Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Paris: Les Puces, Personalities and Pooches

From a 1918 letter by author, cartoonist and journalist Jame Grover Thurber (1894-1961):

"...the whole of Paris is a vast university of Art, Literature and Music...it is worth anyone's while to dally here for years. Paris is a seminar, a post graduate course in Everything."
What do you love about Paris? For me, it's the iconic monuments, grand architecture and cafe culture - watching the soigne chic while enjoying a cup of coffee...ooh, la, la!

But there is a special place I return to each time: The Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. It's here at the flea markets that you'll be greeted (or not) by the personalities and pooches that rule Les Puces. It's here that you'll find the extraordinary along with the ordinary. And, it's here that you'll learn the difference between Louis XVI and Maison Jansen. I love visiting Les Puces to learn, shop and be inspired!
A beautiful day in Paris! By the way, I wrote a post on antiquing at the Paris flea markets last year. If you are interested in an introduction, please read that post first. Don't forget to come back :)
Arriving at the Puces and I'm already in love with this vintage Citroen...
...and these sunbleached pine floors in driftwood tones!
Look at this display of well-loved artist's palettes and brushes - genius! And what an impressive collection of antique architectural plaster roundels and rosettes. Note how each one is custom mounted on a metal stand. A cluster of them in varying sizes would be terrific on a console, bookcase, etc. 
What are you looking at? Moi? :)
ABOVE: These two were super friendly despite being camera shy. BELOW: Assisting in a game of chess.
Please don't buy this Napoleon III armchair - it's my favorite, right, Emmanuel? Emmanuel Renoult exhibits at Marche Paul Bert, and I always admire his good eye.
Look closely at this pair of Thonet style armchairs offered by Emmanuel. They are made entirely of metal, which is an unusual departure from the norm of bentwood.
Introducing the effervescent Monsieur Cyril! A retired finance civil servant, Cyril is now pursuing his passion for antique china. Find him and his fabulous wares at Marche Paul Bert. BELOW: Cyril's collection of antique English pewter teapots. Aren't those French tulips divine?
Mademoiselle and her lovely flowers to cheer up shop keepers and shoppers - tres jolie!
Bonjour! What comfy looking chairs!!
You never know what you'll find at Les Puces. Need a Mid Century daybed? Or carved marble hands sculpted by academy students? (Coming soon to Tone on Tone.)
Or how about a giant mushroom, Tom?
And now, a little preview of some pieces coming to the shop:
Three carved gilt wood (not resin) sunburst mirrors with unusual form. The one above with convex glass is quite large. The beautiful oval one can hang horizontally or vertically. The small one, also with convex glass, features curvacious sun rays.
Speaking of mirrors, here is a handsome English bullseye mirror with unusual beading and convex glass. This is a fine model.
Now a look at some chairs starting with this French Napoleon III faux bamboo armchair with the palest honey patina - yum! It would be smashing with a down-filled cushion over the cane seat.
ABOVE: An irresistible pair of old painted French Directoire style armchairs with slightly larger porportions. BELOW: A quirky pair of French bobbin armchairs to liven up a room. Made of exotic rosewood (quite hard), these sturdy chairs have oodles of character. Notice their castors.
Gosh, I'm starving! Let's have dinner...something French but not too pricey, okay?
At Le Souffle, we enjoyed a lovely meal of savory and sweet souffles. (I'd suggest not having souffles for the main course AND dessert - just a bit too rich.) This classic and beloved restaurant has been around since 1961.
So long, Paris ~
Loi

76 comments:

  1. Oh, it is all beautiful and I wish I had been able to shop there longer than we did. Love all the dog photos and what gorgeous shots of the Eiffel Tower.

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  2. i dream of going to paris- it looks so amazing! and now i am also going to dream of metal thonet and souffle!

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  3. Oh Loi it's so kind of you to go shopping for my birthday next month. I'll take the painting of the gentleman in his hunting attire. Glad you had a lovely trip!

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  4. What a lovely shopping trip Loi. Every photo you showed was like shopping there. I want this , I want that chair., etc.. I want those dogs too. They are so cute. Have a wonderful week.

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  5. What a great post...I enjoyed it so much! Oh Paris, just a dream!

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  6. I think you need to start leading Paris expeditions. I'd go with in a heartbeat. I am more in love with that photo of the rosette collection than you can imagine. Did any of those come home with you or will you have any in the shop? I think I need those.

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    1. Thanks, Erin! Regretfully, I didn't buy any of the plaster rosette pieces :(

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  7. I loved this post, it takes me back to my own wanderings around Les Puces, and makes me want to hop on a plane and head that way right now! Looks like you and Tom found some lovely wares!!!

    xo Kat

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  8. Merci Loi for this visual treat and a little bit of antiquing. I love the Marche Paul Bert best of all - it was the first one I discovered. Of course I cannot afford anything there but I bought 3 etchings last time which j'adore. I love all the dogs. You got some wonderful things. I love the convex mirror and the sunburst mirrors and that Napoleon III chair and the Directoire ones too. Paris is perfect....sigh. We are overdue for a another visit. I cannot wait to see how you style your beautiful new finds...

    xo's Terri

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  9. I love the chairs your going to be getting in...and the star-burst mirrors...so pretty!

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  10. Personally I love the energy, the pulse, the heartbeat of Paris. Your flea market finds are stunning. Loi I think you'd really enjoy owning a Citroën 2CV but then again I'm a Citroën enthusiast. Thanks for sharing your photos of Paris.
    Vera

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  11. Thanks for sharing this site, it is very informative for the business personals.Keep on continuing with this.in-store display No matter where you are located,as our valued customer, you will have a single point of contact as a prime consultant keeping you informed of status, timeline, implementation, and progress of your product .

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  12. Loi, Such beautiful sunburst mirrors and chairs. You are always find the most unique furniture! I like your city photos. One gorgeous site after another and the food.. don't even get me started! Love the Paris Doggie photos:) xxL

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  13. What a lovely post and beautiful pics Loi!...I really enjoyed it! Paris is so glamorous, hope to go there soon!
    Hugs,
    Vesna

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  14. Hello Loi, Of course, the marble hands are my favorites here. You are lucky to be able to buy in quantity for your gallery (and now also your second house). Not only do you avoid some agonizing decisions, but also furniture is prohibitively expensive to ship internationally a few pieces at a time. --Jim

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  15. Ha!, I am so envious of you. What a wonderful way to spend a day in Paris.
    You have such a good eye.
    My favourite?- the sunburst mirrors.
    Have a lovely day,
    Lizx

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  16. What a delightful post Loi revealing Les Parisians 'je ne sais quoi' - and one of the best photos of the Eiffle Tower that I have ever seen.
    I shall be heading in the same direction in the early summer, it is where my eldest son and family now live.

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  17. Oh my what a charming post..full of beauty, inspiration all on my favorite city, Paris. It would be easier to say what I don't love about it then what I do...in fact don't think there's anything I don't love other than when I have to leave:) What a magical place....the one and only!

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  18. Hi Loi! It's so much fun reading of your travels. Those Thonet-style chairs are too cute. I love everything going to your shop. The marble hands, Directoire style chairs--all of it is simply beautiful.

    This looks like a wonderful way to spend the day in Paris.

    Keri

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  19. Looks like tons of fun, Loi, and what beautiful things you found! Those mirrors are stunning. And Emmanuel's dog is absolutely wonderful - what a face!
    xo,
    P

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  20. We've still never made it to the Puce! One of these trips we'll go.....
    We'll be coming up to your ship to visit those Directoire chairs!

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  21. Loi, I have a serious case of the Paris swoons. What a perfect, wonderful post. I couldn't agree more about Les Puces - it's not just the treasures you find there (and they are spectacular) it's the people, the flowers, the dogs, the stories, that make it one of my very favorite places to visit. Looks like just the perfect day and your pictures captured it beautifully. I know I was just there in January, but I'm dying to go back again. Thanks for a quick trip this morning! Merci, merci!

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  22. Being outside in Paris is divine. I love the sidewalk cafes, all the dogs, the very casual shopkeepers who know EVERYTHING. And, M. Cyril is splendid isn't he? I could actually spend the entire day outdoors as long as I could sit every now & then for a sip of something. FiFi, my little poodle has been with us many times, she behaves perfectly. xx's Loi

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  23. Oh how I love shopping in Paris with you, Loi! A feast for the eyes,
    Thank you for taking us along with you,
    Kathysue

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  24. i see a 'new post, tone on tone' in my email and noticed a massive smile covering my face. this one was a tonic, for winter weary eyes and lust for paris and antiquing. thank you for taking us on your journey!
    mad for the roundel collection, your hands and all your exquisite treasures loi.
    you nicely captured another lovely aspect of french life, pooches!
    cheers
    debra

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  25. Hi Loi, I'm totally envious! Looks fabulous!
    xo
    Holly

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  26. Dear Loi Thank you so much! I have traveled all over the world; not to Paris yet...is this part of the grand design of my life...???
    What I do know is that I will get there one day!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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  27. i'm putting Le Souffle on my list! And I adore the faux bamboo armchair. These are wonderful images Loi, thank you! I miss Paris and unfortunately, won't be going back this year…

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  28. what fabulous images + the dogs are spectacular + as are your shots. Adore Paris! thanks xxpeggybraswelldesign.com.

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  29. Oh Loi! Fantastique! Your photos are just beautiful as are your picks to bring back, the little Jack Russell on the Napoleon III armchair is just darling :)

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  30. Hello Loi,

    As always you inject your posts with a high degree of individuality. This is certainly a unique view of Paris and a personal perspective which is so very fascinating.

    You have such a keen eye for detail, for the beautiful and the definitely different. We really feel that you could take almost anything, especially something overlooked by us more humble beings, and make it into something of beauty which would add glamour and elegance in a uniquely understated way to any room in which it finds itself.

    We too love Paris but perhaps you may consider Budapest one day as a slightly edgier version, replete with cafés, a Danube panorama to fall in love with and peeling stucco by the acre......just a thought!

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  31. Oh Paris.... you can't just go there once! Lloyd, thanks for sharing the wonderful photos.

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  32. I've been to Paris three times, but always w/family, so I've never been able to go to the flea markets. This was a visual rest. Oh, and the dog was just too cute!

    My favorite part is the Marais. Love hanging out there.

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  33. Oh Loi, you make me want to go to Paris right now!!!! I read your post on the flea market before and would definitely read it again once my trip to this magical place pushes thru someday! So many beautiful things to see and admire and I love your latest acquisitions (just got a convex mirror myself for the living room)! As always, your pictures are magnificent and speaks a thousand words about this city. Thank you my friend, I get to feel and 'taste' a bit of Paris every time when you post about it here.

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  34. Spring in Paris - what could be nicer? Love the photos.
    Have fun, Loi.
    Hugs,
    L.

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  35. Loved this post Loi, on my absolute favourite City! Those French Directoire chairs are stunning, and Le Souffle is now in my Paris address book!

    Sophia x

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  36. Loi,
    You and Tom always share the best trips with us! I love the faux bamboo chair and of course, the dogs. The image with the pair of dogs is my favorite. There are so many treasures to be found in Paris and at least part of the allure has to be the overall ambiance.

    Karen

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  37. oh loi! sunbleached floors! pooches on tuffets! marble hands...oh the broken ones are the ones i want and maybe someday i will happen upon one or decide to cast some of my own since they speak to me. merci for the beauty you so generously shared, and i didn't even have to pack a suitcase or spend a euro.

    peace.

    michele

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  38. Mon dieu.....mon ami, you really know what you're doing!!!!!!!

    LOI my dear, I am home sick with severe vertigo, and I can barely see what's in front of me, but luckily what I can focus more on is the computer screen, so you have just taken me out of my very uncomfortable state of being for this short but rich tour of MY favorite city.

    Your finds....what treasures my friend! And the dogs, les chiens! I adore French dogs.The breeds that the French choose are so adorable, and look as if they stepped out of a fairy tale. Paris is one huge museum and playground for adults. After a day of hoping around, shopping, what better way than to go eat a lovely meal, then turn out the lights by way of La Tour Eiffel. Lovely my friend. And those marble hands! WANT! NEED!

    My sincerest greetings and wishes for a fabulous day. Anita

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  39. Loi
    Thank you for sharing all your lovely photos! Love the hands and mirrors.
    Chris

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  40. Hi Loi! I look forward to visiting Paris again and this time as an adult. Looking at these wonderful pictures makes me wish I could go visit right now!

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  41. Tres Magnifique!! I cannot wait to see what you bring home so many goodies to choose from I dont know how you decide!! ARe the dogs included!! Love it!

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  42. Thanks for the virtual tour for us. Next time in Paris Les Puces it is :)
    Have a nice visit.

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  43. Merci, Loi, for the fabulous tour and what yummy thing you bought for the shop! When we lived in Paris, we frequented Les Puces so that we could furnish our pad with interesting things - many of which came back with us to the States, including vintage posters from the Marche Biron. Those metal chairs are fabulous!
    xxoo
    C + C

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  44. Oh how I love the fleas and the pooches...doggie pun intended :)! There are so many colorful characters in and around the fleas. That vintage Citroen is such a classic and I especially enjoyed the collection of pewter tea pots. I love anything pewter! Nice photo of Tom and that giant mushroom, lol, it looks like it might have been carved of wood? Too funny. You found some lovely pieces for your shop Loi.
    I'm with Thurber-I could dally there for years :)
    Safe travels XO Sarah

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  45. Thanks for taking us along on your visit to Paris. You have some "beauties" coming to the Shop!!!!

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  46. My favorite place in all the world … the vintage, the pooches and the people … wonderful round up of gorgeous items coming to your shop!!

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  47. Beautiful post, Loi! You have me craving a trip to Paris!

    XOXO,
    The Glam Pad

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  48. Oh Loi, You bring the best of Paris to us. I love the feel, the energy, the romance, the art, the stories and history. I would love the hand carved hand by an academy student! Keep me posted on that! Beautiful chairs and I love that cane daybed. What a lovely time. I can't believe I never went to Les Puces when I was there in 2010. I dream of going back. Have a wonderful week. xox Nancy

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  49. Hi Loi, The best post EVER. And, of course, my heart craves Paris morning, noon and night!! Let me know when the "bady parts" arrive as I think I have a buyer for them--I'll refer her to you.
    xoxo
    Mary

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  50. Oh those starburst mirrors! TDF! This post was such a treat Loi! I can smell Paris! Thanks for sharing with us! Love all the treasures. xx

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  51. Loi, it is always so inspiring over here, as for the beauty of Paris what can we say about the French, other then they do it all so well.

    By for now! Thank you dear for taking us on your holiday.

    Xx
    Dore

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  52. Hi, Loi,

    I was intrigued by those wooden shapes that are in the same photograph as the rosettes, on a shelf to the right. They look as though they may have been drawing models. Very cool. Your posting make me want to go to Paris, just for the flea marketing!!

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  53. Hi Loi~
    I love Paris too...your photos are amazing and I do agree Tom needs a giant mushroom..who doesn't? Well, if I could choose I would have to choose the bamboo chairs..they are wonderful and I love that look! It kind of fits everything don't you think? Thank you for always having the most fun posts to read and see. Hope you are enjoying some cherry blossoms!

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  54. A very charming "dog parade"!!! Lovely scroll through "Les Puces".....which I remember well - especially the French dealers "Dolce far niente" - simply layed back!
    Beautiful images - again!
    Thanks a lot, dear Loi.
    xxxkarin

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  55. Loi, that was a great post (as usual) I am SO in LOVE with the starburst mirrors, drooling....
    and the dog were adorable.
    Val

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  56. Loi,
    This is exactly what I needed today...a glimpse of beautiful Paris and the gorgeous antiques! There is nothing quite like the atmosphere at Les Puces. We always dedicate at least two days there to take in as much as we can-one day to check out things, the second day to contemplate a possible purchase.Thanks for the photos and stirring my travel urge!!!
    I live in your area; hope to visit your lovely shop soon~

    Lisa

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    1. Hi Lisa - Please do visit and introduce yourself! Thanks so much!

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  57. Loi, you captured the essence of the market and it cast of experts and characters. Not to mention the beauty of Paris, it is in every face, every meal and around every corner. I never tire if visiting there or reading about from other peoples perspective. It is magical!

    I hope you are enjoying a little bit of Spring!

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  58. How I love Paris! What a wonderful flea market. On my next trip there (one day) I must go there! What adorable Parisian pups -- you know I love your dog photos the best! You really found some great pieces for your shop. Thanks for sharing this trip with us.
    Claudia

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  59. Loi-
    There is an overwhelming amount of gorgeousness here! The day bed caught my eye first, then the chairs, then the food, but nothing caught my eye like the doggie!
    Beautiful.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  60. Photo of vintage Citroen is my favorite! French dogs are very cute ... This trip was very interesting for me. Thank you ...
    Margaret

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  61. Oh Loi,
    You make Paris look so wonderful. The thing I enjoyed most about Paris the last time I was there was leaving! Dirty, filthy, city. I can't wait to go back and leave again. I have such mixed emotions about Paris, love/hate it. Must try Le Soufflé next time and Le Grand Colbert.
    Di
    X

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  62. What a wonderful tour through the flea market of Paris Loi. The pieces that you will add to the shop are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photographs. They are gorgeous!
    Susan

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  63. Loi,

    Ah, love seeing Paris through your lens! What a lovely tour of some of the most exciting flea markets in the world! You and Tom must have had such an enjoyable time hunting down your collection of unique treasures! The Parisian personalities you've featured have an aura of intrigue, to be sure, and I'm positive that the stories they relate regarding the very special pieces they sell, are very interesting, indeed.

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend, my friend!

    xo
    Poppy

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  64. Thank you for taking us shopping with you, Loi. You always know the best places! And your eye goes to the most beautiful things. Love the dogs, Les Souffles, the beautifully lit Tour Eifffel, well, all of it! I am offering a French giveaway on my blog today, a little brightly striped canvas bag. I bought several recently and want to share one as I try to get back into more regular blogging. You, Tom and doggies have a wonderful spring weekend. Hope you find yourself in your beautiful garden!

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  65. Sighing, wishing, longing............I was back in Paris for the springtime beauty of the city architecture, blossoms, cute doggies and of course THE ANTIQUES and VINTAGE beauties at the markets, in the alleys, outside the quaint shops! Thanks Loi for bringing them to us - your eye picks out only the best, the unusual, and the coveted, by those of us who can't get there right now.

    Those tulips - gorgeous and breathtaking - always prettiest when they grow longer in water and droop!

    Hugs for the weekend - Mary

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  66. PUCES AND POOCHES>>> so funny. YOU are the one with the good eyes! I used to take friends there all the time when we lived there. The dollar was so much stronger. I need to go back....soooo love this tour.

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  67. Marvellous stuff Loi. I made it my duty to visit Les Puces each week when I was in Paris for work as a young spritely whippersnapper. I would elbow my way into crowded cafés for a very long and early breakfasts with a cup of coffee and a book which I would pretend to read but most of the time being nosey and people watching before rummaging around the markets for antique sequins, jet and crystal. Good times. You have me reminiscing this morning.

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  68. Loi the best part are the pooches! How are yours anyway? We haven't seen many appearances by them lately. I could tell Tom was just "dying" to purchase that mushroom..hope you had room in your suitcase...

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  69. Thank goodness there is a universal language that all dogs speak! The true language of love. :)
    Thank you for bringing us along!

    xo

    Andie

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  70. One day I will get back to Paris and hopefully meet some of those sweet pups! Those sunburst mirrors are divine for sure. I have a wooden one that I bought from Schumacher about 10 years ago before they were popular:)

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  71. Loi, What a fabulous post! I adored this! Love to get to the Paris markets one day...What interesting characters and dogs. How gorgeous was that daybed? And the mirrors! Your photo of the eiffel tower with the lamp posts is absolutely beautiful. You could sell it, it's that good.
    Thanks for taking me along on this lovely adventure. xo Kim

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  72. Such a beautiful post..it has everything I adore! oh...Paris.

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  73. Loi, I don't know how I've missed knowing about Tone on Tone. I've just recently discovered your wonderful blog and having a grand time visiting your archives. The markets of France are my favorites, and shopping les Puces is right up there at the top of my list. Thank you for taking us along. Love the dog photos and those of the Eiffel Tower. Your photography is exquisite!

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Many thanks for your visit and comment. If you have a question, let me know and I will respond here. Loi