Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Vide Grenier"


We call "Vide Grenier" (attic clearing) what Anglo-Saxons generally call "Garage sales". There are many of them in France (check this web site if you want to see where they take place) and a few in Paris. FYI, the largest and most famous one takes place every year in Lille (in the north of France) the first weekend of September. I came across one last Sunday at the Place Saint Sulpice, where I took this photo. In France, Vide Greniers are highly controlled and sellers can be taxed if they sell stuff that they made, such as paintings, jewelry, etc.

66 comments:

  1. I am a garage sale freak. No matter where they are! These pots would have been mine!!

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  2. Me, I love the cute little swan and the cup and saucer. I haven't been to a garage sale in ages. But, in the past I have bought many beautiful things at them.

    Bibi,,,GF...woof, woof...

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  3. I'm grooving on that red splatter ware kettle. Fantastic still life composition, even with the overhanging plates and the shining glassware. Classic.

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  4. Sorry, I forgot to change my profile photo, that is my great-grandson...

    Bibi: or should I say G.Paw...woof, woof...

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  5. I learned a new term! Merci, Eric! It looks as though there was plenty of sun to shed light on the tables at the vide grenier. Did you take time to shop a bit while you were there?

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  6. I'm always looking for that secret treasure that everyone else overlooks. Bit difficult if you are behind all the dealers.

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  7. Eric, Merci for the kitchen art. I'm printing this out and hanging it in my kitchen. It's perfect!

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  8. Bibi
    I know you saw them first but can I please have one of them? And given the fact that I adore enamel pots I deserve one, don't I? If not I will have the swan please...

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  9. I think most of the stuff people buy at garage sales and flea markets sit in the grenier for five years then are carried out to the garage for a garage sale. Does anyone really use the stuff they buy? Well, maybe you'll find the Picasso or Lautrec drawing that has been passed down through the family as a "funny little picture that great grandma had".

    It is a nice still life composition, with a bit of animation in the people behind. The polka dot dress is great with the coffeee pot patterns.

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  10. Once again I think Eric has that camera of his pointed right at my life. I'm having a garage sale this Saturday, and am freaking out about it already! I'm not too certain I want my life spread out on a card table for inspection and cheap purchase.

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  11. Yeah, but in France, you really do get "antiques!" ;)

    An "antique" in the States can mean anything older than the person selling it ;)

    I love garage sales! In fact, I'm having one next month right before Halloween in case some of you local bloggers are interested in participating (I truly wonder if the few dollars I'll make are worth all the aches and pain and labor time you end up putting in the preparation and clean-up of the event, but ... they're also so much FUN!!)

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  12. Jeff: "Does anybody ever use the stuff they buy?"

    Yes!!! I only buy what I can use...I love all my other peoples junk.

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  13. Suzy, it's really not that bad!!! Don't look at it that way!! The only thing you need to be ready for is that people will try to bargain down to prices that are almost insulting but look at it this way, $2 or $3 per items for 100 items sold is a good profit, and also you won't want to haul back most of that stuff at the end of the day, so best be rid of it no matter how cheap, well in most cases.

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  14. Jeff, for the most part, YES!!! But it's like everything, some things you end up using more than others. For instance, I once bought speakers for my computer, along with some interesting earrings. I use the computer speakers every day but only worn the earrings twice. I think they will go into my next garage sale. ;)

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  15. bibi -- the fastest paw in the West! Now don't go and shake that crown off.
    Admit it, gramma ann -- you put that picture there on purpose, so we could see how cute your great-grandson is.
    Very nice composition, Eric. Love the bright colors against the dark background. I need to have my own vide grenier, though here in Brooklyn we call it a stoop sale.
    And lois and katie -- it's not the 16th here yet, but it is in Paris. Isn't that your actual anniversaire? I toast you with Champagne and pretty little petit fours and wish you both a wonderful day—and year to come!

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  16. I hope you're right, tomate! Maybe I can purchase a thicker skin before Saturday.

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  17. Alexa...I wrote about my little sweetie on my blog today, and the only way I could show his picture, was to put him in my profile photo spot. That is the only way I can post pictures...Haven't figured out how to put them on my blog yet. Or anywhere else for that matter.

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  18. Oh I would love, love, LOVE to go to a "Vide Grenier" in France! I love a good yard sale or flea market...I can wander around aimlessly for hours!

    Hi Gramma Ann :)

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  19. Eric, nice photo. I've been to many of the flea markets around Paris and always enjoy the experience. It's a great way to spend an hour or two.

    I posted a Place Saint Sulpice image this morning. For another view of that area go to:

    David’s Digital Art!

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  20. Another art-like image. I wonder what a Cezanne would do with that. Or another artist's approach to a still life.

    One more Golden paw to add to your collection, Bibi. Congrats!

    Speaking of artists, guess whom from I got a self-made marbled post card today, the message of which was written in her own hand.

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  21. Sweet photo. I love the bright colors, especially the reds, against the dark background. It sure still looks like summer there! Lois I agree that this is the perfect photo to hang in the kitchen. Parisian Heart I too am happy to learn the term "Vide Grenier". I didn't think the French had yard sales, so I didn't think there was even a term for it!

    Alexa you're right -- it is already the 16th in Paris, so let the party commence! I'm meeting Lois in just over an hour; and I'll suggest champagne and petit fours. Or maybe grand fours.

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  22. How fun! I'm rather choosy what I let into my home, only things I love, whether they are found at garage sales or boutiques. I have to say, that teacup would find a very nice home here though!! I collect teacups and use them often.

    Eric, nicely done with shadow and bright, color and contrast. Thanks!

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  23. Suzie: If you are very attached to your stuff, it might sting a bit to sell it. If you're not quite ready to part with it, and you have the storage space, you might try to box it for a while and open the boxes several months later to see if you miss anything. In most cases, you won't even remember what's in half of these boxes. If you don't have any storage or must part with the stuff even though you're not quite ready to let go, just take pictures of them! You know, there are many good websites online about garage sales do and dont's. I'll go look for the one I found most helpful when I get home tonight if you're interested (I'm on a borrowed connection right now. can't stay long) TF

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  24. I would like to sell all the stuff in my garage! Then I have to promise myself not to fill it up again.

    Out with it, Tall Gary. Stop making us wonder!

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  25. Gramma Ann, your little darling is darling!

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  26. Eric or anybody out there...if you come across any old Zildjian cymbals with a "K" imprinted in them email me. I'll get you an excellent finder's fee.

    I always LOVE attending attic clearings, though people are getting so savvy these days it's getting harder to find a deal. One of my latest finds was a mid-19th century cowbell that has an amazing warm tone. [Hey, one man's old cowbell is another man's main samba beat...I love it!] Yeah, I guess you've found me out...I look at that red blizzard coffeepot and wonder what it would sound like if I smacked it with a stick.

    Like Petrea, I've got a lot of schtuff in my garage that I am to the point of giving away. I want my shop area back again.

    Tall G-man...welcome back! Who is the "preciosa" in your arms? Man, she's BEAUTIFUL!

    Katie and Lois...PARTY ON BIRTHDAY GALS! Mojitos for everyone! ;-)

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  27. Hey Gramma...how could I forget to mention that your little cherub is quite a handsome gent. He'd look good in some cool shades! [:]-0

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  28. Petrea...Thanks.

    Coltrane...You rock, and you're kind of 'a handsome gent' yourself. (DRUM ROLL)

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  29. gramma: he's kind of a handsome gent?!? Kind of?!? Oh wait, I'm trying to be good...

    Our tri-city garage sale is coming up soon so I'll keep an eye out for your cymbal, coltrane. No garuntees, though. Lot's of sales to hit in only one day. Last year I cam across a complete set of hard back HP books for like $40, which rocked because when I first started reading them I had stolen the first couple from my little sister and she had not taken very good care of them!

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  30. OK, for Suzy, here is that link (I think):

    http://www.yardsalequeen.com/

    I found some good tips in there.

    Good luck!

    PS. You know what people will think when they see your stuff on the sidewalk? They'll think...






    Garage Sale!
    Garage Sale!!
    Garage Sale!!!

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  31. Hi, Eric!

    This is my first time commenting here, but I wanted to tell you that I gave you an "I love your blog" award on my wee little blog today. Thank you for so many years of beautiful pictures! A little slice of Paris makes my work day so much brighter.

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  32. Eric, A little known fact about me is now coming to light after this beautiful photo is published...

    Yes folks, I AM
    - a garage sale gangsta
    - an addict for brocantes
    - a boot sale junky
    - a flea market fiend!

    But...worse yet for my friends who accompany me...I can spend hours and hours just looking without buying a single thing if I don't find something that I really need or want. How sad is that?!

    In France, it does help to bring along a native French speaker though, as no matter how well you may speak the language, an accent can mean higher prices!

    Now, you've all got me wondering. Where is the swan you keep mentioning. Are my eyes going bad? Have I missed a precious item on the table? I just don't see it!

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  33. Welcome Stephanie Perkins! Always nice to see a new face here!

    Gramma Ann - have you tried downloading Picasa for your photos? It's easy and you'll love it once you have it installed. (www.picasa.com)

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  34. Bibi - good get!

    Tall Gary - great to hear from you and, yes, that little darling is beautiful.

    Garage sale gangsta - the ceramic swan is just behind the plates and it's also white. I just have to say, I love your profile photo, too. It makes me smile everytime I see it.

    Stephanie Perkins - welcome from me, too. This is a wonderful bunch of folks.

    Lois and Katie - happie birdie!!!

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  35. Welcome, Stephanie! You are in good company ... This blog brightens the days of a lot of folks. :)

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  36. Coltrane and Carrie, Merci!!!! We, Katie and I, really enjoyed ourselves at Bastille celebrating. Cali-Rose gave us a call to join in on the party. And she has the flu -- isn't she too sweet! Katie is off to Paris -- excellent present! PS: Coltrane, love the drum profile photo -- COOOL!

    BTW, Guille, Katie and I took a photo holding wine glasses. We were copying one of your profile photos which I think is just adorable.

    Eric, I tried to print out the "kitchen" photo; the format isn't working. Tell me when I can buy it on Zassle [sp?], okay.

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  37. I LOVE these coffee pots!! Wonderful still life composition, Eric. Simple but so colorful. I really like it.
    I'm fan of vide-greniers, and often used to sell family things there when I was younger (so much extra pocket money!).
    I would like to go to la Grande Braderie de Lille but never take the time.

    Michael, "as no matter how well you may speak the language, an accent can mean higher prices!"...that's a shame!!
    About the swan, well, I can't help you (near the tiny glass bottles with corks!).

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  38. Rose, sure you can have a coffee pot! Take your pick.

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  39. Mnnnnn Coffee!

    I bought a decaffeinated coffee table, you can't even see a difference. ~Author Unknown

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  40. Michael, it looks like a pelican to me. Click and enlarge the image for a better look.

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  41. Bibi
    Have coffee? You are kidding me!!You have 3 pots so stop being selfish and give me that pot!!!
    I want that pot!!!

    Stephanie
    With your life style it sound like you are just another perfect adition to PDP. All you need now is to join French classes!

    Coltrane
    You are fantastically cool... and with the new photo...Mrs Coltrane, watch out!

    Tall Gary
    Please don't tell me it was from Her Grace, the Duchess!

    Marie
    So now I understand the need for 5 cups of coffee one hour ago. Have you had your 6th already?

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  42. Rose

    I have one of those nifty Senseo coffee machines! Making coffee is too fast and delicious:)

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  43. Michael...Thanks for the advice. I will try it next week to busy this week, plus I am computer illiterate.

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  44. Only in Paris would a garage sale be this chic!

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  45. MICHAEL....THANK YOU. I took your advice, and I published my first picture on my blog, without any ones help, but yours of course...Thanks and thanks again.

    Your #1 now, Coltrane move over;))

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  46. I love garage sales and haven't been to one for ages. I'm adoring both the red coffee pots at the moment.

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  47. Garage Sale!
    Garage Sale!!
    Garage Sale!!!

    I'm all ready to charge people with accents a higher price. Thanks for the advice, Michael. ;)

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  48. I do like these pots that look to be for tea and or coffee. I like the red and white one.

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  49. Lois, I'm so glad you and Katie had a great time!

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  50. Marie: a decaffeinated coffee table, that's cute. Maybe you can't see a difference, but I insist it's not as good because it's less stimulating.

    "Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others."
    Groucho Marx

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  51. Congratulations Gramma Ann! I'm sure once you play around with Picasa you'll really enjoy it.

    I FOUND IT! The swan that is. Thanks.

    Suzy and Lynn - I love the new profile shots!

    Guille, I hope you understood what I meant about the accent. It's like making reservations at a restaurant. For example, if I ask a French friend to do it, we're less likely to be stuck at the crummy table.

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  52. Lois, which "kitchen" photo are you referring to?

    Thanks for the compliment Carrie. It's me hugging Bibi when I was a child! :-)

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  53. Hmmmm, Michael, how did a photo of my baby girl get over there? I really don't know. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

    I think I used to 'own' a copy of that profile photo of yours!

    I see parisian heart has an

    eiffel tower!
    eiffel tower!!
    eiffel tower!!!

    profile photo! YAY!

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  54. We have "Estate Sales" here where they sell the property of a dead person. I think they are often more interesting than a "garage sale"...which can be a lot of junk sometime. I try to avoid them all; because like Michael..I will browse and browse and not buy anything and then the whole day is gone!!

    I love the composition of the photo and any household item in blue and white will always catch my eye!! ;-)

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  55. I am another that loves to find a good bargain at a yard sale. I like the composition of this photo Eric!

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  56. Michael : Oh, but they do it in the States, too ;) Taking your car to the mechanic and asking how much is it going to cost with an out-of-state accent can result in higher repair cost!

    On the other hand, I tend to charge *less* when people with accents stop at my garage sale! In fact, I have even been known to slip in some free stuff and call it "a lot" when the customers don't speak English at all. I guess it depends on the person.

    Uh, oh. I gotta give back the computer. Gotta go!

    Tomate Farcie

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  57. It's not just a foreign accent. Here at home, I can guarantee you that they will always try to give a single male the hotel room by the elevator and the restaurant table next to the kitchen door or bus station. I have made it a habit to ask them not to do that to me.

    I get no respect, I tell ya. I was shopping for used cars: found my wife's dress in the back seat. I get no respect.

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  58. Jeff, they do that to single women too. Don't get me started on "single supplement" charges when traveling...

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  59. LOL Jeff and Uselaine. We should start a blog just about this subject!

    "found my wife's dress in the back seat" ROFL!!!

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  60. I wish we had such good-looking junque here in Boston!

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  61. I'm totally jealous! I wish i could photograph those for my blog! You have inspired me to dig out the one enamelware coffeepot I have - that will be tomorrow's post! Super cute -thanks Eric!

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  62. I lovd this. It would be a great painting. The "out with the old" theme is very symbolic in my life right now, I suppose, but I think I'd like it no matter what. Well done Eric.

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