What’s up earthlings! So I headed to Le Marché de Saint-Denis and was so thrilled to be back there after many years away from home. For those of you into markets, think of grand central Market Downtown LA pre-renovation and pre-gentrification. It’s pretty much like GCML only way bigger.

Saint-Denis market is a Marché that boasts delicacies from all corners of the world. I love the multi-ethnic vibe of Saint-Denis with its vibrant Pan African community, people hailing from Algeria, Morroco, Tunisia, Senegal, Mali, Gana as well as from Haiti, Martinique, and Guadeloupe.

It is such an eclectic medieval town with an old-world feel nestled on the outskirts of Paris at the very end of line 13 which services Saint-Denis Basilique Station.  Those looking for a real Marché experience will not be disappointed. Produced are not only very fresh but also artisenal.  (no gmos, steroids, hormones) Anything can be found: from rare earthy spices hailing from distant locations like Madagascar, India and Cape Verde to North African Merguez, Fresh Turbo, cod, shark and sardines, plantains, couscous, baklavas, butternut squashes, Herbes de provence and so much more.

The hustle and bustle of working-class immigrants shuffling their feet through narrow streets with their shopping caddy trailing right behind, on a mission to buy food. There is a beauty about Saint-Denis and its people which is rarely showcased on national television. I feel that France’s image tends to only showcase the glossy side of its country but seeing and being on the pulse of everyday life is so important. For me at least, it is one of the top highlight of my trip and if you’re headed that way (which you should!), the Marché opens on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

xx, Kenza

 

 

photography credit © kenza johnson

With only 5 days left in Paris, I headed out to Les Puces de Clignancourt flea market also known as Les Puces De Saint Ouen or “Les Puces,” a sprawling market recognized as the largest flea market in the world.  Today was an overwhelming day as I wanted to scour every nook and cranny and find something to take back home to Los Angeles. Alas, I was met by two obstacles: the rain and this damn baggage limit imposed by international custom–argh. You can only imagine my frustration. It’s like everything was calling my name. Though disappointed, I am that much more committed to head out to Paris again with empty suitcases and load-up on unique vintage finds. On a brighter side of things, I managed to get a beautiful carved Senegalese turtle and had fun negotiating down the price with a very nice Senegalese Vendor, and despite the heavy rain, I enjoyed window shopping and discovering unique artworks, contemporary as well as more historic gems. If you are visiting Paris, I highly recommend checking out this flea. Besides antiques, you can find tons of hand me down items, clothes, funky objects, old vinyl for you music heads out there. It’s diverse, nothing pompous, you’ll get a first-hand experience of what Paris feels like.  There are many bistros all around where you can stop, grab a bite, and get back to your shopping!

xx, Kenza

 

Photography credit © Kenza Johnson