Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Vide-Grenier and No Reservations

We had intended to go to Porte de Vanve flea market on this early Saturday morning until we saw a vide-grenier not far from us. My friends ML, Lenny and I set out armed with reusable shopping bags and bubble wrap, and were hoping to put both to good use.
A vide-grenier is like a yard sale with a few professional dealers mixed in. You won't find upscale merchandise here but if you are willing to sort through the junk you can find many treasures. But then again, one persons junk is another ones treasure. Sifting through the vide-grenier can be more difficult than a flea market since you have to spot an item that can be hidden in a jumble of castoffs. The reward is that you can find a gem for chump change. And that we did! ML and Lenny have a great eye and we often find ourselves reaching for the same things. It usually ends up with the person who wants it the most. It was a chilly morning and I didn't have gloves with me and was hoping I'd find some that were ready to start a new life. No luck, but there were many shoes looking for souls. As we passed by one of my favorite boulangeries, I had to resort to a baguette fresh from the oven to warm my cold hands. Not a bad compromise! All along the side of the street and under the train tracks, tables of goods were set up. Here you could buy a doll or just look like one. While bargaining for this fois gras dish, I got to know the dealer a little during a conversation he struck up. I wasn't sure which was more charming, him or the dish! I can be a little daunted by size and weight of what I buy....we do have to cart these things home, after all. ML is not daunted by anything and she has a highly trained eye which is a good, if not a dangerous combination. She found these gorgeous pieces of iron at Porte de Vanve the week before. They are way heavier than they me! Good thing these vintage linen postal delivery bags were lighter. I love the look and the history behind them. The fragile items give the biggest challenge to get home. I nicknamed Lenny and I, Chip and Chipper and won't go into the's too painful! But it is all worth it. We found jars, jugs, a butter keeper, berry bowls, pitchers, lion head bowls, spoons and a grapevine corkscrew. These containers for musical instrument pieces are very decorative objet d'art. ML found some mid century posters from a school that I have first dibs on, but I didn't get any pics. With full bags, fun times and money left in the wallet, we headed back to the hotel. Thinking about dinner, we tried unsuccessfully to make dinner reservations. It was a Saturday evening and all of our choices were complet. We decided to make our way to Relais de l'Entrecôte, a favorite fallback that doesn't take reservations and specializes in steak and frites. A perfect ending to a full day!

Relais de l'Entrecôte

Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves
Addresses: avenue Georges Lafenestre & avenue Marc Sangnier, 75014 Paris
Phone: (+33); E-mail:
Every weekend of the year, 350 stall holders await you: furniture, trinkets, paintings, fabric, glassware, time pieces, jewelry, military objects, photography, music, and curios. In the heart of Paris, an exciting place that will capture your imagination. It's the place to visit for flea market enthusiasts.
Hours: Weekends; avenue Marc Sangnier until 1 p.m.; avenue Georges Lafenestre all day.
Porte de Vanves (line 13)

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La Table De Nana said...

Oh no kidding a perfect day..And look at those treasures..those Poste bags:) The lion bowls..EVERYTHING!!!

Picture these next words in a small font:"I envy you"..

Ok back to normal font..I am happy for you though too!!!

linda said...

today was a lovely day & a great post…both were beautifully "written" & the sun & your "lighted" photographs were perfect.
i love searching @ flea markets…love a good "find"…& parisian markets très fantastique!

Kathy Walker said...

Great post. I love touring with you, I have such fun! You need a double-decker suitcase.

Deana Sidney said...

How do you get all of that back? You were lucky indeed...such amazing goodies... love the lion. You should do an online shop with some of those finds (but then you would have to give them up...the hardest thing!).

2 Stews said...

Monique...yes, this is one of the perks of my job. I try and take advantage of it every minute.

Linda...Good thing all of my trips aren't on the weekends. I leave for Paris today...hmmm...can I stay away from the markets?? They sure are fun!

Kate...So glad you enjoy coming along. A double decker suitcase? You are brilliant. It would have to be padded :-)

Deana...I actually only bought a few things, so it wasn't too hard to bring things back. My friends were more ambitious. I will try and convince my friend, ML, to sell some online. She has a fantastic eye and bountiful energy.

Thanks for visiting!

Chanterelle said...

Those "containers for musical instrument parts" are containers for the old Pathé wax cylinders, the earliest commercially produced sound recordings, before even the earliest flat discs that predate CDs. There was a big deal a few years ago when a time capsule full of Pathé cylinders was discovered in the vaults of the Paris Opéra. I don't suppose there were actual grooved cylinders in those containers?

Great kitchen finds, I'm drooling!



2 Stews said..., thanks for the fascinating info, and yes, there were cylinders in the containers. Does that make them more valuable? I'm intrigued as to how you knew about them.

Thanks again for the info....Diane