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Another View...


For the past few weeks, this has been my family's view from our temporary apartment... to our right looking east we could see the trains coming and going from the Gare Saint-Lazare, the second busiest railway station in Europe; diagonally below a lone red awning bravely brightening up a facade weary from the grey of this Paris winter; and straight ahead looking out and up the transfixing view of the ubiquitous red chimney pots that dance along the city's skyline...

This weekend, we'll be trading these views for yet another...


Sunday at the Porte de Vanves Flea Market


Of the three largest weekend flea markets that lie on the outer edge of Paris, my family decided to visit the smallest and most manageable of the lot this past Sunday - the Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves in the southwestern part of the 14th arrondissement. It was a sunlit winter morning and a great opportunity for us to be out discovering part of the city we hadn't been to before and as well a family reconnaissance mission to scout out bargain furnishings for our new apartment…

The Vanves outdoor flea market includes around 380 official stalls, has a local feel and appeal and offers a trove of eclectic treasures - vintage and antique collectibles of all varieties. For purveyors and oglers of interesting objects, it is a dream... imagining all the stories and history imbued in each piece.

I ended up buying two small artisanal notebooks for 2 Euros, one for me and one for my older son. The vendor ended up giving us for free an extra carnet and one of the cardboard bobbins (shown above).  I had read how friendly the stallholders were at Vanves and it's true! We will definitely be back...

There's also freshly made crêpes sold at the main intersection, alongside a piano player performing on his old portable wooden instrument. I later found out he, Roland Godard, happens to be somewhat of a celebrity in this city. An added bonus :)

How to get there: 
Bus 58 or 95 toward Porte de Vanves 
Metro Line 13 / Station: Porte de Vanves 

Hours: Saturday & Sundays, 7am-1pm 

The other two big flea markets I hope to share with you soon: 
Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen in the 18eme 
Les Puces de Montreuil in the 20eme


Making New Friends at the Louvre Museum + Tuileries Garden

Pigeons at the Louvre and Tuileries Gardens in Paris

Because almost all of the shops in France are closed on Sundays, I've looked forward to embracing the practice of spending the day purely on family activities - with no option for running errands or shopping for things we really don't need.

So this past Sunday, my boys and I hopped on bus 27 and stopped at Musée du Louvre. Of course the first question my older son asked when we stepped off was, "Where can I buy such and such?"... and I was thrilled to tell him that most stores weren't open that day (at least none he would be interested in, like the grocery store Franprix), and said instead we should take a walk, enjoy the views and think of another activity...

And this is when the boys discovered the magical pigeons that flock around the IM Pei square of the Louvre Museum and neighboring Jardin des Tuileries... for two hours, they fed and befriended the birds and walked away having had (in my son's words) "an awwwesome time" :)

Une Petite Pause

Square Marcel Pagnol
Square Marcel Pagnol

After long days of metro hopping, the boys welcomed a short respite at the nearby Square Marcel Pagnol. Of the hundreds of parks, gardens and squares in Paris, this little public green space sits quietly hidden next to the iron and stone-structured St. Augustine Church in the 8th arrondissement

The boys have been incredibly patient through the arduous process of apartment hunting - the hours spent researching, visiting, dossier building - and dutifully walking through the rain and cold and winding underground metros (where my husband swears strange diseases were created ;) Everyone's been telling me how adaptable and resilient little ones are, and you're right. I was the one worried,... and really must learn not to be.

Fortunately, the boys are very very close now to having a permanent home in Paris and a new school too...

Crisscrossing Paris | Quadrillage de Paris


We made it to Paris!... but before I can take leisurely strolls with my family along the quais and boulevards, we’re crisscrossing the city visiting apartments, feverishly looking for a permanent place to call home.

Along the way, there’s much to see and hear and taste. Paris never fails to satisfy and accommodate all the senses. She remains eternally beautiful and fascinating... 

I haven’t had a chance to take out my big camera, and what’s left of our stateside wares is still in transit. So for now, I hope these iPhone shots will do :)


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