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Vintage Clothes in the Marais

Vintage Clothes in the Marais

Jennifer was on a quest to find the best vintage clothes in the Marais.  As soon as we were planning the trip, Jennifer began researching names and locations of vintage clothing stores.  Then, she decided to narrow it to the Marais.  With that limitation, she and I could map out the stores and create a route for the day, with some culture and a snack or two along the way.

Jennifer is an expert at vintage clothing and has a collection that rivals the best shops anywhere.  Whether in New York, Miami or London, Jennifer has found exceptional quality at vintage clothing stores.  Along with clothes, she shops handbags, jewelry, shoes, luggage, and hats.

On the trip in January, Jennifer packed 3 vintage berets that she sported jauntily in our evenings out.  Also in her suitcase, she packed vintage dresses from Yves St. Laurent and Givenchy, vintage Gucci heels, vintage clutch, and bags full of vintage earrings and jewelry.  (She was stunning each night!)  Her motto is save for something spectacular and timeless, and do not waste money on trends at retail stores.  With that goal in mind, she set our mission for the day of shopping at vintage clothes in the Marais, and we were off.

Start at Saint Paul for Vintage Clothes in the Marais

Rue de Rivoli near Saint Paul

Rue de Rivoli near Saint Paul Métro

First, we took the Métro up to Saint Paul station.  After walking past some of the beautiful foods offered at shops along the way, we arrived at Tilt on the rue de Rivoli.  Jennifer went in to check out our first shop of vintage clothes in the Marais.  A few minutes later, she returned to the sidewalk without making a purchase.  Her assessment:  not high end, not really vintage, more of a resale shop.  Nice sales people that were helpful.  At the end of the day, she added that Tilt is not crammed and jammed like the ones on the rue des Rosiers (more to come about those).

Fit in a Little Culture and Some Great Food

Picasso Museum Courtyard Entrance

Entrance to the Picasso Museum – nice house!

From Tilt, we walked to the Picasso Museum and saw his personal collection on the top floors.  Then, we walked around the corner and ordered crêpes to go from Breizh Café annex – next door to the sit-down restaurant.

Park behind Picasso Museum

Great picnic spot! The other side of the house from the entrance to the Picasso Museum.

We walked across the street and had a picnic at one of the tables in the park behind/in front of the Picasso Museum.  Along with our to go boxes, the cutlery and packaging were all biodegradable.  (An example of Paris really trying to be green.)  This was a completely perfect way to enjoy a delicious Breton crêpe in the Marais!

Bio c’ Bon

Bio c' Bon

Now that we were fortified, we could start our shopping in earnest.  But, Paris has many diversions, even if it is a grocery store.  On our walk, we passed a store, Bio c’ Bon and I went in to get a bottle of water.  It turned out to be an amazing store of 3 floors of only organic products.  From brimming meat cases to stunning produce, to everything else in a regular grocery store – all organic.  A great find – and they are all over Paris.  Add it to your list.

Place de la République

Place de la Republique

Place de la Republique

We kept going up to near the Place de la République to find the shop, Nice Piece.  It was supposed to open at 12:30 pm, and we got there right at 12:30.  We looked in the window for a few minutes.  Jennifer said it looked good and worth checking out.  We waited, then walked up the street and looked at Place de la République, took some photos, then back again.  Still not open.

Onward to High-End Vintage

Time was ticking, so we walked over to the end of rue Tournelles.  Two vintage stores are down the block from each other:  Odetta and Fabri & Co.

Fabri and Co

From the outside, each one looks like a high-end boutique – small, tasteful, luxe.  Jennifer and John were in Fabri & Co. so long that I was sure Jennifer was making a purchase.  Finally, they came onto the street without a bag.  But,  Jennifer was very impressed.  She said the shop owner was super friendly, high-end vintage, the quality was great, clothes were in great condition, lots of beautiful jackets and matching skirts or pants from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.  Also, handbags and some shoes.

Odetta

Next, they went into Odetta and did not spend as much time.  Jennifer said it was extremely high end with a salesman to match.  The shop is a sparse boutique with a well-edited collection.  Clothes are beautifully made, along with handbags and jewelry, all in great condition.

Café Time

Chez Janou zinc bar

As we made our way down the street, we saw a café and stopped in.  It was Chez Janou.  A café with a super-great Parisian feeling.  A beautiful rounded zinc bar, a friendly bartender, a lively crowd and an excellent looking menu!  We ordered a celebratory drink – Jennifer a glass of Champagne, John a kir and me a glass of red wine.  Maybe you wonder why celebratory?  It is Paris and that is reason enough to celebrate!!!  Plus, Jennifer was feeling especially optimistic about our next stops.  After our pick-me-ups, we started out again.

More Beautiful History

Place des Vosges winter

Place des Vosges in winter.

On the way to the next store for vintage clothes in the Marais, we had a few stops to make.  First, we walked in and around the Place des Vosges.  We sat on a bench for a few minutes admiring the amazing architecture and calming square.  Even without any leaves on the trees, it remains one of the most beautiful squares in Paris.

Snack Time

Florence Kahn Bakery

Even in cold and rain, you can sit outside at Florence Kahn Bakery and enjoy falafel.

Then we made our way down the narrow streets to the corner of rue des Rosiers and rue des Ecouffes – falafel central of the Jewish quarter.  John had been waiting for a snack here.  He got a falafel stuffed pita and we all had a bite of the falafel – deee-licious.  It is always a great place to go on each visit to Paris for a reasonably priced and delicious meal (or snack).  When making plans, remember that most of these restaurants are closed on Saturdays in observance of the Sabbath.

Kilo Shop

Kilo Shop – one of multiple.

While we were walking for a falafel snack, Jennifer saw a second-hand store, the Kilo Shop, and went in.  Jennifer’s assessment:  some vintage clothes, fur coats, men’s and women’s jackets, shirts, and jeans.  Minimal accessories and the store was packed with things.  Here, shoppers buy by weight – an interesting idea.  Later comment – Kilo Shops are all over Paris with thrift-store quality.

More Like Thrift Stores

Vintage Desir

Look on the glass storefront for the painted letters – Vintage Desir.

Another find was right off of the falafel corner.  Vintage Desir (or Coiffure – looks like a leftover sign from a previous haircutting place) is a second-hand shop and Jennifer went in.  Her assessment:  slightly more upscale thrift shop quality.  Much more wear to the clothes, both men’s and women’s clothes, everything from jackets, to bins of scarves, purses, hats.  Some hidden gems.  Kind of a free-for-all inside with the shoppers.

Free'P'Star

Another Free’P’Star is across the street from this one. Look at the piles of purses.

Free’P’Star was the last store of vintage clothes in the Marais on Jennifer’s list.  It is in the next block from Le BHV with a Kilo Shop next door.  Jennifer’s assessment:  claustrophobic, free-for-all, thrift store grade, knock-off purses by the load.  Once she got in, she had a hard time getting out.  It is two stores, one across the street from each other.  I only looked in the window and it was a mob scene.

Place de l’Hôtel de Ville

Hotel de Ville

After the raucousness of Free’P’Star, that was it for the day.  We walked to the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, satisfied our craving for a Nutella Crêpe, saw Yellow Vests marching down the rue de Rivoli, then headed back to the hotel for a nap.  No purchases, but Jennifer took us on a great tour and we found out a lot about vintage clothes in the Marais!

Take a tour of vintage clothes in the Marais, but add some spice and spend the day.  Here is a map with directions for this walking tour of vintage clothes, history, art, and food.

Tilt
8 rue de Rivoli
75004 Paris

Picasso Museum
5 rue de Thorigny
75003 Paris

Breizh Café
109 rue Vielle du Temple
75003 Paris

Nice Piece
76 rue Charlot
75003 Paris

Fabri & Co.
82 rue Tournelles
75003 Paris

Odetta
76 rue Tournelles
75003 Paris

Chez Janou
2 rue Roger Verlomme
75003 Paris

Kilo Shop
locations around Paris

Vintage Desir
32 rue des Rosiers
75004 Paris

Florence Kahn Bakery
24 Rue des Ecouffes
75004 Paris

Free’P’Star
61 rue de la Verrerie
75004 Paris

Useful Terms – Spoken Like a Native

Useful Terms – Spoken Like a Native

Useful terms are something everyone visiting a foreign country needs.  If for nothing else, to find the bathroom.  But, knowing a few other words for food and drinks will at least take care of basic needs.  I just finished a page on useful terms and want to share the story of how it came about.

New Site

If you don’t know it by now, this is a new website/blog/creation.  After finally going live a few weeks ago, pages still need to be finalized – all while writing new blog entries and triple checking what is up and how it looks.  Lots and lots of writing, revising, tweaking appearance of the pages, increasing page load speeds, making sure keywords are used, etc…  So many words are used that I have never heard of describing things I never thought of.

Food and Drink is a “main menu item.”  That means it has several “pages” under it.  (I am probably getting all of this wrong.)  And, while working on the pages under the Food and Drink main menu, it seemed like providing some useful terms would be a good idea.  After all, this site, pariswithscott.com, is to try to help first time visitors or people who want to visit Paris on their own be able to do it.

Basic Useful Terms for Food

So, I made a list of super basic terms.  Not many, real basic food terms.  Just so looking at a menu posted outside of a restaurant may not be completely out of the question.  While doing that, I started to sound out the French words and write in my own pronunciation guide!!  As if I know how to tell someone how to say something in French!!!

Words like temperatures for cooking a steak for “steak frites.”  Medium-rare is “à point” (ah-pwahw), medium is “cuit” (kwee), well done is “bien cuit” (bee-iahn-kwee).  (I don’t think the French really know how to cook something “bien cuit.”)  And on and on for me sounding out the pronunciation.

Wouldn’t It Be Great…

While writing down those pronunciations I emailed Susan, the talented woman who is working with me on the site. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could add in some way for visitors to the site to hear the word pronounced by a native French speaker?”

Well, she did it.  Susan made the page absolutely incredible!!!  Take a look and a listen here:

https://pariswithscott.com/food-and-drink-in-paris/french-pronunciation-guide-with-audio/

The internet is incredible.  Useful terms are great, but hearing them, while seeing the word, is really great.  Okay, that is it.  This entry is a thank you to Susan!

Subscribe If You Want

If you want to sign up for the newsletter, feel free.  I’m trying to write entries and every now and then they will be emailed out to you if you subscribe.  And, always happy to hear suggestions on making it better.  Just went live not too long ago and still getting things worked out.  This is kind of a preview for you.

Thanks for taking a look.

Parlez-vous français?

Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries)

Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries)

Between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, you will find the Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries).  Since the 1500s, this grand park has been a cultivated respite.  First the respite was from court life, or maybe as part of court life?  Then for fashionable Parisians.  And, eventually, for throngs of tourists and locals alike.

Enter from the Louvre Side

On the Louvre side of the garden, the Louvre and its pyramid will dominate the horizon.  However, just think, a palace once stood that would have blocked your view – the Tuileries Palace.  Originally built in 1564 under the direction of Catherine de Medici, the palace stood on the site of old tile kilns.  In French, these places for making tiles were called, tuileries.  Hence the name, Tuileries Palace and Tuileries Garden.  The Louvre is gargantuan today, but imagine with another entire wing enclosing a giant courtyard!!!

Tuileries Palace

Tuileries Palace, photo taken around 1860.

Okay, back to the garden.  Although the gardens were created in the mid-1500s, royalty demanded a makeover after 100 years.  Who could remake them?  The most famous garden designer ever, of course!  André LeNôtre, Louis XIV’s gardener, was commissioned in 1664 to redesign the gardens.  Soon after, in 1667, the Tuileries Garden was the first royal garden to be opened to the public.  Just for reference, in 1667 in North America, Charles II was King of England.  That means he was the monarch of his subjects in the colonies in what would one day become the United States.

There is so much history, it is hard to focus on the gardens!  The Tuileries are filled with trees, shrubs, lawns, basins, fountains and lots of crushed granite!  You can walk up and get close to inspect nearly any plant in the garden.  Beautiful and substantial ironwork fences line the street sides of the garden.  But, there are so many entrances, the fencing is purely decorative at this point.

Enter from the Place de la Concorde Side

Enter from the other side of the garden, and you will find a crêpe stand just between the Place de la Concorde and the entrance.

Find a bookstore to the left, appropriately named, Librairie du jardin des Tuileries, that specializes in garden books.  Then, up the ramps for horses (now for pedestrians), you will find the Musée de l’Orangerie and the Jeu de Paume museums on either side.

Tuileries entrance from Place de la Condorde

Entrance from the Place de la Concorde side – not much changed since this photo was taken.

You will also see Antoine Coysevox’ famous equestrian statues carved in 1699.  Replicas now stand in for the originals that are protected in the Louvre.  Sometimes called the Marly statues, they are imminently famous and named the Marly statutes because they were moved from Louis XIV’s estate, Marly, to the Tuileries for decoration.

Huge and Enjoyable

Do not be fooled by looking at the garden on a map.  The gardens cover a tremendous expanse.  Walking across the garden will take you a while – from any direction.

tuileries garden from the air

It is expansive! Those are people walking around down there.

Take a break while crossing at one of the garden’s café’s.  Under the trees, enjoy an expensive baguette sandwich and citron pressé – a lemonade that you make yourself from lemon juice.  It is brought to you in a tall glass of ice, along with a bottle of sparkling water that you mix sugar from packets into the lemon juice to make lemonade just to your liking.

Along with hosting the annual Jardins, Jardin exposition, the garden brings out lots of children in the summer sailing wooden boats, joystick-ing motorized boats, all while sun worshipers get their vitamin D.

The Tuileries Garden is in the heart of Paris and will be a reference point for your visit.  Take advantage of it at any time of year.  Even in the dead of winter, it is marvelous to walk in the Tuileries and absorb the history and beauty of Paris.

Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries)

Nearest Métro:  Multiple Métros provide access to the Tuileries Garden.  Tuileries and Concorde on the Tuileries side of the Seine; On the opposite bank of the river, but still close, look for the stations of Assemblée National and Musée d’Orsay.
Arrondissement:  1st
Admission:  Free to access the garden.
Official website:  https://www.louvre.fr/en/departments/tuileries-and-carrousel-gardens