This title is probably confusing to those of you who know I don’t like to shop. Why would I shop when I’m on holidays? Well, for one thing, there are other people in my family who love shopping. And Paris such a great shopping city that even people who don’t like shopping will be converted.
There is no store in the world like Pylones. That’s where I bought the Eiffel Tower cheese grater in the photo above. (I couldn’t resist – could you?) Everything they sell combines function and beauty, or at least whimsy. Whether you fall in love with the tropical-bird-shaped butter knives, the squid egg whisks, or the cake servers that flip over to transform into a dog, trust me – you’ll fall for something. Oh, and if you visit, could you pick me up a cake server that transforms into a dog, to replace the one confiscated at airport security?
Thanks to Suzy Gershman’s shopping book, we found the cute boutiques just north of the Tuileries on rue 29 juillet and rue St. Roch. We were especially drawn to Dominique Denaive, a jewelry shop just north of rue de Rivoli. Denaive works with resin, precious metals and other materials to create a completely unique look. I couldn’t resist the August sales. I picked up this stunning necklace at 75% off, and was thrilled to have such a lovely reminder of Paris.
But our favourite shopping experience was at the Puces de Vanves. When we told the girls we’d be visiting France, the first thing my oldest daughter said was, “Can we go to one of the flea markets?” So our first weekend in Paris, we took the metro down to the southernmost border of Paris to visit the Puces de Vances. I could have stayed there all day. One booth sold boxes of old photos, every one of them telling its own story. Another vendor sold silverware and ceramic dishes. I fell in love with the ostrich feather boa at a vintage booth but, unable to picture myself wearing it to the girls’ soccer games, I passed on it. My favourite booth sold old letters and postcards, including one addressed to someone living in Asia Minor. It wasn't sent to Alexander the Great, but it looked nearly that old. And I still regret not buying that pile of letters.
Next week: literary France.