A huge flea market located in northern Paris, France which is only open on weekends. And by huge, I mean gigantic, massive, colossal all added up and raised to the enormous power. Ok, maybe not that big, but it was pretty impressive, at least for me. If you’re one of those people who drive out to neighborhood flea markets at the crack of dawn, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this place.

My adventure began exiting "le métro" at the "Porte de Clignancourt" stop (at the north end of line 4) and, well, looking for it. I ended up walking north a bit to find a city map. According to the map, it was in the direction I was headed so I kept walking (fancy that). Just a minute away I found a collection of parked vans and tents, all selling their wares. Most of it seemed, at least to me, to be touristy and glossed over. They had t-shirts, designer jeans, post cards, sneakers, watches, jewelry, and of course, all the Eiffel Tower knick-knacks. I don’t know if that was part of this flea market or not, but I kept walking north, passed under some sort of enclosed bridge, stopped at a space toilet, and found the real treasure.

Stands littered the streets selling all kinds of stuff. One of the first things I saw was a crèpe stand. It being eight in the morning and my stomach being empty, I gravitated toward it immediately. The guy sold a descent variety of them, all at a very good prices. I got an egg and cheese one, which, half way through eating it, turned to mush as the butter fell toward the bottom. Buttery goodness. To my surprise, those where the only food stands I found. Anyway, I just kind of wandered around with no destination in mind. I found:

books, CDs, records, tapes,
bongs, pipes, lighters, cigarette paper (including coconut flavored :-) ),
clothing, shoes, sneakers, boots,
used furniture, drapery, other household items,
old stamps, old magazines, old paintings,
travel bags, backpacks, jackets, coats,
old army supplies (helmets, clothing, etc),
old radios, old radio parts,

And much much more.

Most of the vendors (I guess you would call them that) speak some English, so if your French is a bit lack-luster (like your’s truly), no need to worry. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to haggle a bit. I kicked myself later on for buying a travel bag for €35 and not finding the courage to argue a little.

And get there early. Not just for the best deals, but for spatial reasons. By about noon, the streets were already starting to get pretty packed.

In short, if you’re visiting Paris, go here if you’re looking for a non-filtered flavor of the city.

Thanks to DejaMorgana for suggesting the place to me.