hey guys, happy sunday! we spent it with a lovely guest and hit the markets to give her the lay of the land. she asked me if it ever seemed the same each week. i had to say no even though it really IS the same things over and over in a way. i but t never ceases to fulfill the promise of something wonderful around every corner. i didn’t get a chance to take a lot of shots today but we were really focused.
i did pick up something for myself in a pile of books out back at clignancourt. it’s an old version of letters written from a mother to her daughter that chronicled an era in paris in a way that was both literary and a sort of diary.
anyway i always wanted to know more about madame her since she lived in one of the most fabulous places in the city, hotel carnavalet.
and i couldn’t resist a 200 year old book…
sadly carnavalet is closed on mondays and we did vow to do something cultural. maybe the musee des arts decortaif or the boheme show at the grand palais.
but if you know me, ask monument vs market and i’ll always choose the latter. turns out clignancourt is having another one of it’s famous fetes all weekend.
these old pics are from the program. crazy to think how many times this stuff really does go round and round!
i’m supposed to spend the next couple days writing about the markets for my book while i’m here. i realize now that you have to be obsessed with your subject to write about it.
and thankfully i am! tomorrow i’ll head back for one last day of fleaing till spring. ok well i’m off to bed. have a great night!
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?
bonjour mes amis, ca va? we’re fully immersed in parisian life over here, for another week anyway. i’m trying to make it last and enjoy every minute (even if that’s a nap here and there)! paris is like a laduree candy shop with unexpected, delicious beauty around every corner. especially at the markets. we can walk for miles and still only skim the surface.
the fleas are full from the vendors’ summer finds and we’ve been getting up early to make the most of it.
i definitely have a thing for chairs and have been getting sofas, slippers, vanity stools and bergers…
sad for the ones that got away…
but n love with what’s coming back to the states! thought you might enjoy a preview.
and we know you can’t get it all. but we sure try! we’ve been to the maison objet (a little uninspired this year but i’ll post the pics from it. then again everything pales in comparison to the fleas for me!) instead of heading back we went to the markets with our client for the past few days. she’s been shopping for her store, shed home and tomorrow we’ll be packing her goodies up to ship.
the photo above is dave bloom’s of sophie atlan’s booth in clignancourt at vernaisson. we spent a couple days shooting together for the new book.
the detail in this country never ceases to amaze me
the closer you look the more you find
even a tiny powder puff is still as pretty as ever.
well tomorrow is our last day together, and i believe a good time was had by all.
thought you’d enjoy a shot of cindy’s room at caron de beaumarchais. amazing what you can do with 4 little walls!
we’re invited to a big party at clignancourt on friday eve and a concert tomorrow. we’re hoping to get to the show above if we can squeeze it in! well it’s minuit, so more soon, have a great night!
bonjour encore! i love sharing pics with you guys cause no one appreciates them like you do! paris is full of old monuments and museums that never change, (old and cold and settled in its ways as joni mitchell would say). that’s just not the paris for me. i love the one that changes every weekend.
of course the fact that the fleas have been happening every weekend for hundreds of years is certainly a constant that shouldn’t be overlooked. in fact, the persistence of the people who come together each weekend to make the magic happen is staggering feat in itself.
i love that you can count on these guys being here, playing cards or dominoes, laughing and listening to music every weekend.
but the real fascination is with what they bring in cause although it’s always a variation of a theme, the theme never gets old. (for me anyway)! like, i’ve never seen a mirrored radio. suffice it to say there are always one-of-a kind treasures.
same steets, different stuff! i know i should mix it up and should leave paris for the outskirts more often but she holds my full attention every time.
what a labor of love to head to the outskirts of france and shop for goodies to bring back to us. a dealer friend was telling us how he spends his time traveling 55o kilometers each week gathering treasures from around the countryside to display and sell. i could go for a life like that!
wouldn’t these be magical in a garden?
anyway this is all totally random. i have taken a million shots as usual and just opened a file and let it all hang out.
just thought you’d enjoy the tour and a little daydreaming with me.
i wish i could buy it all! i guess that’s the beauty of shopping with clients and i love when they get something wonderful!
ok, i better wrap it up. one more day to entertain the gang and we’re going to hit a market in the city, marche d’aligre. it’s a good little one that looks grimy from a distance but there’s of course always a gem if you’re willing to get down and dirty. it’s rainy and cold so it’s back to de rigeur paris. more later!
i know she’s playing the piano but i see her as if she’s on the computer…an early blogger! hi guys, just wanted to post some of the latest candy coming out of gay paree this trip.
i’ve got my eye on lots of patterns and old designs in wallpaper and tile
trims and architectural peices.
paris is my go to place for ideas, inspiration and the deep dose of creativity i crave to continue.
i’m letting it all free flow and seeing where it takes me but am mainly looking at flat pieces to ship back like doors and mouldings.
we stumbled onto an old warehouse around the back of clignancourt i’d forgotten about for years.
it was of course, a treasure trove!
and now, our clients are packing up, shipping their goodies and heading back. my time is my own and i’m re-evaluating everything. how i want to work, what i really enjoy doing and how to expand my little world.
it was great to have all my friends around me to come home to each night (mb below) and they’re the perfect sounding boards full of advice and encouragement for taking on a new direction to refine my trips and the way i’m doing business.
but tomorrow’s another day so for now, a last supper with the whole gang and a night ride through paris at night with our favorite taxi driver. he knows where all the good apartments are lit up with their chandeliers and mouldings so i’ll be on the hunt with my new camera ;p
and so, bonne nuit, cher amis!
hey guys, comment ça va?
i’m reposting an article i wrote for parisien salon and wanted to share it and a little something else too. i’m at the airport about to take off for paris. we have a great group coming and i’ll try to post some of the details each night. in the meantime, i just wanted to say that the reason this article exists and that linda donahue of parisien salon has become a friend (we’re sharing the apartment)! is because, as a fellow blogger, she simply picked up the phone and asked to have coffee. we met and it was friends at first sight. we’ve had a regular sunday brunch for the past year and now i’ve got a column on her site i’m excited to write! in fact she pushed me to write an article on the maison objet for tomorrow so i’ll keep you posted. she’s even the one who told me what an APP was when i had never heard of them!
i better run but wanted to say that if you have a blogger near you, reach out and touch her, you never know what will happen! here’s the article, thanks for the opportunity, LD, see you on the other side!
Bringing Parisian Style Home from the Fleas
Because I hang out at flea markets in Paris, I tend to hear the same comments over and over from American tourists, yet it never ceases to amaze me:
Men: “There’s nothing but old junk here.”
Women: “There are no bargains in Paris anymore.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. These people are just scanning the surface, not honing in on the delicious layers that create the Paris flea markets.
Truth is, it’s impossible to go to a Paris flea market and not find a one of a kind, museum-quality trinket for 1euro.
In fact, you could shop any of the flea markets in one weekend and furnish your entire home as if it were a château or a cottage en Provence for next to nothing.
Basically, the flea markets are the treasure chests of the world, brimming with everything from entire paneled rooms to a century old diary. The trick is finding the bargains, then getting them home. C’est simple!
What to look for:
It’s easy to stroll by a table and dismiss it but there’s a lot more to a dealer’s wares than meets the eye. In fact, I’m willing to say that almost every vendor has something uniquely special if you look very close. It may be the size of a button, but it’s there. At all markets, there are two kinds of vendors. Those who practice the art of display and lovingly curate their collection, and those who don’t.
How to find it:
You can find good deals with either type, but those who don’t are generally more interested in sales volume than what the actual item is. Sure, they may know a set of dishes is Limoges or the silverware is sterling, but they don’t take the time to clean them because they’d just rather move it. If you’re on the hunt then get down and and dig in.
Paris fleas aren’t like ours where a box of kitchen junk is filled with Tupperware. In Paris a box of junk may have iron candlesticks, antique serving trays and letters from the 1700s.
If you just want a souvenier or memento, check a dealer’s tiny boxes they have on the table. You never know what can turn up, from a monogrammed stamp with your initials to embroidered pillowcases, a love letter or a locket.
How to buy it:
Bargaining is acceptable in any market around the world and France is no exception. If you make an offer, just be respectful. Flea marketers are hard working people who travel to find unusual things, clean, repair and research them. They haul out, unpack, and face the elements each weekend to bring this magic right to you!
You’re bound to fall in love in Paris, so why fight it? But what you fall in love with will determine how to get it home. If it’s furniture, you’ll need a shipper, so I recommend a to visit Clignancourt before all other markets. And the shippers are all there so you can so you can visit a few and see what services they offer. It’s a good place to start cause it’s the mecca of markets you’ll never see it all.
Some deliver door to door and others drop at a port and you pick it up. See what works best for you). You’ll set up an account for free and get book of receipts. When you buy something, the dealer will write out his information on one of the copies and deliver it to the shipper. You’ll give the shipper your book to confirm those and any items you’d like picked up. Then you can pay when it’s all been collected. Strange as it is, a ‘hold’ is often as good as a ‘sold’ cause you can work things on a handshake. Just be sure to honor it!
Once you have a shipper, you’ll have an account number and can tell vendors at other markets where to deliver your gems for consolidation without hesitation.
Clignancourt is open Fridays and Mondays till 1pm and all weekend till about 6pm.
For shippers, I recommend Camard or Hedley’s in the center of Cligancourt.
Of course shipping furniture can add a bit to the cost so negotiate that in when you’re bargaining and always ask for the price ‘pour export’.
Shippers charge by cubic meter, so if you have an armoire, you’re free to fill it with all your goodies from linens to chandeliers.
Finally, forget your misconceptions about shipping; That you need to fill a container, that it’s expensive, there are taxes…once you get past the unknown a new world opens up. You may just find yourself with a brand new hobby.
Do you have a question about flea market style for Claudia Strasser? Send your questions to email@example.com, and you may find it answered in a future column.
PS: someone did ask a good question!
Our first question comes from Kevin of Tempe, Arizona.
I live in the U.S. and am wondering if the dealers at the flea markets in Paris, particularly Puces de Vanves, charge taxes on the purchases?
The answer is no, official tax is not charged on top of the price negotiated for the item. The dealer is responsible for his taxes and builds that into his cost. Items that are over 100 years old are considered antiques and are not taxable.
On the other hand, if you’re shipping something back to the States that’s not over 100 years old, you’re subject to the duties and taxes that the U.S. ascribes. How they calculate it remains a mystery on so many levels. So if you’re buying antiques, ask the dealer for a ‘Circa’ date and have him or her write it on the receipt.
When your items come in by sea or air, a customs broker will call to ask you to fill out a form stating the age of your items. If they’re under 100 years old, the customs broker will give you your tax and duties total based on the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. You can try to decipher it yourself but just like a good lawyer, a good customs broker will help you to determine your tax bracket.
To learn a little more about it, you can visit this link: http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/bychapter/index.htm
hey guys! i wanted to surprise you but had no idea how long the process would take at apple so the cat was out of the bag last week but…you’re still the first to know, the app launched on itunes! i’ll be giving away 10 to my blog buds for review so if you’d like to check it out, let me know and we’ll do the drawing next week. in the meantime if you don’t want to wait and do get one, please let me know your thoughts on how it works. if it needs tweaking or there’s a typo i’m depending on you to let me know!
thank you so much to all the extremely patient people who worked on it from producer and wrangler, catherine, and dear friend claudia ii, to elaine biss‘ illustrations, mo and michael, the developers and mom and dad who had my back when i really needed it. it’s amazing to have a team who transformed my years of study at the paris fleas into practical information. i can’t wait to share with you and thank you, too for all encouragement!
to win one just leave a comment and if you want to host a giveaway on your blog, let me know and we’ll set you and your winner up with one too!
hi guys, happy summer! hope your week is off to a good start.
i’ve been on the down low for the past couple of weeks, maybe it was a combo of burnout from paris and coming home to miami and all that’s looming. still i’ve been busy and spent the past few days with my partner catherine in chicago working on the app and we’re finally at the last stage. i can’t believe how much work went into this but it’s going to apple for approval this week!
i thought you’d enjoy a small preview of some of the pics.
i love old flea pics. just goes to show you how little has changed and how much of the same stuff keeps getting passed around from generation to generation.
anyway i still have to go through the 3000 (literally)! photos i took in paris cause we’re putting out a photo book at the same time the app launches. truth is it was supposed to happen when i was there but guess everything in due time, right?
well, it’s after 2pm and i’ve got a pair of 6 year old nieces who’ll be expecting their fairy godmother to be up and at em when they are.
so i’ll leave you with these and bid you bonne nuit.
i’m glad you were here and i’ll stop by chez vous too. for now, sweet dreams!
bonsoir à tous
it’s hard to believe that a month has flown by. this is officially my last night and the packing’s done, stomach full and lids are heavy. i’ll miss paris but love miami too and although my heart breaks for the oil spill, i’m looking forward to getting home and seeing what’s ahead.
packing artwork was the last thing to do and i just thought you may enjoy some of the pieces from the markets that are coming home with me. these are pochoirs by lucien victor guirand de scévola (meaning they’re hand painted over engravings). i fell in love with them cause they have the playfulness of paris’ sensuality combined with gorgeous colors, set in the backdrop of luxe paris apartments.
i love the tryst going on in the salon while the party is just outside the door…
i always wonder what went on in these apartments before our time, the fires that burned, who hurried home as dusk fell with treats from the markets to faire that famous french cuisine, and after, embroider, read, write and play and love. what could life have been like in this mysterious city for so many centuries? and to think it was all done by candlelight, with no running water and little heat. still so much was accomplished with such exquisite detail.
it looks like they were having a grand old time in spite of any hardships though. it’s because of those days that the fleas remain as fascinating as they do. how did people create such lovely things without the technologies and advances we have today using just their imagination and bare hands?
this oil is from the 20s and as a peony lover i just had to have it.
i didn’t get her (above) but love her just the same. but i did get these little books. the colors are still vibrant and the books are sweet lessons in love. the french have a way of making love so adorable and romantic!
and even though her hatbox is british, it’s still a bon voyage message to paris, i’ll be back soon (when the weather’s better hopefully)! it’s always bittersweet to leave but knowing this solid and magnificent place is here keeps me content. happy memorial day to you at home and see you on the other side!
my name is claudia and i’m a flea-aholic.
hi all! hope your weekend is winding down well and you had a good memorial day! guess it’s no surprise where i ended up on the last full day to myself! my girl christine and i went to the markets to pay for the things on hold and celebrate a great day in the sun with friends.
i’ve been meaning to introduce you to one of my dear flea friends, stephane. he has a stall at paul bert and was the perfect host, as usual, with a ton of guests, wine and cheese.
i wasn’t sure who’d want to be photographed so just stuck with the man himself. it’s funny cause you just never know who’s who at a place like the flea market. steph has a place close to me in the marais that was phtographed for a french magazine. he gave me a copy and i thought you may like the tour as much as i did.
some of the furniture is now in his shop, funny where things end up!
and we were hosted by another friend where we polished off an incredible homemade and gâteau more wine…
which led me to splurge and purchase these chairs!
of course, i had to choose carefully but it was so hard
how can you not love a place who upholstered everything in satin back in the day?
these were hard to resist
and even when we tried to do something other than the markets, the streets laid out more goodies before us at a brocante!
you never know what is going to be just ahead, guess that’s the magic of this ridiculously magical city.
here upon closer inspection were the relics of so many men who fought to protect it this dear place.
and their arms. how things have changed.
and i probably couldn’t leave paris without seeing a daybed on the street,
or a chaise for that matter!
i still have my heart set on this one but don’t think it’s gonna happen. i don’t have a store anymore and really not even an apartment. how’s that for the cobbler with no shoes?
the color combination is killing me! (thanks, mom, for saying i should get it. it would look good in my old room ;p
anyway, back to work tomorrow to restring the chandeliers with my clients so i’ll bring flowers and take pics of the final result. till then, have a great night and extend your weekend as long a possible!