Tombees du Camion – Shopping in Paris
On that particular day we’d decided to meet not far from the oscillating blades of the Moulin Rouge to sift through thrift at Guerrisol. Not finding much more than cast offs: discarded t-shirts, beat up Kelly purses and 80s wash denim, there was no evidence as to why a New York Times article would recommend the place.
In defiance of winter’s grey obscurity, we travelled around the perimeter of the Montmartre cemetery before stumbling upon the stylish boutiques of rue Joseph de Maistre. A few boulangeries and bars were tucked in with the windows-full of trendy clothes for good measure.
The vitrine on the corner bore strings of bottles in blues and greens, antique shoetrees and tin lunchboxes lovingly arranged. The lettering on the shop face read “Tombées du Camion” which literally translates to fallen off the truck but means something more like stolen goods.
Inside, no larger than a Paris bedroom, arranged at eye-level on shelves were antique boxes of lilac pressed powder, chocolate bars too old to eat, and paper maché busts with cupid’s bow lips painted on. Things you’d relish in unearthing from dust covered boxes in your grandmother’s attic, relics of a time we know only through black and white photographs.
Sorted into crates stacked in the belly of the space were collections of baby doll appendages, bicycle spectacles, broaches, buttons, bells and beads to dip your fingers into. I couldn’t help but touch everything but that didn’t seem to bother the shop girl whose taste in music I complimented.