12 September 2010

Road tripping

About two weeks ago I left for my three-city-break, starting in Amsterdam. Whenever I need a break the most, it takes me at least a couple of days to calm down enough to enjoy it. And I really, really needed this one. Of course sometimes the universe decides to crap all over you, and make everything twice as hard. But I kept on schedule, and from Amsterdam I went with my friends on a road trip to fulfil a long time dream of mine: catching La Braderie, the 2-day monster flea market in Lille, France.

It is an event that takes up the whole city, roads are closed, traffic is diverted and everybody hits the streets with flea-stuff. Some areas are reserved for professionals, coming from all parts of Europe, others are stores selling out old stock, and others again are private citizens clearing out the attics. It goes without saying that you have to dig through crazy amounts of crap, and even then you will have to beat two million visitors to it. But all that is part of the charm, and besides we all have different tastes. My co-fleasters were shamelessly mocking my very first Braderie scoop, the €2 vintage light bulb advertising ashtray (the joke is on them, of course).

In some ways the Braderie reminded me of Queensday in Amsterdam. On this one day everybody is allowed to hit the streets with what they've got, making for a giant flea market. We don't have anything like that in Copenhagen, but I think we are ripe. Okay, back on the subject:

Part of the attraction of flea markets to me is the rush I get from taking pictures. Or as the case was here: stealing them. Because the sellers were adamant about this issue: absolutely NO pictures. I don't know the rules about this in other countries, but here anything that is out in public, you can take pictures of. And if you ask for permission first every single time, you are considered a nuisance. I would have loved to ask them why I was not allowed to take my shot, but the subject was a minefield, and my french is not all that... So I did what any shoot-a-holic would, I stole my shots. Because not catching this would have been the real crime. I hope you agree.

(Buckle up, this post will be picture heavy)

Ultra cool books

Something about this sight really gets my blood pumping. Maybe it is how the sides of the books are utilised. I love the rubber stamped name, and I'm a huge fan of painted sides, see the marbled one peeking out in the corner?

Cartoon stripes painted on glass

Hand painted cartoon stripes on glass, the paint looks ink-based, and it is applied from the back, one of my favorite things, glass painted from the backside, yum yum yum. I still kick myself for not buying these. But I was telling myself I do not have the room to display them. My eyes are so much bigger than the space I occupy...

My other love: expressive old mannequins. One day I must introduce you to my friend "Skrige Marie".

Overpriced yummy

Jieldé industrial lamps, the original made in Lyon since the 1950's. They are reproducing them today, but I still love the old ones, and these colors...

Spelling it out

 Words are my friends.

Target value

Pinball machine cover, one of two. This was my first encounter with an overprotective seller, and I am happy I started with the cover I loved the most. I broke his rules by taking these pictures, and I have no regrets. Target value!


These are the kind of things I love finding on a flea market. I just now noticed how the number 7 on the big one looks like "2" upside down. Speaking of time, only flea markets can make me get up this early. I beat everybody else by a full hour. Including the sellers...

Savon Petit Roi

Crazy cool mural

This may just be the coolest mural ever. Check out the detail.

I could go on, but I fear you may die from exhaustion.

(next post: Paris. All aboard?) 


  1. I'm happy you managed to 'steal' these wonderful pictures. It's very strange that there was a problem with photographing. It's the same here - if it's public you can take pictures of it.
    The old books are heart-warming. I love reading 2nd hand books... The history and the idea that someone else went through these pages already is really appealing.
    And BIG THANK YOU for the birthday wishes, Sandra! xo

  2. Hi Sabine, it is always so good to hear from you. And I am happy that someone appreciates that I went ahead and broke the rules. On the subject of books, I bought an old German one, a souvenir book from Stuttgart, that looks handmade, with the most amazing drawings and paintings. Major scoop. :-)


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