You could learn a lot about a person by peering into their poubelles (trash cans), their attics, their junk rooms, their garages. Which is why I have an eternal fascination with the French marché des puces (flea markets) and vide greniers ('empy attic’ sales: think garage sales, on steroids). As my friend Darlene says of the vide greniers, “It’s mostly junk, but it’s great because it’s French junk”.
The French throw NOTHING away, they practically invented recycling. So every cracked old dish, every small appliance that's broken and totally beyond repair, every sad doll missing her hair and maybe a limb or two, lands in the vide grenier. And while the French are known for having great style, as you go deeper into the countryside that style becomes quirkier--and as different from American style as can be. I find many fun things to buy, but then...there are the other things. Poking around at the markets is a real education about how the French live and the stuff they choose to live with.
So what do the vide greniers reveal about the French? I’ll let these photos speak for themselves.
In the COMMENTS: The Almond croissants seem to be the drool-worthy winners from last week's pâtisserie post. Suzanne has found something called bagelcroissants--only in America. Christine, great trip ahead!
Our Reader's Blogs: Veronique at A French Girl in Seattle looks at French movies this week. And Don't miss her previous post on the iconic Repetto ballet slippers, featuring Carla and BB. Katie at French Cravings tells all about her cooking class with Patricia Wells in Paris, we are simply vert with envy.