scout paris 
Tombees du Camion at Marche Vernaison
My trip to the Vernaison market introduced me to Tombees du Camion--a store specializing in pristine vintage hardware and other unique objects. 

I am a huge fan of old hardware because it's vintage that has a modern aesthetic. The store is hardware overload with boxes and shelves filled with multiples of enamelware light fixtures, porcelain switches, metal letterpress, wood spools, and more.

The shop showcases the inventory beautifully and it's so much fun to find  things I have never seen before. The inventory comes from leftover stock from old hardware factories, so none of it has ever been used.

Tombees du Camion is located at Marche Vernaison, Allee 5, Stand 92. Metro: Porte de Clignancourt. Open Saturday through Monday from 10 AM to 6 PM. There are also two additional locations.

The market itself is worth exploring, so try to get there early. Vernaison is filled with tiny antiques shops that specialize in a variety of antiques. So, there is something for everyone. 

I left the modern craft fair--Le Super Market--feeling inspired by the French designers who were showcasing their creations in fashion, home decor, and jewelry. The show is only held once a year, but the artisans can be found selling their wares at stores, on the web, and at other shows. It was a nice introduction to this young Parisian community of artisans. Every vendor was quite affordable too--a major plus. Here, are my favorites from the show.
The scene at Le Super Market
Original jewelry designs by Ombre Claire. I have my eye on the bird ring and star necklace.
Designer Aude Durou of Ombre Claire
Vintage china is given a modern edge with stripes and geometric adornments by Pied de Poule. I like having a mix of china in my kitchen because it adds a little pep to my retro rental apartment. Who says everything has to be the same and match?
Simple and Young Pieces at Titlee
Tartes Kluger offers delicious handmade artisanal meringue, icecream, and tartes. Who can resist the packaging and typography?
There was a lot of excitement and anticipation at Salon du Vintage--an annual indoor market devoted to vintage clothing and 20th Century home decor.

The mild Sunday weather brought in an overwhelming crowd of young customers and the eclectic inventory kept them busy with a mix of high and low vintage clothing, accessories, furniture, and decorative items.

I was interested to see what people were buying, pick-up design tips, and explore some of the trends. I found plenty of them including collegiate preppy style clothing, sunglasses from the 60s, interesting typography, stacking chairs, muted cable knit cardigans, breezy printed summer dresses, and short leather jackets.

Even though this market has come and gone, there are so many vintage markets in Paris. So, no worries. I happen to love Les Puces du Design for vintage clothing and 20th Century antiques. The twice-yearly outdoor market opens on May 6-8.


Salon du Vintage

Crowds at the Christmas Village on the Champs-Elysees. Metro: Concorde.
The Christmas season in Paris is in full swing. 

Head to the Christmas Market on the Champs-Elysees and you will quickly get into the holiday spirit. 

The cold didn't keep away the crowds at the market this weekend. The village had a little bit of everything for every age--shopping, music, rides, food, and Santa Claus. 

Christmas music set the mood in between the Rond-Point des Champs Elysées and Place de la Concorde where some 130 vendors were selling handmade crafts, chocolate, and food.

Christmas cookies, chocolate and candy
Visitors can expect a variety of crafts including Christmas wreaths, soaps, clothing, toys, Paris souvenirs, jewelry, holiday cards, and decorative objects.

Kitsch was definitely a theme throughout the show with live food and craft demonstrations.

There was an impressive selection of French cheese, sausage, wine, caviar, chocolate, traditional holiday cakes, and candy. 

The village is filled with food options for lunch or dinner including well-priced crepes, waffles, sandwiches, soup, pastries, breads, hot wine, hot chocolate, and more.

This is definitely a family event where kids can ride on the Ferris wheel at Concorde, the mini roller coaster, the child-sized luge, or the carousel. Try to go back during the evening for a different experience. The village and Ferris wheel sparkle at night with white lights. 

The Marche de Noel des Champs-Elysées closes on January 2. It's free and open daily. Metro: Champs Elysées-Clemenceau or Concorde.

Highlights: A Fabulous Mix of Food, Crafts, & Rides

more holiday markets to visit.....
Christmas trees at the Marche de Noel des Champs-Elysees. Metro: Concorde.
Paris is known for its markets. So, if you plan on visiting Paris during the holiday season, try to go to one of these Christmas-themed markets.

Christmas Market at La Défense Market features 350 vendors. Open daily until Dec. 27. Metro: La Défense.

Christmas Market and Ice Rink at Trocadero Ice skating and 120 vendors. Open until Jan. 2. Location: Place de la Trocadero, across from the Eiffel Tower. Metro: Trocadero.

Christmas Market and Santa's Village at Saint-Sulpice Open daily from Dec. 3 to Jan. 2. Location: Place Saint-Sulpice. Metro: Saint-Sulpice.

Christmas Market and Santa's Village at Saint-Germain Open every day from Dec. 3 to Jan. 2. Location: Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Metro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Christmas Market at Place de la Nation Open daily from early December. Location: Place de la Nation. Metro: Nation.

Christmas Market at the Place des Abbesses This market will be open every day in December. Location: Place des Abbesses. Metro: Abbesses.

Christmas Market at Gare de l'Est Open from December 3rd-December 18. Location: Gare de l'Est. Metro: Gare de l'Est.

Le Petit Cler, 29 rue Cler. Metro: École Militaire
Paris has an endless variety of bistros. My favorite pick? Le Petit Cler--on rue Cler in the 7th Arrondissement.

Customers will feel right at home in this tiny bistro with its friendly staff, intimate tables, and delicious French cuisine. 

The menu serves classic French fare from duck confit, pork stew, and seared salmon to roasted free-range chicken, steak tartare, and seared pork sausage. 

Make sure you order from Petit Cler's wine and cocktail list. A nice pairing is a glass of the Petit Chablis with Petit Cler's moelleux cake--a flourless chocolate fondant cake served warm. It's pretty heavenly and worth every calorie.

Even in the cold winter season, customers can enjoy sitting in the front patio (complete with heat lamps) or dine inside to enjoy the cozy space with walnut walls and small bistro tables. 

Prices are mid-range with main courses starting at $16, a glass of wine is about $5, and $8 for dessert. This dining spot is quite popular, so try to plan ahead and make a reservation.

I know where every French bistro in Manhattan takes inspiration from--cafes like Le Petit Cler. Come here for lunch or dinner and you will understand why.

A glimpse inside Le Petit Cler.
the dish...
  • Le Petit Cler is located at 29 rue Cler in the 7th Arrondissement--on one of the prettiest cobblestone streets in Paris.
  • Metro: École Militaire. 
  • Prices start at 12 euros (about $16) for a main course.
  • The bistro gets very busy for dinner, so plan ahead and make a reservation.
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is served. Credit cards accepted.
  • During the winter season, Le Petit Cler has heat lamps (as do most cafes in Paris) in order to keep the front of the restaurant nice and toasty.
  • New Yorker's will compare this bistro to Pastis in Manhattan--just a bit smaller in scale.


It was a typical November Sunday afternoon in Paris: A walk in the rain, a leisurely lunch at Petit Cler, and shopping. I was excited to stumble upon an antiques market on rue Cler. It doesn't happen every Sunday, but this was a serious market. Dealers set-up nicely designed booths filled with quality inventory including colored glass, decorative china, antique hardware, and French textiles. 

Enjoy the scouting shots...

trends in the market: vintage flatware, china, and hardware.

Vintage paper at Marché aux Puces de Vanves. Metro: Porte de Vanves
I love vintage paper. So, I was told that a good source for vintage ephemera was the outdoor market Marché aux Puces de Vanves.

I was pleasantly surprised. It was a collector's dream to be able to look through stacks and stacks of beautiful paper for as little as a euro apiece.

Vintage paper items are hard to find at low prices in the markets in New York. 

The vintage ephemera ranged from illustrated postcards, personal letters, invoices, fabric swatch cards, books, journals, and photographs. 

The market also has dealers selling vintage silver, china, ceramics, clothing, shoes, bags, and furniture. You can also find new clothing, kitchen items, and accessories. 

There was a lot of junk at the market, so it required a little patience to score some finds. My advice is to visit this market early. Some dealers start packing up as early as 1pm on Sundays. 

Marché aux Puces de Vanves 

Cafe au lait bowls at the market
before you go...
  • Marché aux Puces de Vanves stretches along two long blocks: Avenue Marc Sangnier and Avenue Georges Lafenestre.
  • The market is free and open every Saturday and Sunday from 7am til 5pm.
  • Metro: Line 13; Porte de Vanves.
  • Get to the market early. Some antiques dealers start packing up as early as 1pm.
  • When you go online for more information, try google chrome, so that it will translate the French website.
  • The map below will help you get there.

Every outfit requires a good pair of boots.
The Puces du Design show not only offers a great selection of 20th century furniture and accessories, they also have a nice selection of vintage clothing. 

The twice-yearly outdoor market offers vintage designer clothing labels from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, YSL, and Prada. 

I was lucky enough to meet vintage clothing dealer Tara Munro of Madame Tra La La and Ooh La La Vintage.  She took a moment to share her thoughts on vintage design.

Les Puces du Design featured a small section of vintage clothing. But, the inventory was nicely vetted with a pretty selection of clothing and accessories from designer labels like Dior, Chanel, YSL, and Louis Vuitton. Prices were steep. But, what do you expect? It's high-end vintage. 
The next show date is in May 2011. Metro: Stalingrad or Jaures.
The Les Puces du Design show is an outdoor market--open twice a year--dedicated to 20th Century design, accessories, and high-end vintage clothing. 

It's also the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning in search of chairs, lighting, and anything mod. 

The prices were high, but as we all know prices are always negotiable--even in France. 
I saw quite a few people making deals. 

If you missed it, try to make it to the next show in May. The entrance fee is free. So, there is no excuse. If I can't convince you to go, maybe my scouting shots and video will. Let me know!

Vintage posters on sale at a flea market in the 7th Arrondissement.
You haven't experienced Paris unless you have visited a flea market. And, there are so many different kinds to explore. Flea markets sell just about everything from antiques and collectibles to food, flowers, clothing, and even books. 

This past weekend, I stumbled upon a small weekend antiques and collectibles market on La Motte-Picquet and Rue Cler in the 7th Arrondissement. 

The range in items that can be found in such a small market amazed me. Dealers were selling a variety of wares such as vintage posters (right), cameras, artwork, china, postcards, games, and timepieces. There was even a booth dedicated to vintage tools and kitchen items.

You can really score some great deals. Finding a great price at a New York flea market is rare, so it was nice to feel like I could buy something. I picked up a few teacups and saucers for under 5 Euros and vintage postcards for a euro. There were also quite a few vendors selling used books for a song--stacks were on sale for just under one euro. 

Markets to Visit
One of the largest markets in Paris is the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen at Porte Clignancourt in Saint-Ouen. On Saturdays and Sundays, visitors can stroll through the stalls in some 17 markets--five of them are dedicated to dealers specializing in antiques and collectibles. 

Located in the 14th Arrondissement, the Marché aux Puces de Vanves  features stellar dealers selling books, silver, Art Deco items, furniture, and more.

If food is your passion, the Paris Tourism website gives you the dish on all of the markets throughout the city.  

Check out this video from on the Marché Vernaison in Saint-Ouen (one of the markets in Saint-Ouen). I plan on making it to this one next Sunday.

Grand Palais is on Avenue Winston-Churchill. Metro: Champs-Élysées - Clemenceau

The preview of the 25th Biennale des Antiquaires was my first introduction to the international fine art scene in Paris. 

I have been to some of the premiere art and antiques shows in New York, but nothing can measure up to the Paris Biennale where 90 of the finest arts and antiques dealers in the world are housed under the Grand Palais' dome for this special occasion. 

When I entered the breathtaking Grand Palais, the warm and refined setting of the show immediately blew me away. Even if you can't afford to purchase a Cartier diamond ring or a painting by Marc Chagall, the experience of walking through the show is worth the time spent to appreciate the major art event of the season. And, if you enjoy a stroll through museums and galleries, you will definitely find this show extraordinary.

Gorgeous rose bouquets at the show.
Architect Patrick Bazanan, along with the guidance of Herve Aaron, created an intimate and awe-inspiring space. It was understated and highlighted the dealer's showcases. I found Aaron's interview about his design vision worth a look. 

The aisles are marked with 25 seating areas that are filled with pretty rose bouquets, tranquil fountains, and benches. This encourages guests to take their time to enjoy the show, marvel at the scene, or possibly meet with a dealer to learn more about a particular artist or designer who they may want to incorporate into their collection. And, there is so much to see. The show features top dealers with a wide range of fine art and antiques such as ceramics, jewelry, Asian arts, 20th Century decorative arts, tribal arts, and modern paintings. 

For jewelry enthusiasts, there is an area devoted to exquisite examples by Cartier, Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels, Dior, Piaget, Louis Vuitton Malletier, and Harry Winston. The boutiques are elegantly appointed with one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces and some examples were made exclusively for the show's 25th anniversary. 

The Biennale des Antiquaires is open through September 22. Don't miss it! 

A peak inside the show. It's worth the trip!
If you can't make it to Paris, visit one of these New York shows: