Sometimes when you end up in a city like Paris, you wish you had the time and energy to go beyond the usual ‘Top Ten’. I always marvel at the diligence some visitors employ to make sure that their ‘experience’ includes ‘the real Paris, the ‘Hidden Paris’ the ‘insiders Paris’.
That’s why when I read Carolyn Zinko’s San Francisco Chronicle story Paris as a Parisian about her visit organized by Terrance Gelenter, founder of Paris Through Expatriate Eyes it tickled me to no end. She went to the Porte de Vanves flea market which I’ve never visited. And the truth is no matter what off-the-beaten track you may take, there’s probably a dozen more to be uncovered – or rediscovered. Paris is a city that offers an unceasing, boundless geyser of ‘finds’ whether you’re looking for an unusual item for your collection or simply a friendly wine bar.
One of the reasons I’ve never gone to the Porte de Vanves flea market is simply emotional. Way back when on our honeymoon, six pieces of luggage were stolen from our locked car (while we dined with an old friend). Because this dear friend lived close to Porte de Vanves, I always wondered if my clothes ended up at the Vanves flea market! so, Mme Deneuve, if you stumbled upon my Givenchy skirt, or my Ashida black sheath, please let me know!
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But all of this is water under the Pont Neuf. I can really enjoy reading about the Porte de Vanves flea market – and who knows – maybe someday when a visitor to Paris wants to take a look, I’ll go there! Meanwhile don’t hesitate to read this excellent article and take a peak at the Paris with Expats site. I noted that Paris-Expats site owner will be offering a little bit of Paris in San Francisco this July 14th (Bastille Day)for those who can’t make it across the pond. Paris Litt Fest 2007 will be held at Books Inc., Opera Plaza from 1 pm- 5pm.
One final word, if you do go to Paris and plan on renting or leasing a car, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR LUGGAGE IN THE CAR! And leave the Givenchy at home, girl!