greetings from paris mes amis! it’s beyond cold, in fact it’s downright bone chilling! but not cold enough to stop the shopping and yesterday was an incredible adventure.
we went to visit my friend stephane blanc’s warehouses in a tiny village an hour outside paris. it couldn’t have been more picturesque and even better, full of surprises.
you never know what’s behind big old doors and we were not disappointed when he opened the vaults to the 1750s barns where he and his father have gathered incredible treasures from french châteaux and estates over the years.
stephane brings pieces back to paris and restores them to sell at clignancourt in his tiny, curated booth on rue paul bert. my mystery guests and i were the first to go behind the blue doors. although he was casual about the enormity of his collection, we were blown away.
every kind of imaginable style is stacked up in chilly, cobwebbed rooms filled with furniture, mirrors, doors, chandeliers, artwork and toys.
we must have been there for 5 hours going through every nook and cranny in the cold.
no one left empty handed and at the end of the day we were exhausted and tired but happy with our treasures.
as someone who loves to restore old pieces, i couldn’t help wanting to take it all home and bring it back to life myself.
still, my philosophy these days is ‘no projects’ especially since i’m preparing for my OKL sale in just a couple weeks.
so at least for now, the clocks and tables are safe and sound, sitting quietly in wait.
and until i have the chance to come back (hopefully in warmer weather)!
i’ll just settle for getting pieces that are ready to go like these little treasures we found at the market. we’re heading out again tomorrow and sunday to vanves and clignancourt for a big day of shopping and shipping so i’ll keep you posted and take lots of shots! have a great day and happy weekend!
allo all! it’s very late and my last post from paris this time around. it’s been a fantastic trip with lots of great memories and pretty things coming home. but for the first time, it’s a little different for me. as you know i adore the flea markets and all the stories they tell. lately though, i feel a little bittersweetness about it because the subtle ‘progressive’ changes in the city are becoming more apparent and i’m not sure they’re for the best.
ok maybe at times paris can be a bit of a gilded lily, and i can understand wanting to mix the old with the new. but paris is the worlds’ muse and we come for her beauty and inspiration.
le train-bleu, in paris’ gare de lyon
and as someone who loves interior and exterior architecture, i can’t for the life of me figure out why the french allow their beautiful city to be ravaged by renovators.
the changes are everywhere, from the windows coming down and satellite dishes going up
to small details like the books being pilfered for engraving and endpapers sold as scraps
glass fronts on traditional boulangeries and boucheries are tossed aside and the storefronts are cemented over
handpainted panels are removed and separated from the grand walls they once adorned
and apparently stained glass is considered passé
why someone would want to dismantle a marble fireplace and mirror is beyond me
and why would the city allow such destruction?
i mean, i’m not complaining, it gets circulated all over the world i suppose
but it just seems that in this day and age we should preserve what we have and take care of it as stewards
these apartments will be here long after us and what will be left?
where is the love?
and why is it being replaced with ‘sanitization’of the city’ as the french are calling it?
ok maybe i am complaining just a little. it’s happening throughout the city. these beautiful old tile frames in the metro are all coming down
and the old bouquinistes kisoks are being replaced with one of the prototypes below
maybe like joni mitchell sings, paris, is old and cold and settled in its ways. but isn’t that why we love her so? if the powers that be want to make changes, i humbly suggest adding a few more escalators in the metros, make it easier to catch a cab and run a design contest for a pretty something to cover the hanging clear plastic garbage bags on the streets. of course outlawing satellite dishes and making it a crime to dismantle apartments and store facades over 100 years old wouldn’t hurt either! but some say it’s progress. i say it’s heartbreaking. what do you think?