Highbrow/Lowbrow: A weekly update on Denver culture from deliciously fancy to wonderfully mundane
WHAT: Paris Street Market in Aspen Grove
I don’t know if it is my recent transition into adulthood or my new Cherry Creek nest, but I suddenly find myself home furnishing obsessed. What better place to stalk treasures for the home, but at the myriad of Denver street fairs, flea markets, festivals, and bazaars. I have frequented my share of these around Denver, but never tried the Paris Street Market in Aspen Grove. Saturday, May 4 marked the opening of this market for the 2013 season. It will continue on into October on the first Saturday of each month.
I arrived at 9 a.m., thinking I would get a jump on the crowds. Non! I wound up parked in some zip code adjacent to the market, much like the Pluto tram stop at Disneyland. Excitement set in as I was encouraged by my fellow early traveler horde, looking for a nice baguette perhaps with brie to enjoy, while exploring the market offerings. The Champs Élysées of Littleton I was fantasizing.
The market occupies the easternmost arrondissement of the Aspen Grove parking lot. As I plunged in, I shortly began to wonder how this particular Parisian street marketing scheme had hatched. Was it the lonely croissant booth? I was trying to recall if this was the type of markets the Parisians do? I can’t recall seeing a Paris market quite like this one.
There was a pu pu platter of items including vintage suitcases, hand crafted frames, jewelry, cowboy boots, toys, and other standard flea market stuff. My friend stated that nothing says “gay Paree” quite like an $80 Captain America poster. Most items were overpriced at best. I theorize this is a pricing tactic that allows the vendor to say okay to your less than half-price offer. I was not going to fulfill my bargain treasure hunt fantasy, or my Eiffel Tower jones at this market.
The highlight of the morning came when I luckily happened across a vintage crossbody Gucci. I quickly snatched that from the reaching arms of another fashionista, it is a dog eat dog world when it comes to purses. I came home from this little adventure $60 poorer with a very grumpy man in tow. Ladies be warned this is probably not the place for your husbands or boyfriends unless they love the thrill of crowds and the chase of the shopping hunt.
Although the branding was a bit misleading, this street fair was easy to navigate, offered the occasional surprise, and appeared to be populated with certain old pros that understand the rhythms of what they do. Although it isn’t the Paris of my imagining, you can always bail to the Alamo Draft House for a nice nosh and a film with French subtitles.