This weekend I went hunting. This time not for treasures at the Louvre but for antiques. Specifically a danish modern shelf unit to fit a television. (Yes, after over 2 years television-less we are ready. Mostly as a tool to aid in French of course, and the occasional Anglo film.) The marché aux Puces had made it’s biannual appearance on Rue de Bretagne and I gave in to temptation. How could I not, as it was just a few blocks away. So the adventures in the history of ‘other people’s treasures’ began.
In the end, did I find what I was looking for? No. But I did find what I wasn’t looking for. Hard to resist, especially when it’s a foreign treasure. I did return home content, but will be sure to peruse the next antiques market when it returns in May. Or perhaps find another before then…
If you are on your own French treasure hunt, here’s a list of antique markets in and around Paris.
Ever since I moved to Paris, we’ve had the very French idea to go ‘marketing’ on Sunday morning. Particularly the Marché d’Aligre in the 12th, one of the largest markets with the widest array of fresh produce. Our plan was to buy all of our fruits and vegetables for the week, fresh fish for an evening feast and perhaps even mingle with the locals. How enticing! In theory. Come Sunday we were so happy to have time to rest and enjoy a long and leisurely brunch at home, we simply never made it to the market, which closed at the absurdly early hour of 1:30pm. Exactly the time we were enjoying our second cup of coffee. (Fortunately, Marche des Enfants Rouge is just around the corner.)
Recently I was invited to join well reputed Context Paris for a Sunday morning market walk led by docent, foodie and writer Meg Zimbeck, who I was eager to meet, where else but at the Marché d’Aligre. (How did they know?) Finally a morning at the market with my Italian, and a guide!
It turned out to be a morning well worth sacrificing our Sunday ritual, even though the temperature made for quite a chilly stroll. We explored the length of the market, both indoor and out, tasted of delicacies I hadn’t dreamt of sampling so early on a Sunday, and ended the tour with a seasonal (and very savory) cheese tasting. Perfect.
My Italian and I left feeling both educated on the history of this part of our city and fully indulged in the tastes of France. An added bonus was sharing the tour with Raquel, a lovely travel consultant with a grand appetite for Paris.
How are we spending next Sunday? Marketing of course. Thanks for the inspiration Context & Meg!