The New Marché aux Puces, Paris
A day spent at the Marché aux Puces flea market at Clingacourt in the 18th arrondissement is always a pleasure, but now more than ever before. The most famous flea market in the world has expanded beyond what it was even five years ago and it’s always an incredibly fun way to spend a Sunday when so much else is closed in Paris.
The Marché has become hip with the addition of L’Eclaireur, Habitat from the 60’s & 70’s and a whole host of fabulous mid-century stalls and charming Bohemian places to eat and drink.
Today I went in search of interesting glasses and bar ephemera for my book Paris Cocktails and to stock my Etsy store.
I am going to open a stall at the Fort Green and Williamsburg fleas in Brooklyn in NYC in a the spring. You still have to search and bargain with vendors to get a good price but shopping is indeed more pleasurable than previously.
I’ve always adored the winding streets of Vernaison, Marche Paul Bert and Serpente but now I’ve discovered Marché Jules Valles and the little places on the side streets like those on rue Paul Bert.
Don’t make the mistake I have done which is to stay just on the rue des Rosiers, there are incredible little houses full of wonders on the side streets and on rue Jules Vallès some folks just spread their wares on the ground on a sheet and of course these folks are the cheapest around, not having to pay rent. I bought a wonderful Pernod sign (see Bar Ephemera shot below) from a charming man yesterday which was practically free compared to what others charge for old French signs.
You can take bus number 85 straight there from the Louvre, which is much easier than the metro, but you might have to taxi back as hopefully you’ll be saddled down with bags as I was.
One of the best places to retire when you are shopped out is Django Rheinhardt’s cafe Le Chope, grab a verre and listen to some gypsy jazz every Sunday afternoon around 3pm.
Also Les Valles is quite charming, here you can enjoy vin chaud for just 3.50€ and couscous in winter.
Their beer Saint Omer hailing from the north of France hit the spot for me yesterday.
Items I love to buy are table top wares, bar collectibles, crystal, pottery and art. I’ve bought many pieces over the years here for our places in France – the furniture is a lot cheaper than the “smalls” because generally the tourists don’t buy the larger goods. But don’t let that deter you. You can have a bunch of items shipped using the shippers on site and you’ll usually still come out ahead of buying at a nice shop in the states.
Cafe Les Vallès 5 rue Jules Vallès 93400 St-Ouen, 01 40 11 46 23