The premise of Edith Pauly's guidebook, The Best Vintage, Antique and Collectible Shops in Paris, is that Paris still is the promised land for lovers of all things vintage. She highlights 58 diverse shops along with the 20-acre Saint-Ouen flea markets to demonstrate that travelers can experience a sense of adventure, despite the tourism, and curiosities remain to be found.
Some of the venerable establishments date to the 19th century, for example Au Progres where shoppers will find 5,000 antique doorknobs, or Deyrolle, the natural-history emporium. Others are off most travelers' radar. There are shops for cuisinophilles, silver enthusiasts, textile collectors, Thonet fans, gardeners -- Pauly is thorough.
I especially enjoyed reading about the hardware store within the Nordin Brothers' furniture shop. Pauly describes it as a "beauty salon for wood" and says browsers can expect to find color-coordinated fillers to plug up pores in wood, magical French varnishes, bees-wax polish and all sorts of potions and tools of the trade. Amiable advice is offered too, she says. This title is also currently offered for less than $14 on the The Little Bookroom site.
Images above are by photographer Sandrine Alouf.
Speaking of adventurous spirits, don't miss my friend Millie in the May Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles.