Thursday, April 8, 2010

Flea Market Shopping at Porte De Vanves

Our "finds" from the flea market...

The morning after our arrival, Isabella and I decided to head out on the Paris Metro to find the "Porte De Vanves" Flea market. We started out early as I'd read in "The Flea Markets of France" guide to flea markets by Sandy Price, that the best deals to be had took place first thing in the morning, and she also tipped the reader to the fact that many of the vendors start packing up around lunch time. So, armed with a metro guide, camera, umbrella and some cash, we took off, found the nearest Metro, managed to figure out how to use it (to newbies it can be a bit confusing, especially when one can't find ones reading glasses to see the minuscule print on the metro map.. - sighhh - I should just admit to myself I can't read worth a darn without them and permanently plaster them to my head!)

We arrived around 9:30, and I was immediately struck by how many vendors there were, (perhaps 200+.) Their stalls were on either side of a narrow walkway, so we decided to walk up one side and view all the booths on one side, then walk back down and check out the opposite side.

As we started to cruise up one side, I couldn't help but notice how expensive things seemed to be, (it took me a while to figure out that I'm used to garage sale prices back at home - and well, this was something completely different!) Most things didn't have a price sticker on them, so I had to ask "how much" in my very rusty high school french.... Isabella couldn't help but notice that being English/American might work against us when it came to getting a good price for something... Especially when we heard one vendor who saw me pick up one of her exquisite straw hats and speak English to Isabel, put the hat price up from 20 Euros to 25!!! Needless to say, I saved my money and didn't buy the hat.

I've had a passion for vintage things since I was a child growing up in a small English village and the "Denby Ladies" would have their annual jumble sale. More often than not, I would come home (much to my mothers chagrin) with armloads of other peoples unwanted stuff. Even today, my idea of a fun way to spend a Saturday, is to get up early, and hit as many garage sales as possible, looking for books, good quality clothing, jewelry (I bought a vintage 70's rolex watch for $2.00 last summer,) and anything else that's a good deal at the time.

As you can see by the photo above, I did succumb and bought some reasonably priced treasures that I found too charming to walk away from, like the vintage photo's 5 for 10 Euros which seemed reasonable.. the little Madonna 5 euros (I'd just paid 25 the day before for something very similar,) and 20 euros for the sweet Provence style oil painting, which I really love and have it hanging on my kitchen wall to remind me of our lovely time in France.

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