Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Flea

Six days a week there's an excellent food market at the Place d'Aligre in the 12th arrondissement, but on Mondays they're closed.  Last Monday however was a holiday, Lundi Pâques, and the Place was hosting a brocante rather than vegetables and cheeses.

A brocante is a moving flea market, usually organized by one of the brocante associations which charge the vendors for a spot.  They can be upscale or not, primarily junk or full of treasures; one never knows.  Well, that's not exactly true since you can sometimes tell by the neighborhood.  In upscale arrondissements they skew a bit higher and vice versa.  The 12th is working class for the most part, but getting hipper, so a score was possible.

Sometimes it takes a connaisseur (Digression: this word looked odd to me as I typed and I looked it up.  This is the correct spelling in French and comes from the word 'connaitre' : to know.  In English this French word is spelled connoisseur...why?  It may come from Middle-French connoistre.  End of digression.) to tell the difference between worthless plastic and collectible Bakelite; I am not that person.

I did like the clown however.

And our friend Margot helped us by trying out the lawn furniture that looked exactly like what Great-Aunt Tillie had on the front lawn back in the day.

The sky threatened rain most of the afternoon and the vendors kept shifting the merchandise to try to protect it from the occasional drizzle.

This was a particular problem for the booksellers, but they didn't seem to concerned based on the disorganized mess they had spread out on the makeshift tables.

Having managed to avoid temptation at the brocante we decided to give in to it at the nearby wine bar, Le Baron Rouge.

The list of available wines covered a not inconsiderable wall and for those of their customers who wanted to take some wine home, they offered plastic billycans to fill at prices like E3.50 per liter.  How can you refuse a deal like that?  We're planning to come back someday when they have oysters being shucked out front to go with the wine.

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