Posts filed under ‘Europe 2011’

Make Like a Parisian; Visit a Park

Jardin Luxembourg

A trip to Paris would not be complete without a park visit. Even though it’s January, watch the sunset in Jardin Luxembourg  while sipping champagne and tasting the famous French bread and fromage.The premier people-watching park of Paris, dominated by the pond and its circles of chairs, perfect for seeing and being seen by the hordes of strollers who make their way to the tennis courts, chess tables, puppet shows, and boule games which make this such a lively spot. Métro: Luxembourg.

But if you have time in your schedule; visit one or more of the other parks Paris has to offer. One of my favs is Parc Monceau. Susan and I picnicked there last September after a visit to Nissin de Camondo ( a great museum) and of course you are in the Tuilleries if you visit the Louvre.

Here are some more suggestions from one of our Favorite Parisian bloggers:

Paris parks and gardens are the ideal way for overtaxed travelers to “make like Parisians” by observing “real Parisians” at play while seated in one of the iconic green chairs so thoughtfully scattered throughout Paris parks. Paris is almost as well-known for its parks and gardens as for its food and architecture. One of the great treats of walking around this city is to discover these leafy retreats, grand to miniature, that provide a moment of pastoral pleasure or rest for the weary.

Parc Monceau

Parc Monceau

Within walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe, this lovely gem of a park is filled with magnificent trees and plantings, arranged in the natural English style, with little grottoes, a quiet water garden, scattered sculptures of famous French figures and even free WI-FI. Plus, the most ornate restrooms I have ever seen. Nissim de Camando adjoins the Parc.  Métro: Monceau.

Parc Monceau

Bois de Boulogne

Bois de Boulogne

The Bois (Woods) makes New York’s Central Park seem like a small-town playground. The 2,000 acres on the western edge of the city bordering the Seine is vast, with restaurants, gardens, museums, race tracks, lakes, sports grounds, a zoo and children’s amusement park plus wide-open spaces and dense woods interspersed with bike, walking, and horse trails.

During weekdays, you can glimpse tableaux in the Bois that make you shiver with recognition at this real-life composition of lovers wrapped together on the grassy bank, a scene you thought existed only on Impressionist canvases. And then there are Sunday afternoons, when the roads turn into speedways and the traffic on the bike trails suggests the Champs-Elysées.

Parc de Bagatelle at Bois de Boulogne Bagatelle is an exquisite garden created on a dare when Marie-Antoinette bet its owner, Count of Artois, that it could not be turned into a park in 64 days. She lost the bet. Today the City of Paris has restored the botanical gardens that showcase roses, irises and other flowers.

If you simply want to get some exercise, the best way to sample the Bois may be to rent a bike and follow the trails. In an hour or two, you can make your way around the layout and get a sense of what most intrigues you, whether it’s harness racing, miniature sail boating, sporting in the woods or eating a two-star meal.

You may arrive at the Bois on a rented Vélib’ bike or you can get one at the nearby Métro: Port Muette. The Bois also has two bike rental stations open during the day: one station is located at the northern edge of Lac Inférieur, on the east side of the Bois, across from the boat rental shed. The other is across from the entrance to the Jardin d’Acclimatation, a small zoo and amusement park for kids.

You may also rent rowboats for a leisurely (and on the weekends crowded) row around the lake, with the lovely island gardens as your vista. Boats accomodate up to five people.

Like many large parks in big cities, the Bois gets seedy at night, so plan to head out before sunset.

The Bois has two top restaurants, the Pré Catalan and La Grande Cascade, both of which are architecturally beautiful and very pricey. A more reasonable choice is L’Auberge du Bonheur, which is in an old coach house tucked away behind the glamorous Grande Cascade. You can reserve Sunday lunch or dinner at a lovely outdoor pavilion that offers simple grilled dishes. Tel: 01 42 24 10 17

Another romantic evening possibility is the Chalet des Iles on the island in the Lac Inférieur, with a small ferry to take you across. Reservations suggested.

Bois de Veincennes

Bois de Vincennes

This woods on Paris’s eastern edge is, like the Bois de Boulogne, a huge expanse of woodland punctuated by a variety of attractions. Among them is the 15th-century Château de Vincennes. There’s a horse-racing track here, along with a wide range of sports facilities and Paris’s biggest zoo. Various fairs are held here periodically. Métro: Porte Dorée. The Château, dating from the 15th century, is best reached at the Métro: Château de Vincennes.


Jardin des Tuileries

Another creation by André Le Nôtre, the famed landscape architect who designed the Versailles gardens and many other historic gardens. Flanked by terraces on the north and south, there are geometrical arrangements of trees and paths leading from the Carrousel of the Louvre on the east, to the main gate at Place de la Concorde on the west. The gate is flanked by the Jeu de Paume museum on the north and l’Orangerie on the south. There’s the usual merry-go-round, puppet shows and pond for toy sailboat rentals, but this is a park for resting tired feet after the Louvre or trek down the Champs-Elysées.

Parc Andre Citroen

Parc Andre Citroen

Opened in 1992, Parc André Citroën is a truly post-modern park, integrating a series of lovely glass structures with indoor plants, outdoor gardens with single color schemes relating to the five senses, and a lush, secretive wild garden. It’s punctuated with fascinating moving waters—little rushing water troughs, a great fountain of alternating water jet fountains that kids can’t resist, a canal and vista to the Seine. If you have the time to explore this very conceptual and sensual place, you’ll come away refreshed and excited about the future of parks. It is located on the Left Bank near Beaugrenelle, an ugly clump of out-of-place skyscrapers that are as depressing as the Parc is refreshing. Métro: Javel.














29 November 2013 at 10:49 am Leave a comment

Versailles Contemporary Art Exhibit

joana vaconcelos versailles   june 18th to september 30th, 2012


Paris-born lisbon-based artist joana vasconcelos is currently taking over the palace of Versailles in France with her large sculptural works as part of the château’s annual contemporary art exhibition. Installed within the state apartments and gardens of the expansive property, vasconcelos’ work creates a dialogue dealing with contemporary idiosyncrasies where the dichotomies of hand-crafted / industrial, private / public, tradition / modernity and popular  / erudite culture.


my work has developed around the idea that the world is an opera, and Versailles embodies the operatic and aesthetic ideal that inspires me. The works that I propose exist for this place. I see them as linked to Versailles in a timeless way. When I stroll through the rooms of the palace and its gardens, I feel the energy of a setting that gravitates between reality and dreams, the everyday and magic, the festive and the tragic. I can still hear the echo of the footsteps of marie-antoinette, and the music and festive ambiance of the stately rooms. How would the life of Versailles look if this exuberant and grandiose universe was transferred to our period?

Joana has interpreted the dense mythology of Versailles, transporting it into the contemporary world, and evoking the presence of the important female figures that have lived here, while drawing on her own  identity and experience as a Portuguese woman born in France.

 The south end of the palace’s ‘hall of mirrors’ where ceremonies and important events in the history of France were staged, hosts ‘marilyn’, a pair of high-heeled sandals constructed from the repeated arrangement of stainless steel pans and lids. the mammoth-scale high heels, standing within this vast hall, creates a Gulliver effect, and are an ode to women’s achievements both on public and private spheres.


‘blue champagne’, a monumental work comprising two vertical twin structures and incorporating thousands of champagne bottles lit from their interior, stands on either side of the rectangular water parterres that stretch in front of the palace’s terrace. While respecting the architectural symmetry of Versailles, the structures introduce a verticality that contrasts with the immense horizontal lines of the landscape. Visible from inside the hall of mirrors, the two elements subvert the domestic scale of the referenced objects – candlestick holders or bottle racks –, while their shape and architectural dimension resemble the flamboyant verticality of the late gothic.


‘lilicoptère’ is a helicopter that has been decorated in the same vein as Versailles’s aesthetic universe, covered in gold leaf with thousands of rhinestone embedded on its exterior. The cockpit and blades seem to have been invaded by an extravagant and colorful coat of ostrich feathers that have been dyed in hues of salmon, pink and orange.

2 August 2012 at 5:57 pm Leave a comment

Maison and Objet in September

This September, the producers of Maison&Objet, one of the world’s most highly regarded design shows, will launch the first-ever Paris Design Week. Maison&Objet will run from September 9-13, while Paris Design Week will run from September 12-18.
Maison&Objet features innovative and stylish products for the home displayed in elegant booths in 8 separate halls including tableware, furnishing textiles, decorative accessories, giftware, arts and crafts, lighting, furniture. Maison&Objet is an ideal forum to discover the latest product, material, design and color trends, which is why some 1,500 buyers and interior designers from the U.S. currently attend. The addition of Paris Design Week is now extra incentive to visit Paris in September.
Don’t want to travel by yourself? Join us . We’re taking a Decor Tour to Paris in September for M&O and Paris Design Week.
For discounted admission to Maison&Objet, good through August 3rd, 2011, CLICK BUTTON and use the following info:


Password: PEAN1A

24 July 2011 at 9:11 am Leave a comment

Paris Decor Tour

A sneak peek at some of  our favorite spots in Paris we’ll be visiting.

Design Destinations

Creation Baumann


Creation Metaphores

Anne Gelbard Couture Home

Viaduc des Arts


Much more to come including restaurants, galleries, shops and the show!

 Did we whet your appetite? Join us . Click HERE for more info.


13 July 2010 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

September in Paris + Maison et Objet=Priceless

Join an exclusive group of design aficionados in Paris August 31- September 8, 2010 for Maison et Objet.  The group to 12 PEOPLE ONLY, to keep the low-key, non-tour approach. Take advantage of a few extra days in Paris to get the most out of the shows as well as have enough time to really enjoy Paris. ! It’s a once in a lifetime chance to attend the ultimate design show!

Here’s What out January Group had to say about the Experience:

Susan and you have opened a window to the industry that I have only been peeking through. So Thanks again. Sue Sifakis

 It was a fantastic trip to Paris. The Hotel D’ Aubusson was beautiful.It was perfect to see Paris with other designers and such a nice group. The show was tremendous and a bit overwhelming. I came on this trip to find a new vision for my business and learned so much more.   Karyn Caldwell

I am still dreaming about it. It was the greatest…Thank you!     Octive Healey

This is very much a self guided tour. We’ll get you where you want to go; walk the aisles with you and share experiences over cocktails each night, but you make the decision when and where and what you want to do. No cattle calls on buses, mandatory dinners, just a fabulous time with a group of women that share the same passion- design. Hope you’ll join me. If you are interested, please download and fill out reg form and send back to us with your deposit asap. Seats fill on a first come; first serve basis.

Note: September Edition of Maison et Objet  has a furniture and outdoor living focus.

See what Maison et Objet is all about!

Tour highlights:

7 days/7 nights in Paris, August 31- September 8, 2010 includes:

*Airfare to/from JFK  Overnight flight arriving in Paris Wednesday, September1, 2010.

*Hotel d’ Aubusson, Four-star, double-occupancy in the heart of St. Germain (Super-convenient location and we’ve stayed in this hotel and love it!) Five minute walk to the subway, direct line to the show. Walking distance of the Louvre, Orsay, Notre Dame, Sorbonne; surrounded by art galleries, restaurants and shops.

*Daily Breakfast at the hotel.

*Airport transfers

*5 day all zone metro pass

*Admission to Maison&Objet and Le Club.

*Welcome reception at M&O from show management

*Exclusive M&O trend presentation with Q&A opportunity

*As-you-wish meet-ups for cocktails or dinner to review the day, compare notes, share stories, etc.

*Pre-travel web session(s) with Deb and Susan to preview locations, M&O planning, travel details, our Paris faves and more

*Cruise on the river Seine.

*Free entrance to the Louvre or Orsay.

 *Design destinations and insider access to showrooms and ateliers across Paris. Viaduc des Arts, Anne Gelbard Atelier to name a few.

 GO HERE for more details.    


Tour does NOT include:

*Any meals except breakfast at the hotel as noted

*Any admissions or fees except for the M&O show and museums as noted

*Any additional transportation fees outside of those listed above (i.e., we’re not bussing you to/from the shows at a specific time, you get there when you want and leave when you want, courtesy of those all-zone transit passes)

*Optional activities, entries & transportation is on you.

*Travel and cancellation insurance

*Personal expenses

*Tips for guides, hotel staff, taxis, etc.

8 April 2010 at 11:35 am 1 comment

More on the Marais

Writing on the potential for dinner in the Marais reminded me of some of my favorite stops in that neighborhood.

First, I strongly urge you to visit the Musée Carnavalet, the former hôtel particulier of famed 17th c. letter writer extraordinare the Marquise de Sévigné. Not only do you get a feel for the aristocratic lifestyle of that era, it’s also one of the city’s best museums of the revolution.

The lovely Place des Vosges was built in the early 1600s by Henri IV as a model for further city planning, to provide established merchants, court officers and upper-middle class Parisians a comfortable, elegant home. Today the lower levels are filled with cafés, wine shops, gift stores, etc. One of Grace’s favorite restaurants in tucked into one corner of the Place (19 Places des Vosges)…ask her to tell you the story about Ma Bourgogne some time!

For a different kind of culture, stop into Merci, a three-story shop run by the former owners of ultra-luxe children’s brand Bonpoint. It’s the latest hot-spot “lifestyle” destination, all more or less inspired by Colette, but what makes Merci different is that all profits from its mix of home goods, fashion, giftware and more are earmarked from a Madagascar-based women’s charity.

And in my mind, no trip to the Marais would be complete without a stop at Entrée des Fournisseurs, one of the best shops in the city for buttons, ribbon, trims and more. The fact that’s it’s located in a charming little courtyard off the bustle of rue des Francs Bourgeois only adds to the allure. Although, unlike many Marais shops, EdF is not open on Sundays, on the plus side, they do web orders and overseas shipping, so if you absolutely can’t make up your mind, you can also order later…

Now I have ribbon shops on my mind, so I’ll list a few others, not in the Marais, but worth noting on your agendas…

La Droguerie at 9 rue du Jour near Les Halles is famed for its enormous selection of both new and vintage ribbons, buttons and trimmings. They also have a concession at Le Bon Marché, way up on the top floor, so stop in the wonderful LBM foodhall for a snack first!

I think there’s a Mokubo ribbon shop somewhere around here also, but I can’t find an address for it in my files…Also note, rue du Jour is a great street for jewelry findings, beads, chains, etc.

UltraMod is open only during the week and is actually two related shops. One is true haberdashery supply shop, which sells to Givenchy, Lanvin and Jean Paul Gaultier among others. The second shop is a more retail oriented, but still overwhelming in the number of buttons, ribbons, embroidery threads and more. And the name is incredibly deceiving, as the ambience of the shops is very vintage, with wood shelving and work tables, a big ol’ cast iron cash register and more. 3 and 4 rue de Choiseul, in the 2nd.

31 December 2009 at 1:44 pm 1 comment

Sunday Best

While Paris is known for great food, finding a good meal on a Sunday, when most shops and restaurants are closed, can sometimes be a bit tough. Here’s a short list of recommendations in and around our neighborhood.

Bistro Christophe, a small, simply decorated place where the owner/chef is truly passionate about what he puts on the table. 8, rue Descartes in the 5th.

Fógon specializes in Spanish food, perhaps a welcome break from all-French, all-the-time meals. 45 Quai des Grand Augustins, 6th.

Au Coin des Gourmets is a bit of IndoChina in Paris, but this is isn’t gloopy sweet&sour pork in a white cardboard box! 5, rue Dante, 5th.

Ambassade d’Auvergne features the hearty, homey fare of this western mountain region, including the aligot, a whipped potato specialty with the tasty addition of cheese curds and garlic. 22 rue du Grenier-St. Lazare, 3rd.

La Père Claude on the other side (from us) of the Champs de Mars is an ideal spot for the classic Sunday French dinner of roast chicken. 51 av, de la Motte-Picquet, 15th.

Le Rôtisserie du Beaujolais is another great roast chicken option, and a bit closer to the hotel at 19 quai de la Tournelle, 5th.

Fish la Boissonerie is a fun, lively spot so so close to the hotel at 69, rue de Seine, 6th.

As Deb mentioned in our webinar, one neighborhood that does mostly remain open on Sundays is the Marias, likely because of its long history as the “Jewish Quartier” now mostly occupied by trendy boutiques and hotels. Instead of listing the many options, I’ve linked to an article that came out right after my last visit to Paris listing eight different options in the area, but many more can be found.

And finally, when all else fails, there are plenty of basic bistros where a light dinner of omelet et salade with a glass of wine all tastes perfectly fine.

Bon Appétit!

31 December 2009 at 12:30 pm Leave a comment

Paris Taste Treats: Macarons

Ok I promised more information on some other ideas for great Parisian gifts and mementos. I’m going to concentrate on one particular food-related gift (I know, again with the food?!) in this post.

First, to my mind there are no two more French treats than macarons and pâte des fruits. First, for those who might not yet be familiar with these ah-may-zing delectables, a little info.

I mean, how pretty are these? And soooo good with a café au lait.

A French macaron consists of a layer of buttercream, ganache or jam spread between two meringue disks. The inventor of this pretty little taste treat is generally considered to be Pierre Desfontaines, a distant cousin of Louis Ernest Ladurée, founder of the famed pâtisserie. And for nearly 100 years the classic flavors of vanilla, chocolate, coffee and almond defined the universe of macarons. But in in the 1990s Ladurée began to work with Pierre Hermé, a pastry master, who developed a range of modern flavor combinations–lime and basil, olive oil vanilla, black current and roasted chestnut—that got the attention of tout Paris.

Fortunately for my addiction Ladurée now sets up a little cart at the entrance of hall 5 at Maison&Objet. And, as Deb mentioned, both the St. Germain and the Rue Royale branches of Ladurée are amazing to visit for their beautiful settings, and the macarons are worth buying for the packaging alone. (Seriously, you don’t want to know how many different versions of their pretty boxes I’ve collected!) But the stores are also worth a visit for the other items in the display case, in particular the scented candles, in elegant porcelain holders that make a wonderful gift. I especially love the brioche candle.

I have the black and gold, the classic green and gold, a pink and gold, a purple and gold....

But Ladurée doesn’t have the macaron market all to itself. Today Pierre Hermé has his own pâtisseries (check out the one near our hotel at 72 rue Bonaparte) where he continues to develop amazing flavors, for example, he’s one of the chefs credited with started the salted caramel craze with his macaron buerre salé. If you decide macarons aren’t your thing, he’s also regarded as one of Paris’ premiere chocolatiers. (But chocolate? That’s a whole ‘nother post, or two, or more…)

Other macaron stops you might consider:

Carette: one of the oldest and most old-guard of the salons, Carette also offers news flavors each season. 4 Pl. au Trocadero in the 16th.

Macarons & Chocolat: Here experimental ingredients (lily of the valley anyone?) are lined up next to the classics. Chef/owner Arnaud Larher received a best-of-Paris award for his macarons not so long ago. His pistachio-cherry is a signature flavor. 57, rue Ramrémont in the 18th. So if you’re up near Montmartre…

Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki: “Traditional in recipe and modern in the Japanese touch” according to chef Aoki. Among the more unique flavors you’ll find salted cherry flower, yuzu and sansho, a type of Japanese pepper. 35 rue de Vaugirard in the 6th

Dalloyau: The ancestors of this company served Louis XIV at Versailles, but they’ve kept up with modern times. Dalloyau is actually a bit more comparable with Fauchon, a full service prepared food purveyor including salads, sandwiches, patés and pâtisserie. And while their macarons are very tasty indeed, I personally stop by Dalloyau to buy an assortment of pâtes des fruit, the sugar-coated jellied fruit squares that one (ex-) boyfriend jokingly referred to as “expensive jujubes.” They are absolutely NOTHING like that! The best pâtes des fruit (and I consider Dalloyau’s the best) capture the essence of fruit in one sweet little nibble. The main store is at 101 rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré but there’s also an outpost right off Place Edmond Rostand, where rue Soufflot runs into Blvd. St. Michel.

Perhaps not a "typical" French pastry treat, but I love pâte des fruits and it's something that rather difficult to find in the States.

If you can’t find time to get to all these place individually, fortunately the food hall at Galeries Lafayette has outposts of almost all of these…and it’s also one of my favorite places to visit. 40, Blvd Haussmann.

I’m off to my parent’s for the holiday break and will have limited internet access, but I’m working on a few more pieces that I plan on posting as soon as I return to high-speed access. Enjoy your holidays everyone!

18 December 2009 at 5:20 am Leave a comment

Our Big Day in Cologne

Okay, this is exciting! We’ve just received confirmation from IMM Cologne on the date and time of our group’s press event. Here’s what’s going to happen on January 20:

• 10:00am, our group will meet with the IMM Trend Board prior to its presentation on the 2010 trends. The board members will available for questions and interviews.

• 10:30-11:30am, the Trend Board makes its presentation to the international press, including our group

• 11:30-12:15, our group will present “FutureVision 2020: Insight Into the U.S. Interior Design Market” immediately following the Trend Board presentation.

• 1:30, a tour of the new Pure Village section of IMM Cologne.

The interviews and presentations will take place at the staging area in Aisle A of Hall 3.2.

Later that day we get on a train and head to Paris for the last leg of our tour.

Oh, we’ve also been told where the opening night Cologne Design Party is to be held, at a great looking lounge, Alter Wartesaal, right by the main hauptbahnhof. This is scheduled for 7:00 pm on January 18. So our time in Cologne looks to be busy, busy, busy!

If you’d like to get a copy of the full press release on our Cologne presentation, it’s available here.

18 December 2009 at 4:32 am Leave a comment

Paris Markets: Round 2, Vanves

So, as I started to say in my last post, before I started talking about food(!) was that as much as I love Clignancourt, I find it to be a bit too rich for my budget. When I go to a flea market, I want to to feel like I scored a deal! And, although I was having lots of fun discovering different French cheeses and sausages and other treats at all the marchés, I really missed poking around at old stuff to see what I could find. Because each trip to Paris I only have limited free time–I am there to cover M&O and it’s a big show–plus there is usually correspondence and other work to catch up on with the home office when back at the hotel, it means making some tough decisions about what to really look into each trip.

Anyway, before I get off an another tangent about some of my “old reliable” places to visit, back to the fleas…

One trip I finally made it my mission to visit one of the other fleas, and decided on Vanves, at the opposite end of the city from Clignancourt. It meant a transfer at the massive Montparnasse that seemed to take for-ev-er, but I stepped out of the Porte de Vanves station (line 13) into a quiet residential neighborhood. A bakery was open so I nabbed a fresh from the oven croissant (seriously, I saw the baker bringing up the tray from the ovens in the basement!) and made the short walk up to Ave. Marc Sangnier to find heaven! Banged-up folding tables, crates and boxes all filled with goodies–jewelry, industrial items, lighting, tableware, textiles, flatware, clothing, books, décor and of course bric-a-brac–everything that to me makes a great flea market.

At the corner, the first stand I saw, had tables with old letterpress forms...

...and I knew I had come to the right flea for me.

In addition to the atmosphere, which is much more casual and low-key, the vendors at Vanves are also more laid-back than at Clignancourt. For the most part they sip their coffees, chat with their neigherbors, read the paper, etc. but answer questions in a friendly manner, even when asked by an American 😉

There are a couple of different vintage button dealers.

There are several jewelry vendors to be found, with products ranging from junk, to mid-century costume, to Deco and a few pieces from even earlier.

The mirror was thoughtfully provided if you wanted to try on a necklace, a hat, etc. It was also for sale.

The Vanves market is larger than it looks at first glance. There are vendors on both sides of the broad sidewalk of Av. Marc Sangnier that runs alongside a public school. This section is about 1 mile or so, when you get to the food cart at the intersection of Marc Sangnier and Av. Georges Lafenestre, you’re a bit more than half-way through.

There are some vendors that I now specifically come for. At the very start of the market, at the corner of Sangnier and Rue Raymond Losserand is a table that has vintage letterpress forms, nice selections of vintage café au lait bowls and other intriguing (to me) stuff. About a quarter of the way down there’s one of two large button vendors, with just the most overwhelming assortment of vintage buttons, many still on their original cards. Around the same area but on the opposite side is vendor who specializes in vintage linens…embroidered oversized napkins, tablecloths, bedding and more. There are also several good custom jewelry dealers, tabletop (crystal, glassware and china) and of course, your usual odd assortment of “stuff”.

This shot sums up for me the atmosphere of Vanves, with that lovely little chandelier hanging in the corner of the carrier truck.

One of my absolute favorite stands, and I’m not alone in this, is a booth called Missy ( run by Julia. Her usual assortment includes a mix of vintage labels for wines and cheeses, pharmacy packaging, vintage fabrics and trims and much more. I could spend over an hour just at her stand! She’s usually on the right a little more than halfway down Marc Sangnier. In fact, Deb just recently used some of the labels we picked up from her for a client. I have a bunch of these now that I’ve collected, just because, and I still don’t know what I’m going to do with them. I have scanned them all as high-res, so I can either make copies of them to experiment with, or eventually get around to framing the originals. I did buy a set of vintage bobby pins, still on the original sell sheet, that I remove carefully to wear and then put back, so not everything is a “someday” purchase.

The "Missy" stand is typically a mix of vintage ribbons and other sewing and hat trimming elements, vintage pharmacy packaging...

...vintage wine, butter and cheese labels...

...vintage fabrics, primarily smaller pieces of lightweight upholstery goods, tablecloths, etc.

And just lots of other great stuff to poke around in!

What else have we found an Vanves? My sister picked up a very pretty bracelet for 10Euro that she always get compliments on and looooves to tell how she found it at “the Paris flea market”. Deb nabbed a fantastic brown leather doctor’s satchel that looked as if had hardly ever been used. In came in handy on that trip as she needed an extra bag to get her stuff home! She also found a great “fromage” id sign, the kind used in a grocery or at the marché, from when everything was still priced in francs. I’m a packaging person–I’ve found I’m attracted to vintage enamel graniteware French lunchboxes–in addition to my long-standing love for vintage boxes, tins, bottles and labels.

My last visit there, I found a great selection of vintage washing machine labels. I bought 10 different brands, in a whole range of colors and design styles.

So, I love Vanves, but perhaps it’s time to branch out again and next explore Montreiul? It’s so hard to choose between old loves and new adventures!

For Vanves, however, here are a few tips:

1) Get an early start. Vanves opens about 7.30 am on weekends only and the vendors start packing up around noon to make way for a second wave of sellers that deal in 30Euro leather jackets and such.

2) Carry cash. Unlike the dealers at Clignancourt, most Vanves dealers only except cash, although there are few exceptions. And, unlike Clignancourt,where the dealers are experienced at arranging shipping, if you see something you must have, but it can’t go home with you as checked baggage, you’ll probably need to figure out that on your own.

3) Bring along an extra bag or two. Most of these vendors will only offer flimsy plastic bags, if that, to carry away your newly-found treasure.

4) Take notes along the way. There are several vendors that sell many of the same type of items, so don’t buy the first version that you see. Take a note of the price, the condition, etc. and be ready to compare and perhaps bargain when you find something similar.

5) Know your French numbers, or be prepared with a pen and notebook for the vendors to write the price down for you. Most do speak English, but if you want to bargain and don’t feel comfortable negotiating in Franglish, a pen and paper goes a long way, as does a sense of humor!

Practical Info:

Metro, Porte de Vanves, line 13. Get out at the Blvd. Brune exit and there should be a Société Générale bank at the corner with an ATM if you need some more cash. Right around the corner and on your way to the market is the bakery where it’s worth stopping for a little something to munch on (as you took point 1 to heart and got an early start!)

13 December 2009 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

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