giant flea market in Lille – 2014

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Always on the first weekend of September. The center of Lille turns into a giant pedestrian zone and nearly one million visitors come to buy, sell, barter, stroll, chat with strangers, drink beer and have a good time. Called La Grande Braderie, (braderie comes from the verb “brader” which means “to sell off”), it’s a festive tradition in this northern city.

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The sky was leaden on Saturday and the atmosphere slightly subdued. But the sun came out on Sunday.

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“How much for the dog?” I asked.  He was sitting on a large postcard collection.

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Alpha males (below)


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This is the only item I bought for 8 euros from a German seller. Its purpose is to drain rinsed strawberries, radishes, grapes, etc. 

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Here’s Martine Aubry, the Socialist mayor of Lille since 2001, much-loved by the Lillois citizens (in the middle wearing a red jacket.)

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And here’s the Socialist Party booth where beer and “moules-frites” (mussels and fries) are served, a speciality of the region. Traditionally a working-class city, up until the end of the 1970s the major industries of Lille were coal, mining and textiles.

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Every year the local Communist Party puts up their booth and sells their newspaper called La Lutte Ouvrière (The Workers’ Struggle). 

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I walked past the booth and took a photograph.

“Journalist?” the man asked.

“Capitalist!” I replied with a thumbs-up sign, and walked on.

One thought on “giant flea market in Lille – 2014

  1. Pingback: off to Lille for the mother of all flea markets | Juliet in Paris

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