To sum up, the Marchés aux Puces can be intimidating in size and scope but it is truly not to be missed. You can just bite off as much as you can manage and save the rest for another day – as if we need a reason to go back!
Lunch is the next stop of the day. We had already decided to limit our flea marketing to the morning since we wanted to head over to Montmartre and soak up the village atmosphere in the afternoon. We reserved a table for lunch at Le Coq Rico. I read an article about Chef Antoine Westermann(3 Michelin stars – wow) and his yummy creations using “wild and heritage birds”. We were not disappointed! Who knew that chicken could taste so good! We started with an appetizer of soft boiled eggs – I know that may sound strange but you will just have to trust me on this, they were amazing and seemed completely “right” with the meal. We then had some amazing roasted chicken – that also sounds like it could be an overstatement and you may think that I may have had too much wine but again, trust me, amazing is what it was.
The roasted chicken came with “home made french fries” and a salad. You could opt for chicken from many regions and all different types, also duck and guinea fowl and a host of other lovely sounding poultry options. It is all about the beautiful bird at this restaurant – check out the website for all of the information about where the food is sourced. If you plan to eat with a group or a family this is an excellent choice as many of the offerings are for 3-4 people (an entire roasted duck for example). A meal that sounded so simple was complex and interesting and just so darn good! I hear that Antoine is opening a restaurant in NYC soon 🙂
Next stop, Montmartre. I know the thought of this may conjure images of Disney World or Faneuil Hall on a warm Saturday in June but Montmartre is a quaint warren of cozy and adorable streets where I love to get lost on a cloudless day.
That being said, we landed in the Place du Tertre! On a beautiful day in Paris, it is hard to mind the throngs of people milling around. We headed to the Gallerie Butte Montmartre 1 Rue des Saules to get a giant “Chat Noir” poster (think 60″ x30″), because sometimes you just need some touristy kitsch in your décor. Again, dorm room fodder was the excuse for this super fun (but don’t tell anyone) purchase. We hung it on a wall that is painted red – we used decorative upholstery tacks tapped in about every 6″ to attach it directly to the wall. The poster is actually on heavy canvas so it should provide fun easy décor for several dorm/apartment rooms to come.
We wandered the streets admiring the great architecture and planning our Paris apartment of the future when we spotted some adorable and well priced small handbags, scarves and gloves. In we went! We discovered the nicest woman, Maxine, who helped us choose and purchase some ever so lovely Parisian accessories. L’Inconnue du 45 is at 45 rue Lepic Paris 75018. Stop by if you are in the neighborhood.
Thinking about heading back to our favorite pied-à-terre with très tired pieds, we passed this window filled with yumminess. Lunch was wearing off and dessert was starting to sound pretty good! Les Petits Mitrons, also on rue Lepic is just what we needed. We popped in, bought a tart, and headed home. Thank goodness for Uber who scooped us up and delivered us back to our home away from home where were could put our feet up and get ready for the next adventure. Stay tuned next week for Adventure #3.