Every April there’s a big antiques fair in at Port Vauban (about a 5 minute walk from my apartment). Over 120 antiques dealers are here from all over Europe and you’ve got to pay 9E just to look at some of their stuff.
It’s one of those changeable weather days, threatening to rain, so I wander on down to the port after a flower run at the Marche Provencal. I pay my 9E, enter and immediately feel intimidated. I may be under a big tent, but it feels like a museum in here. Instead of the locals selling their wares, chatting with the regulars and having their breakfast at the weekly Saturday market in the old town square, these guys are in suits (black) and they’re all on their cellphone or texting very important things. I’d say it’s the antique/art version of the Cannes Film Festival.
Despite the fact that a lot of the items shown here are a little fussy for my tastes, many are beautiful and I want them. Like the Asian portraits of the man and woman (see extremely blurry photo on right). The man in this picture –the human, not the painting–yelled at me for not asking to take the picture. Since he was scolding me in French and I understood every word, I was inappropriately cheerful (but desole) which seemed to make him want to scold me more. But why should he give a crap if I take a picture? Maybe his wares have actually been stolen from some museum and he’s afraid of being exposed. He’ll be pleased to know the picture turned out like crap. However, I won’t be buying his awesome Asian art (which I was totally going to do, sir) because he’s a total dill weed (that would be “connard” in French).
One woman who has some of the most beautiful Asian art and antiques I’ve ever seen glances at my 3E posies from the marche provencal and says something rude. Well, I’m pretty sure it’s rude, she’s talking pretty fast. I storm off in a huff.
My synapses are starting to go crazy. I don’t know where to look. Too much stuff. Things that would look amazing in the living room of my new apartment. Things that would look good in the dining room. Things that would look good in the bedroom. Things that make me gasp in awe at their beauty in much the same way I do when I see the alps on a clear day. I’m starting to get lightheaded from all this gasping and the horrible realization that my life won’t be complete until I can afford to buy these items, which I’m pretty sure will be never.
Must. Get. Out. If I can find the exit. I’ve tried two doors with little running person icons pointing towards them only to be stopped by security. I’m lost in a maze of really expensive stuff and clearly, the only way out is to buy everything in my way. I feel like I’m back in NYC. Dear lord help me! I find the exit right before I’m forced to ask the price of the inlaid desk, credit card clutched in my hand at the ready.
I walk home quickly, trying to shake off the tentacles of consumer desire tightening in my gut. When I get there, I step on the balcony and gasp again.
While I was out, the wind blew off the cloud cover and I can see the alps clearly. I know there’s a message in this. Something like: “Ha, you rude purveyors of gross materialism! Who needs all your probably ridiculously expensive, too awesome to be photographed stuff? I’ve got my view of the alps,the blue sky and the Mediterranean practically at my doorstep. What the hell more could I want?”
Damn, one of those garden gnomes sure would be great up here.
Filed under: Alps, Antibes, art, Cote d'azur, local merchant | Tagged: alps, antibes antiques and modern art show, antiques, Antiques and art fair, antiquites, art, brocante, modern art, shopping, view |