Located in the north of Paris, or as the Parisiens would say, outside of Paris, as it is located on the other side of Le Peripherique - the circular highway which encapsulates the city. This highway also acts as a type of barrier between 'Paris' and le bonlieu (the 'down-market' suburbs, as opposed to the upmarket arrondissements of Paris. Funny the word bonlieu - bon meaning good and lieu meaning place - the Parisiens who live within the confines of Le Peripherique certainly do not look upon the bonlieu as a good place - in recent years it has been the site of social disorder and unrest). Many visitors to Paris do not venture out to the 'other side', however, there are some interesting and beautiful things to see....The Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is one of them (I should also mention the Bois de Vincennes and the Bois de Boulogne, which I hope to discuss in a future post).
But once you wade through this madness you enter a new world of beauty and serenity - the antique markets! Here classical music plays as you leisurely meander through the streets of amazing antique furniture and homewares. The images below cannot do it justice - the labyrinth streets seem to be endless and there are antique stores as far as the eye can see - I spent a good few hours strolling through these markets, stopping every now and then to admire the treasures (I find French antiques absolutely amazing, beautiful, breathtaking - there is an awe inspiriny store in Sydney called The County Trader http://www.thecountrytrader.com.au/ were I can get a regular fix without having to spend a few thousand dollars on an airfare to Paris.) However, being in Paris and seeing these amazing pieces, the feeling and the experience cannot be faithfully re-created in Sydney.
Compared to prices in Australia, I found the antique markets quite reasonable. But even if you are not in the market to make a purchase or two (I would have loved to buy a few things, however the practicality of shipping it to Australia made me reconsider) it is a lovely way to spend a day in Paris.