Room With A View - Paris! - une femme d'un certain âge

Room With A View – Paris!

Senat et Jardin du Luxembourg

It’s so good to be back in Paris! The city feels like an old friend, familiar and welcoming, even though we saw some new sides of her yesterday.

After a light breakfast of coffee and croissants (nobody makes them like the French, nobody!!) we took a brief stroll around the Jardin du Luxembourg, dodging hordes of joggers at every turn.

Still, it’s a beautiful and peaceful place early on a Sunday morning.

After that, it was off to the 11th to meet up with Karen, who has lived and worked in Paris for many years.  She suggested a walk to the Père Lachaise cemetery before lunch, and as we hadn’t yet been there, it sounded like a great idea.

We visited the grave of Abelard and Heloise,

and of course, Jim Morrison.

After a lovely brunch at le fee verte (sans absinthe), Karen suggested we visit the Marché des Puces at Cligancourt and offered to go along to show us around.  We’d never been there either, and jumped on the opportunity for a guided tour from a local. There’s definitely a trick to it. When you come out of the metro, you’re in an area that’s a bit dodgy, with guys aggressively hawking counterfeit designer bags and sunglasses along the sidewalk. You run that gauntlet, then pass by an area that looks like what you’d think of as an outdoor flea market, but it still mostly cheap, mass-produced crap.  Go another couple of blocks, and then on the street to the left is the real deal. A mixture of mazes of outdoor stalls and indoor permanent buildings, the Marché des Puces is an incredible and random mix of junk, real (and expensive) antiques, posters, old magazines (I was particularly tempted by a 1955 French Elle in very good condition) and various odd parts, like watch faces and these dolls’ eyes:

Creepy!! Click to embiggen

I would’ve taken more pictures of the interesting merchandise, but most vendors prohibit photography. Still, I surreptitiously snapped one more:

According to Karen, June 29 is when schools here traditionally let out for the summer, and family holidays commence. One could definitely spend all day just exploring the MdP, and after a couple of hours we’d seen probably only a third or less. But the day was wearing on and getting rather hot, and now that we know how to get there and where to go, we’ll definitely plan a few more hours here on a future visit. We’ll also plan to have lunch at the Espace Django Reinhardt and listen to some of the fabulous live guitar music.

Karen was such a lovely hostess, and thanks to her we were able to see two bits of Paris that we probably wouldn’t have visited on our own.

Today (Monday) we’re off the the Musée des Moyen Ages in the morning, and then this afternoon I’m meeting up with Tish (!!!!) of A Femme d’un Certain Age to do a bit of shopping. I can hardly wait!

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  1. May 30, 2011 / 7:09 am

    You have been saturated in so much beauty, we’ll all have to gee you up when you come back Thank you for the grand tour.

  2. May 30, 2011 / 7:09 am

    You have been saturated in so much beauty, we’ll all have to gee you up when you come back Thank you for the grand tour.

  3. May 30, 2011 / 9:27 am

    Sounds like you’re having a fab trip. Once you get passed all the tat, the Cligancourt vintage interiors section is world class.

  4. Anonymous
    May 30, 2011 / 1:39 pm

    Thank you for including us on your adventures. I do love Paris! Jardin du Luxembourg & Musee des Moyen Ages (La Dame a la licorne tapestries) are two favorite, special places in Paris.

  5. cheeky curves
    May 30, 2011 / 8:04 am

    You make me want to pack my bags and head off to Paris, hope you enjoy the rest of your time

  6. May 30, 2011 / 3:48 pm

    I wish I’d read this before our trip to the MdPuces a few years ago. It was indeed a dodgy part of town, and I was a little puzzled by the “flea market” we first came to, but we persevered and did find the one with all the treasures.
    How fun to read of your adventures.

  7. May 30, 2011 / 5:56 pm

    Ah, we spent a wonderful morning in the Père Lachaise cemetery a few years ago, guided by a very knowledgeable local, an unofficial tour guide accepting donations.
    I’m homesick — well, Paris-sick — looking at your photos, even though we were so recently there. Don’t know if you’ve been to the Cluny before but I know you’re sure to love it, particularly that marvelous, marvelous tapestry room.

  8. May 30, 2011 / 6:37 pm

    My best friend wanted to go to the Pere Lachaise last year, but we didn’t have time. So glad you are over there, so looking forward to hearing about you and Tish shopping.

  9. May 30, 2011 / 6:46 pm

    What an amazing trip! Can’t wait to hear about your shopping adventures.

  10. Pam @ over50feeling40
    May 30, 2011 / 1:24 pm

    Thanks for your tour! I am looking forward to following your shopping spree with Tish!

  11. California Girl
    May 30, 2011 / 4:47 pm

    I should be there meeting the two of you although I don’t write about fashion or things French as do you & Tish. However, our blog names are awesome.

    I look forward to your photographs of Paris. Are you naming the hotels where you stay? My husband and I want to travel to Europe (he’s never been & I was 20 on a grand 3 month tour on $5 a day literally). I’d love to hear about the smaller hotels/pensiones you’re discovering on your trips.

  12. May 30, 2011 / 11:57 pm

    We once saw a double rainbow in the Jardin! Strangely, I got a frisson when I saw your pic of the green chairs (of all things).

  13. Susan Tiner
    May 30, 2011 / 5:44 pm

    I loved visiting the MdP — was particularly interested in finding some fabrics but didn’t. I love your photos.

    I hope you will have some cooler weather!

  14. May 31, 2011 / 5:11 pm

    It’s so lovely to be in Paris with you, Pseu.

  15. May 31, 2011 / 5:39 pm

    On our trip to Paris the timing for visiting the Marche des Puces worked out so that we had to go on the very first day after our arrival. It was quite an immersion into the Metro and the culture of the outdoor markets – I loved the sleazy one as much as the traditional one for different reasons. Although I think I’d have learned and seen more had we gone after a few days in Paris, as a first-day experience it was awesome, and I won’t ever regret it.


  16. metscan
    May 31, 2011 / 2:49 pm

    You doing the packing, traveling, viewing, eating and shopping suits me just fine. All I have to do is to relax, read and enjoy your blog!

  17. June 4, 2011 / 11:07 pm

    I love the cemetery! I’ve had some weirdly fun times there.

  18. June 5, 2011 / 2:18 am

    Pere La Chaise was one of my favorites. I enjoyed the Cluny as well. Ahhh, I want to go back again. Cannot wait to see more pictures.

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