Fezzik In Paris

Two Americans, three cats, and too many places named "de Gaulle"

I’m still processing the full magnitude of the failure of this weekend’s Plan (and I already have a draft of this post written), so I’m going to write about last weekend.

We took a much-needed rest and more or less hid from the world (though sadly not from the cats, bounding bastards that they currently are); while this was not in the original plan, we’re in a transitional period from the perspective of most of the museums, and the summer season exhibits are being replaced with those of the fall, leaving us with fairly limited options, at least so far as attractive List items go. Oh, and the fatigue imparted by the loading doses of a TNF-α inhibitor probably contributed to the decision as well.

What then did we do? Not a hell of a lot. After downing decidedly meh-level hypolites (turkey, honey mustard, pickles, and lettuce on a bagel) from the usually-much-better Bagelstein, we wandered up the street to the brocante, in search of god knows what.

Our neighborhood is no stranger to brocantes; the confluence of the foot traffic of Rue Cler, the proximity to the École Militaire métro stop, and the neighborhood demographics seems to yield a brocante every six to eight weeks. Perhaps due to said demographic, the street tends to be lined with old people selling old (“antique”) junk: postcards, silverware, drinking glasses, terrible art, expensive furniture, candelabras, metal toys, tacky sculpture, salvaged lion-head door knockers, cases of dusty watches, out-of-style-jewelry, random books, and disorganized heaps of LPs (records? Vinyl? “LP” is a term that my mom would (and does) use…) are all there, as is a guy who “sells” vintage corkscrews (scare quotes due to the fact that the corkscrews that aren’t sorted by date and locked up in a case are 50€ each).

In short, it’s a mobile junk heap with the occasional interesting find (though at the last one, we picked up a set of crystal Gatsby-style champagne glasses for under 20€). A trip to my copy of le Robert (side note: I love dictionaries) explained our disappointment with the most recent iteration: where we had thought that brocante meant antique expo, it turns out that it simply means “secondhand trade”; we’re thus being subject to a French flea market and I’m officially thoroughly disgusted (yes, I can be a snob, thanks for asking).

Those champagne glasses are, unfortunately, pretty damn nice…

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