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August 27, 2010

little abandoned school class in France...

La petite ecole abondonne

Au revoir Paris.. and that treasure you have always dreamed to find once.....

Au revoir Paris.... After a few days in Paris by myself I left the city from Gare de l'Est and took a train into the countryside to join my family for a little vacation in the Champagne-Ardennes region. They stayed in their country house in a small village with apparently only 110 inhabitants -I have seen ten of them in a week!- They invited friends and family to come along.... So every day new people joined us and of course we celebrated their company with a few bottles of champagne.

My cousin and I like to dream and talk about the old houses that are up for sale in the region and fantasy about what we could do with them. Being interested in buying one, we went to see the back of an old house in the middle of a village that she had seen. We could see the big white house, balcony's and blue shutters but could not see the garden because there was a little building at the back. A building with a door...

We tried to open the door and were surprised we could easily go in.... It was a bit dirty and we found old zinc baskets, old tools to work the fields... lots of dusty tiles and a door with a little hallway and a stair in the back. We could see the garden with orange pumpkins totally grown out of proportion, but were more curious to see what was above at the stairs....

When we opened the door we were blown away and felt to have entered a long forgotten place. It was difficult to understand what it was.. there was a cupboard full with books and even more on the shelves against the walls... a table, old chairs and a work bench that I would have loved to bring home with me. Around the room were all kind of Micky Mouse scenes drawn on the walls. Mickey Mouse with big ears, the ears of this figure changed somewhere in the 40's into smaller ones.

The sun shined through the windows with their green shutters.. and we could only fantasy about what had happened in this room and look through all the books and manuscripts.

We thought It might have been a private school class maybe as we found different literature, history, geography and mats books and lots of 'devoirs' exercise books with different names.

It was a bit spooky and strange in there and every moment I expected the gendarmerie to come in .. When I look at the pictures I still wish we brought more of those documents... let alone that workbench or little bistro chair.

Some documents, geography home work... and a license to teach at primary school from 1887
August 23, 2010

Marché Vernaison...Paris

Some more pictures from Saint Ouen.. these I made at Marché Vernaison, a real bric a brac place ... Marché Vernaison, is the oldest market and is seen as the historical birthplace of the Paris Saint-Ouen Flea Market

It was here, in 1920, that the first organized market was born. At the time, Romain Vernaison, who held a concession on market pitches at the Halles de Paris, and then rented deckchairs in the parks of Paris, owned a plot of land in Saint-Ouen where he set up a series of pre-fabricated wooden huts on the area.

The village spirit of this new market attracted bric-a-brac merchants, discount traders and, crucially, period furniture dealers. It was an overnight success. Gradually, up until the end of World War Two, the wooden shacks were replaced by more permanent stands. With 300 stands, Vernaison is and will remain the leading market.

The first time I was here I was a teenager and traveled with my best schoolfriend to Paris ... we stayed there for some time, in an apartment from a friend who let us his key, and lived Paris in the French way. We spent lots of time at the Vernaison market then and I never forgot the atmosphere and the smell of French onion soup everywhere. It was great to walk around in the narrow streets of this market....... to bad I could not take one of those blue iron carts with me ...

All pictures above are made in the stand of Sylvie & Sylvain Seron 'Aux trois Singes' at Marché Vernaison ,Allée 1 ,Stand 22. I recently received an email from them that they will open another stand at Marché Paul Bert ,Allée 1,stand 20 .

August 21, 2010

Saint. Ouen...Puces a Paris

Still in Paris ..... my little black Moleskine of Paris in my hand (apparently we Dutch love those black note books and agenda's).... it has a map of the city in it and lots of space to write notes.

I had written some places I wanted to visit at the St Ouen market in it as I did not wanted to waste the little time I had in Paris walking around at markets with heavy antiques or paintings I am not interested in. St Ouen has many markets, all with little streets and shops. The one I thought would suit me best was the 'Paul Bert Market'. Around the 'official' market it is full of little shops and people selling on the street. Shop owners eating and drinking together in front of their stands... an amazing and chaotic place.

The next stands were definitely my favorite on the whole Paul Bert Market.... And I am happy to share the addresses with you! You can imagine when I saw these blue metal chairs I had to have a closer look... they were in front of the stand of antique shop of 'Les 2 font la paire', when I complimented the owner of the shop with the beautiful furniture she asked me where I came from and she happened to be Dutch, just like me and living in Paris for 30 years already.

And so I found myself in the middle of the Paul Bert Market in front of her shop, we sat in some really comfortable chairs. We had a laugh, a tea, she told me some stories and we talked for like two hours about our lives and interests... Merci Marianne, I really enjoyed your company.

101-103 alleé 2 - Marché Paul Bert 'Les 2 font la paire'

View a the little streets at the Paul Bert

The stand next to Marianne's (
105, alleé 2 -Marché Paul Bert)

And here some more random pictures
from the Paul Bert Market

August 17, 2010

Merci - Paris

Hello again ...
It has been a while since my last post ... but those who follow me 'here' know I was in France! I spent some days in Paris and had a great time wandering around the city. A city that looks empty this time of the year. Lots of shops are closed for the summer as the Parisians are having their holiday break. But still .... the sun was shining, I stayed in a beautiful neighborhood and met some very nice people.

I had a great time at the 'St Ouen puces' (the Parisian flee markets) and walking around from one neighborhood to the other. Just wandering around and having a break when I like a place or feel like having a coffee is what I like doing most at city breaks. I had a little chat with Tania , a fellow blogger and person I know for a long time as we both spent our childhood summers here at 'Ty Forn' She told me I had to go to 'Merci' as I would like it a lot.....So I did and here are some pictures for you to drool over. All items with a little golden hanger are made for Merci and the profit goes entirely to children in Madagascar.

The shop has a really nice entry... a little court with plants and a bright red fiat 500!

Het is alweer even geleden maar zij die mij 'hier' volgen weten dat ik even in Frankrijk was.. een weekje bij familie in een klein dorpje op het platteland en daarvoor ben ik in Parijs geweest. Het was heerlijk om gewoon een beetje rond te zwerven door de stad, die er trouwens uitgestorven bij lag omdat heel veel Parijzenaars in de maand augustus op vakantie zijn. Heel veel gewone winkels waren dan ook dicht maar de zon scheen lekker. ik had een prima hotelletje in een leuke buurt en heb leuke mensen ontmoet.

De 'St Ouen puces' (de Parijze vlooienmark) waren een belevenis en ik heb heerlijk rondgeslenterd van de ene wijk naar de andere met de nodige koffie stops of bezienswaardigheid. Ik had de nodige adresjes opgeschreven dus had genoeg te doen en te zien.. Tania , die ik al heel lang ken omdat ik als kind mijn zomers doorbracht in het huis van haar opa en oma op 'Ty Forn' vertelde mij bovendien dat ik echt naar Merci' moest gaan omdat dat zeker iets voor mij was....Dat heb ik dus gedaan en ik vond het er geweldig! De winkel verkoopt o.a. ontwerpen (te herkennen aan de gouden medaille) die speciaal voor Merci zijn gemaakt en waarvan de opbrengst helemaal ten goede komt aan kinderen in Madagascar.

Lets get inside...

On the ground floor there is a lunch room with a large wall full of used books

This is how the little Parisian boys and girls are getting in the mood for their school classes

Beautiful high ceilings on the ground floor

Famous little white bags with paper candle lights

Upstairs .... feels like a beautiful big white loft
I spent some time sitting on this Paola Navone couch looking around at all the beautiful things.. I loved those two little white chandeliers above the coffee table.. and for those who like zinc... look at the coffee table between the two pillars!

In the basement there is even more... including a nice restaurant

Next to the shop there is a Merci - Take away.
I bought myself some veggies and had lunch at a hidden garden nearby the shop.

111 Boulevard Beaumarchais
75003 Paris