paris: things to do

Picnic Season

I’m back! I took an unexpected blogging break. Paul’s parents have been in town and it has been so awesome to have free and willing babysitters around the clock. Paul and I have been running around the city like two little kids. We’ve spent every night walking until the wee hours of the morning. And during the day we’ve been: taking intensive French classes, riding all over Paris on bikes (Paris has an awesome public bike system), and we’ve been having picnics and eating ice cream like crazy. I do not want this to end, it has been paradise! Yesterday after French class we ended up on Ile St Louis. On the right bank of the island it is quiet and serene so we had a picnic. While we were sitting there a little mama duck came by with her babies. Adorable! We followed up the strenuous activity of picnicking with an ice cream cone. (I think its an actual law that you have to purchase an icecream cone while on Ile St Louis. Ha!)

(ps: Watch later this week for how to create the perfect Parisian picnic.)


Canal Saint Martin

We went for a walk on Canal St Martin last week. The streets were closed off so pedestrians and bicyclists had full reign of the street. There are people everywhere along the banks just sitting and looking and reading. I’ve been exploring some of the shops in the neighborhood and have found some real gems. The neighborhood reminds me a little bit of the Mission district in San Francisco. It’s super hip and sort of rough around the edges.

ps: the dress is from Mango (I love their skirts and dresses because they have pockets!) The fluorescent belt is from JCrew.

How to Get to the Paris Flea Market

I feel like there aren’t super clear directions on how to get to the Paris Flea Market so I decided to do this post so you can find it should you ever need to. First, there are lots of little flea markets called “brocantes” going on all the time. These instructions are not for those but for the Les Puces de Saint-Ouen Market, which is the biggest flea market in the world. The market is open: Saturdays 9h to 18h, Sundays 10h to 18h, Mondays 11h to 5h.

1. To get there by Metro get off at the metro stop Porte de Clignancourt on line 4. Exit the underground metro and orient yourself. There is a McDonalds across the street and you should look for this sign immediately. “Les Puces” which means “The Fleas.” Some nice person put a sticker right over the arrow but still follow it best you can.

2. Stay on the same side of the street (it has less people trying to sell you things, that is unless you need a cheap cell phone case or counterfeit Hello Kitty keychains) and follow the direction of the arrow on the sign north.

3. There are no more signs after that so continue walking the threeish blocks to Rue des Rossiers (which is the main street where all the flea markets are.) Look for this underpass with the circles on it and head towards that.

4. Do not stop and think this swap meet is the flea market, because it isn’t. (We came here on our honeymoon and I thought it was, aw, we were so adorable. Lost, but adorable.)

5. As soon as you go under the underpass, cross the street and look for these green signs that are at the beginning of Rue des Rossiers. You’ve arrived!

Here is a little map of the different parts of the flea market. It is HUGE. I’ve been there four times and only seen about half of it. I’ll make this into a printable pdf later today so you can download it.

Paris Flea Market

I’ve only been to the Paris flea market twice but I can honestly say it is my favorite place in the whole world. I’m happy that it is so close and so easy to get to and it is open every weekend. I’m planning on getting to know it really well. Les Puces de Saint-Ouen is the largest flea market in the world and it is amazing as you would imagine it to be. It is made up of a maze of alleyways and a some buildings with everything you can imagine. I’m going to do another post on how to get there because I feel like there isn’t any information online that is very very clear. Here are some pictures from the last few weekends.

Have you been to the Paris Flea Market? Do you have any tips or tricks?

La Droguerie

I was looking for a store to buy household items yesterday and I got a little lost and ended up discovering a store called “The Drugstore” or La Droguerie. I went inside and couldn’t believe how amazing it was. It is a store that has ribbon, beads, yarn, feathers and various little sundries for creative projects. It is very large and the selection is really unbelievable, better than anywhere I’ve been. The pictures aren’t great because I don’t think pictures are allowed so I was trying to be a little sneaky. It is everything you would expect from a store like this in Paris. Think: rows and rows of jars of beads, gorgeous bins of feathers, and the prettiest colors of yarn I’ve ever seen. I especially loved the painted bench! If you are into creative things and visiting Paris you must stop by this store.

La Droguerie | 9 Rue Jour 75001 Paris | Métro : Étienne Marcel

The best thing about Paris so far is what happens when you get lost. You go out to buy hangers and a garbage can and find a great place like this.