By Alana Adams

When I discovered Paris on Ponce a few years ago, it was love at first sight. There aren’t many antique and thrift stores where I come from in Maryland, and when I do find them they certainly don’t look like this.

Located in a sprawling 46,000 square foot space on a hill just off Ponce de Leon Avenue, Paris on Ponce has become a destination for antique lovers, artists and performers since it opened 15 years ago.

The first time I walked into Paris on Ponce I felt like I was walking into the Moulin Rouge or what co-owner Nicolette Valdespino likes to call a “bohemian playground.” The stairs creaked as I stepped down into the front room with its dark red walls lined with antiques and knick-knacks. I found jewelry, old cameras, arcade machines, a 1960’s baby stroller and stoves. I felt like I’d been transported to a quaint old shop on the Left Bank.

As I continued to explore, I came across Le Maison, their Paris-themed event space. The tourist inside of me jumped out as I posed for pictures with a cheesy grin and a thumb up next to the mannequins dressed in a showgirl costume.

Beyond these front rooms is Paris on Ponce POP Marché, which features almost 30 separate vendors with their own aesthetic and wares to sell. For example, Bash Modern is a trip back to the Mad Men era with typewriters, mustard colored couches, chairs with a sense of minimalism, lamps and photographs.

Another boutique at POP Marché is Terrarium, which makes unique jewelry featuring miniature terrariums inside. I made sure to take home a terrarium necklace with me.

Among the vendors is a Delta flight attendant, who brings back her items from the different places she visits on a regular basis. POP Marché also has a lighting design center where you can have a customized chandelier made out of any dining set you have.

Valdespino said more changes are in store for Paris on Ponce, including the opening of a café and the much-anticipated opening of the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail, which runs directly behind the shop.

“Paris on Ponce is all about fostering a community and a good time,” says Valdespino. “Come by and see what we have to offer.”

Paris on Ponce is located at 716 Ponce de Leon Place. For more, visit parisonponce.com.

This article is part of Atlanta INtown’s partnership with the freelance writing class at SCAD-Atlanta. Students are contributing articles, video and photos for our website and social media portals.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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