Clingancourt, Led Zeppelin, and Me

Aside from the Louvre des Antiquaires, you simply can’t beat Clignancourt for antiques. Located near the northern border of Paris and easily accessible by metro or taxi, the antique markets at Clignancourt offer a wide range of old goods. Some are junk, but most are worth at least looking at. Whether you are a serious shopper or just want to browse, Clignancourt is almost sure to please. At Clignancourt, you can find a myriad of antiques. Many of the vendors sell antique furniture. Some is good, some is not. Another item sold heavily at Clignancourt is decorative accessories. Aside from these, you can find many dishes (we have so many dishes I could puke), fabrics (my mother found an excellent resource in the Marché Dauphin), paintings, glassware, and silverware. You can also find all sorts of other strange stuff like antique pool tables and old bird cages. Yesterday when we went to Clignancourt, we were lucky: many of the trashy T-shirt vendors and knick-knack sellers were closed because of rain. This area (which, if you don’t take a taxi, you must walk through to get to the good antique markets) is a real drag because it is dirty and dangerous. Many pickpockets and the like hang out around here, so be sure to keep an eye on your personal belongings. Guys, be sure to keep your wallets in you front pockets. Ladies, zip your purses. But please, don’t let this danger deter you from visiting these markets. If you use common sense and keep an eye on your stuff, then theft shouldn’t be a problem. And if you like antiques, it would be a shame for you to miss the markets at Clignancourt, they really are cool (Hint: if you purchase a lot of antiques, be sure you have enough luggage to take it all back home with you. If you don’t, then you’ll be in a real pickle. You will probably have to use a professional shipper: good ones are pricey, coming in at around $600 for 1/2 cubic meter.) However, antique shopping is not all we did yesterday. Last night, my parents, grandparents, and I attended a concert a La Sainte-Chapelle. It was magnificent. La Sainte-Chapelle was originally constructed by Saint Louis to house a piece of the True Cross and a part of the Crown of Thorns. It is a magnificent structure in the Gothic style, with very tall stained glass windows giving the illusion of a large vertical thrust. The stained glass is marvelous: there is every conceivable color in the windows. On a sunny day, the light shining through the windows strikes all parts of the interior of the church, causing an explosion of color. The music played (three pieces by Bach) was excellent. There was a flautist, a violinist, a bass violinist, and a clavichord player named Gilles. All of them played very well together. Music filled the church as these musicians preformed their art, and everyone in the audience was enthralled by their skill. I thought Led Zeppelin was good: Back was a genius. The best part of the concert was when, in between two of the pieces, Gilles came on stage and performed a solo on the clavichord. I had no idea that it was possible, but Gilles actually started to rock out on the clavichord. What he played rivaled the most over-the-top guitar solo that Led Zeppelin could have ever conceived…and it was Bach! How does he do that?! I pondered this question until the end of the concert. After the concert was over, we headed back to the apartment. We were all hungry, so we decided to stop in at a little café called Les Deux Palais. It is just across the street from La Sainte-Chapelle. It never ceases to amaze me how good the food in Paris is. I ordered a mushroom omelette: basic, bland food, right? No. It was actually good. The mushrooms were tasty, and there was just enough food to be filling. Unfortunately, this was to be our last day in Paris for about a week. I knew I was going to miss it, but I reminded myself that we would be traveling to Les Baux and the surrounding area. I was sure that we would have a great time there, and I hoped that the food, people, and weather would be just as nice (maybe even better?) than those in Paris. Taylor Horton is a high school student who considers himself very fortunate to be writing for Bonjour Paris this summer.
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