Flea Markets in Paris

Pretty vintage petit point lipstick case, comb, and compact I found at Vanves.

Pretty vintage petit point lipstick case, comb, and compact I found at Vanves flea market earlier this year. Probably from the late 1950s.

A trip to Paris doesn’t feel complete till I stop by at least one flea market (marché aux puces). It’s a fun combination of other people’s interesting (or not) stuff, watching Parisian locals socialize with one another, and the thrill of finding something beautiful, interesting, or bizarre. Below are photographs of French flea markets from different eras.

Marché à la ferraille [tableaux, cadres et vieux papiers] : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol], 1910.

Marché à la ferraille [tableaux, cadres et vieux papiers] : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol], 1910.

Marche de puces, Marcel Bovis.

Marché aux puces de Saint-Ouen, Marcel Bovis, 1962. Donation Marcel Bovis, Ministère de la culture (Médiathèque de l’architecture et du patrimoine) Diffusion RMN

Marche au puces, François Kollar, 1932.

Marche au puces, François Kollar, 1932. Donation François Kollar Ministère de la culture (Médiathèque de l’architecture et du patrimoine) diffusion RMN.

Un coin du Marché aux Puces, le Marché Biron, Noël Le Boyer, 1940.

Un coin du Marché aux Puces, le Marché Biron, Noël Le Boyer, 1940. Ministère de la culture (France), Médiathèque de l’architecture et du patrimoine, diffusion RMN.

L'incorrigible ; [Sculpture au marché aux puces], 1930, André Kertész

L’incorrigible ; [Sculpture au marché aux puces], 1930, André Kertész. Donation André Kertész, Ministère de la culture (Médiathèque de l’architecture et du patrimoine), diffusion RMN.

Marché aux puces, deux femmes devant le stand d’un brocanteur, Noël Le Boyer,1940. Photo from Ministère de la culture (France), Médiathèque de l’architecture et du patrimoine.

La Foire aux Puces de la Porte de Clignancourt : [photographie de presse] / Agence Meurisse, 1923. Photo from Bibliothèque nationale de France.

La Foire aux Puces de la Porte de Clignancourt : [photographie de presse] / Agence Meurisse, 1923. Photo from Bibliothèque nationale de France.

You might also like:

Le Marché aux Puces de Vanves
Flea market fun in Paris

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November 22, 1963

“If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all—except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.”
― John F. Kennedy

I appreciate JFK’s love of books, ideas, and freedom. He was a liberal in the best sense of the word. We still need to read controversial books and hear controversial ideas.

The Kennedys arriving in Dallas. Photograph from the JFK Library.

The Kennedys arriving in Dallas. Photograph from the JFK Library.

Photo from Library of Congress American Memory Collection.

Photo from Library of Congress American Memory Collection.

I was almost three years old when John F. Kennedy was shot. What I remember is my mother ironing while watching the news on tv. She was bawling, which made a big impression on me at the time. I knew that something very bad had happened but I don’t remember the facts, just that my mother was very upset.

When I was older, we had the Associated Press’s The Torch is Passed: Death of an American President in the bookcase, and I remember looking through it many times. The sense of history, sadness, and pain came through the collection of images.

JFK-cecil-stoughton-ARC-194235

LJB being sworn in. Photograph by Cecil Stoughton; from Library of Congress.

John Jr. salutes his father. Photo from Library of Congress.

Image: John F. Kennedy, Jr. salutes his father’s coffin at President Kennedy’s funeral, with his widow First Lady Jacqueline (Jackie) Kennedy, daughter Caroline, and brothers Edward (Ted) Kennedy and Robert (Bobby) Kennedy. Photo from gpo.gov

JFK's coffin. Photo from JFK Library

JFK’s coffin. Photo from JFK Library

When I was in Dallas earlier this year, I visited the Sixth Floor Museum in what used to be the Texas Book Depository. Looking out the sixth floor toward the grassy knoll was eery. The museum has a library with a nice collection of artifacts, newspapers, and other printed materials. They have a digital collection that can be searched here. They’ve been working on an interesting project in which they’ve been collecting the oral histories and memories of some of the folks who witnessed the assassination and aftermath; you can find some of the interviews on their YouTube channel.

Memories for Day of the Dead

All Soul’s Day is a time I look back and appreciate the friends, family, and pets who are no longer with us.

Alan Wing was a  kind, funny, goofy, gentle soul who sadly died earlier this year. I ran into Alan in the Whole Foods parking lot on a trip back to Texas a few years back. He gave me a big hug and we chatted for a while, and went our separate ways. RIP, Alan.

Allan Wing

This year two cats named Orange Kitty left our world. One was a ferocious hunter who worked her way into my son’s heart. She followed his step-dad’s home on his birthday, and lived a long and happy 18 years. The other Orange Kitty was my Dad’s beloved companion; she was one of the sweetest cats ever.

Image

Son’s Orange Kitty

Dad's Orange Kitty

Dad’s Orange Kitty

For photos and a brief description of Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead, go here: https://tweedlibrarian.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/dia-de-los-muertosday-of-the-dead/

Joyeux Anniversaire, Elsa Schiaparelli!

Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale.Elsa Schiaparelli

Irving Penn American, 1917–2009 Elsa Schiaparelli, New York, March 28, 1948, printed c. 1948 Copyright The Irving Penn Foundation

The incomparable Elsa Schiaparelli was born on September 10, 1890 in Rome. She was educated in Rome, worked as a nanny in London, and then lived in New York and Paris. She opened her first shop in Paris in 1927.

How could I not love a woman who believes eating “gives a spectacular joy to life?” But today’s post is to celebrate her creativity and work. What I like about Ms. Schiaparelli’s designs are the whimsical touches and exaggerated shapes. She collaborated with Surrealist Salvador Dalí on the Shoe Hat.

Shoe hats. Photo courtesy Blast.fr and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Shoe hats. Photo courtesy Blast.fr and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I saw these slightly scary gloves in the Paris Haute Couture exhibit earlier this year.

Schiaparelli, gants du soir, vers 1936. Collection Musée Galliera Veau-velours noir, application de faux ongles en métal doré, couture sellier, couture piquée, doublure en soie blanche. © musée Galliera, Ville de Paris

Gants du soir, vers 1936. Collection Musée Galliera. Veau-velours noir, application de faux ongles en métal doré, couture sellier, couture piquée, doublure en soie blanche.© musée Galliera, Ville de Paris

Her use of texture and shape in this design is stunning. Amazing.

Evening ensemble, ca. 1937.  Hand-sewn plaited gilt braid on chiffon foundation, lined with silk. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Evening ensemble, ca. 1937. Hand-sewn plaited gilt braid on chiffon foundation, lined with silk. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

I really like the color combination she used for this gown. I could see wearing this to dinner at a swanky spot.

Dinner dress

Dinner dress, summer 1940. Orange silk jersey, blue silk faille, ceramic. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Schiaparelli’s signature color was a fuchsia she called “shocking pink.” It’s the one shade of pink I actually like.

Schiaparelli tag

Schiaparelli tag

For biographical information, see the official Schiaparelli website and the Voguepedia entry. The fashion house has been revived with Christian Lacroix at its helm – see a Vanity Fair article here.

 

New Year’s Goals, 2013

NYPL new years image

I’ve realized over the years that making resolutions is much easier than actually sticking to them. This year I want goals that are achievable and measurable. It’s easy to say my goal is to exercise more but that’s not meaningful – how do I measure if I’m exercising more? How do I keep at my goal?

I’ve written down my goals for the year and am parsing out what I need to do to make them successful, and to measure whether they are, in fact, successful. I plan to check in on my progress every Saturday in January to see if I’m sticking to my goals, and if not, to tweak them a bit to make them achievable. My hope is once I stick to a goal for at least thirty days it’ll become routine.

I’ve listed my general goals, and then made them more specific. We’ll see how it goes!

Read more books.
Read for 30 minutes a day on my commute or lunch hour.

Spend more time with friends.
Every month, invite someone over for dinner. Meet a friend for lunch or dinner at least twice a month.

Exercise more often. This isn’t a helpful goal. Instead:
Track my walking every day for two weeks; then increase the number of steps I take.
Take a different kind of group class once a month – Zumba, yoga, ballet.
Exercise for 15 minutes 6 days per week, and track it. (I’ve downloaded an app for that.)

Practice my French.
Twice a week at lunchtime, use workbooks or online programs to practice my grammar. Once a week, speak only in French to my husband.

Spend less money.
Bring coffee from home twice a week. Bring my lunch on Thursdays. Avoid places that are conducive to impulse buys (Sephora, the mall).

What are your goals or resolutions this year? How do you stick to them? Or do you forego them altogether?

Happy New Year!

“A single glass of Champagne imparts a feeling of exhilaration. The nerves are braced; the imagination is stirred, the wits become more nimble.”
Winston Churchill

Sophia champagne 2

I love this photo of Sophia Loren with her bottle of fizzy. It’s a lovely way to bring in the New Year, whether it’s champagne, cava, spumante, prosecco, or sparkling water. There is just something about bubbly wine that makes me smile.

I wish you the very best New Year, and appreciate your reading my blog.

Sue