The experience of walking a Paris flea market is a cultural revelation, an historical journey and a treasure hunt all in one. The Vanves market begins quite early on the weekends and I start with my car dropping me at the perfect entrance on the Avenue Georges Lafenestre (a poet and critique of French art in the 1800's). It is there from a little stand that I have my coffee and chocolate croissant hot from the oven! If I prefer to just get started looking, there are always little ladies who stroll the walkways with a cart full of coffee and baked goodies. The Vanves still feels like an old-fashioned market because of these ladies, the street pianists and the vendors that set up and take down each day. There are no permanent stands like there are in the larger Cligancourt Puces.
The market is full of snarly vendors who yell back and forth to each other and who most often object to being photographed. (This guy yelled at me just as I was shooting!) There are nice vendors too but the grumpy ones make it interesting! They bark but they don't bite...
The dogs, however, are much more friendly!
Everything you could ever imagine and more is for sale here. I will always be drawn to the old textiles with the hand woven tassels... gorgeous!
Even tap shoes make an appearance!
An antique school merit board!
And When I find an amazing portrait or bust, I am in my treasure heaven! These moments are only for the early risers!
And books beautifully bound in leather are another joy here. If you are lucky to find some with orginal engravings, you can walk away with a smile and a heavy bag! Many buyers come with a small cart on wheels or a suitcase just for these occasions.
There is humor to be found here too! I smiled a good-bye to these "partcipants" as I drove away for the last time this visit. Rain or shine, this is where you'll find me Saturday mornings during my stay...