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Tag Archives: market

Marché aux puces – flea market –  the concept is ancient and universal but the origin of the term is disputed. Who started the term Puces ?


We went to the biggest and probably most historical one in the North of Paris – 18th arrondissement – just outside the Porte de Clignancourt – Marché aux puces de Saint-Ouen. Find their web site here.


IT who comes to Paris regularly and knows this place was our guide. We got there by Metro – last stop on Ligne 4 (I think). It claims to be the 4th most visited tourist spot in France (?) with 5 million visitors per year.


At first, we thought it was just one market. But it turned out to be a whole area – a cluster of 15 markets located in warehouses, arcades and buildings, as well as pedestrianized streets.


There is something for every one … from seriously warm coats …

puces-8to wedding gowns …

puces-7to fun costumes for boys …


and girls …


We saw a couple of Mandarin-speaking men wandering the stalls with another French-speaking Chinese asking for oriental ceramic pieces and looking closely at them with a loup – obviously treasure-hunting for the auction houses and the nouveau riche back in China.

Furniture from every period and style imaginable …

puces-619th century …

puces-420th century …


and even religious art.


There were just too many shops and stalls to peruse. We have to come back and focus on things that really interest us, we might even buy something – otherwise it is just overwhelming.


Just across the street from  Café Drechsler (previous post) is Der Naschmarkt – a half-mile long strip of stalls and shops on top of a river – Vienna’s food market since the 16th century.

On every Saturday, there is a flea market at the far end of Naschmarkt – with Vienna being at the center of 19th century European culture – it must be a great place to shop. I left Vienna early but IT and Sue stayed on till the weekend – and according to IT who frequents flea markets, it was not as good as the one in Paris (after she spent three hours surveying the stalls).

Spices galore – there is a strong oriental influence in the market.

Asparagus (Spargel) was in season – so it was on all the menus and in the market – Marchfeld spargel is a fancy local variety.

While we were in Munich, our friend B had them in the most typical way – steamed, served with Hollandaise sauce and a little schnitzel.

A shop in the market – Gegenbauer sells artisan vinegar – marketing it like wine or perfume. While they allow tasting, I was not sure if I wanted to. The brewed products are highly flavored and apparently well-known worldwide.

It was written up in Japanese guide books as several pages were posted on the entrance. You can also buy their products online.  We really did not have time to properly investigate the products.

Ham anyone ? I have never seen a standalone meat slicer before.

The market has many restaurants but I wondered if they are open at night – doubt it  – but if it does, it could be just like the night markets in Asia.

The first time we walked through the market, we spotted some fish restaurants.  IT and Sue returned later in the week and had some oysters and a grilled seafood lunch (there was enough to feed at least 3 people !)

If you are interested in markets, check out our post on Hong Kong’s New Year flower market and  Amsterdam’s floating flower market.

Just came back from vacation. We are feeling lazy and don’t want to write much.

So here are some fruits, vegetables and nuts!

They were taken in a supermarket in LA.

The display (what display?) is just the opposite of Whole Foods where everything is neatly stacked into perfectly balanced pyramids. In this market, there are just piles of stuff.

It is not a wholesale market.

Haven’t lived in the US for a while, so we don’t know the prices of groceries. It is probably cheaper than your regular supermarket.

The US is truly the land of plenty.

This is Sue’s favorite melons (when they are sweet).

You people probably think that we are crazy – taking all these pictures. Film is cheap nowadays.

POM source

Not from Georgia. Likely from California.

Lassi anyone ?

Alright, gotta go. Ciao.

Amsterdam is historically famous for its tulips and it is one of the major centers of horticulture (which explain in part why the conference I attended was held here).  To extend the plant theme of my visit, but with very little time, we briefly visited the flower market (Bloemenmarkt) and De hortus, the botanical garden (next post).

The flower market opened in 1862, floats on the Singel canal between Muntplein and Koningsplein. The row of windows on the right bank of the canal above is the back of the market.

Unbeatable varieties, freshness and prices !

Riots of color.

I have never seen those green/purple flowers (below) before – they look like those decorative cabbages/kale that are planted in the winter, except that these are bouquets.

Tulip bulbs are sold with a picture of the color of the flowers – wow, the famous Black Tulip !

Just imagine if the signs are misplaced or the bulbs are mixed up by accident. It would be a surprising mess for those who plant their garden by color. May be that is the reason why they put  these “Don’t touch” warning signs in five languages at the very front – perhaps the market owner is really worried about mixing, and not people dropping or damaging the bulbs. Or may be the oil on our fingers will stop the bulb from germination, I don’t know.

Roses are red …