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Places We Go : The French Market in Marin

The French Market in Marin is celebrating its 10th anniversary. A couple of weeks ago, I drove over to San Rafael to see what it's all about. Held once a month, it's free, with plenty of parking and a bit of je ne sais quoi. There's a crepe stand and French-singing musicians. Guessing about 140 vendors - and all worth seeing. Let's take a look.

I have a basement full of decor that I'm trying to clear but . . . I'm sure you'll agree, a girl can still look.

Decorative recycled steel drum art. Don't you think this $98 bowl would make a wonderful gift?

Guessing this lantern is rather new but I liked the collection inside.

A few food vendors including one with delicious pastries. A British flag flies half-mast in the background in honor of Queen Elizabeth.

Beautiful patina on these bottles.

Fun to see each vendor's offerings. Vendors must have a seller's permit to have a booth.

Boxes and boxes of $5 tools and hardware. I kinda wish I'd bought that horseshoe magnet as we had similar one when I was a kid. And who doesn't need a magnet?

Carefully bundled two cent stamps.

As a Year-of-the-Rabbit baby, I'm always intrigued by life-size lapin.

A French crepe stand for a French market.

Tiny little kid cashmere sweaters with little pocket pandas. Recycled from adult cashmere sweaters. $35.

Handsewn Mexican wedding dresses from San Antonio, Mexico, $349 each.

Thought long and hard about two linen curtain panels ($20 for both) to use as fabric for cushion covers.

The one that got away. I talked to the vendor. I walked away. Five minutes later, I saw a woman buying. The patina on this window shutter was amazing. I just couldn't figure out where to hang it. And did I want to spend $85?

A wonderful combo sang classic old songs, many in French. The creator of this market shopped markets in France for years in search of dolls for her collection. She was inspired to bring a French style market back to Northern California. Bien fait!

It's not to late to go this year. I came away with some vintage postcards ($1 each) and a little mirror with a thick frame ($4). I'm planning to go October 9 with Jayne - we'll see you there!

The flea miarket is on one parking lot in the iconic Marin Civic Center in San Rafael, CA. Frank Lloyd Wright was 90 when he arrived to survey the site. He designed in 1955 or 1957 but it was built after his death in 1960. Apparently, he specified gold paint on the roofs, gold to match the surrounding hills. Durable gold paint wasn't available, so his wife choose blue to match the sky.


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