The storefront at 52 South Main Street beckons with a welcoming, “Hello, come in Madame, Mademoiselle, Monsieur!” vibe. There are stylish chairs from the 1950s, Paris cookbooks, soaps, antique tomes, furniture and mantles, cookies and jellies, jewelry, and at least 200 other items that yell, “City of Light!”
Check out the back garden area with seating for the warm weather, dotted with plant stands, and the 6-foot Eiffel Tower. (There’s even pasta shaped like the iconic landmark!)
Paris Street Market owner Gale Scaglia has transformed her space into a shop you want to linger in, well, most of the day. It’s a nice escape from crabby husbands, bosses and kids. Plus, Scaglia has stories.
“I’d always hear my grandmother, Marcella, who was born in Paris, talk about my great-grandfather Ambrogio Comazzi,” she said of Comazzi, who was born in Milan. “He married Bertha Melric from Paris, traveled around Italy and France and wrote music for the carousels. I didn’t think that was a profitable job until I traveled to France and Italy and saw the carousels in every park and piazza there.”
Carousels began emerging in the 18th century and the ones in Europe are colorful confections, in most open plazas.
“When I saw one, I would remain in a piazza for a half-hour,” Scaglia said of her trips. “It was very moving to me that he would do this.”
Visiting small European shops, experiencing the friendliness of the owners and their hospitality was another push for her store. “I’ve always been an antiquer,” she said. “When I was married, we’d go to antique car shows. And I like items that have a personality, a story. “I shop daily and like old things.”
Scaglia sat on a substantial carved stool made of mango wood—there were two—in front of a table, a former front door set on two wine barrels. V
ases of clear glass filled with roses, snapdragons, sunflowers and baby’s breath were placed in front. Nearby was a light-green dresser from the 1800s with fleur de lis details. Next to it was another 19th-century furniture piece, a desk with inlaid marble. “These are French opera glasses from 1892,” she said, picking up exquisite mother-of-pearl binoculars, if you will, used to peer at performers from a distance.
There was even a dainty Limoges card holder.
It’s a second go-round for Scaglia, a Long Island Rail Road retiree, who had a storefront at 12 Main Street that opened in 2014. “I closed it after a couple of years to help out family with childcare,” she said.
Scaglia has lived in Sayville for 42 years.
She’s worked at Cottage & Company in the former space where The Chocolatier is now located and is a real estate agent for Pat Kassten Realty. “Many customers from Cottage & Company remember me and I have other antiquers look out for me,” she said.
“I do a lot of estate deals from my real estate sales,” she said. “It’s their grandmother’s house and their treasures.”
This shop owner has a warm, engaging personality that’s like a comfort hug. Her wares are even almost like family members.
“Everything I sell, it’s hard for me,” she admits of her affection for her pieces, “but then it gives me the opportunity to hunt for more.”
Instagram and Facebook were kept up after she closed her store. Then she stocked items in her house for an online presence. She opened her storefront again last fall.
A special event was hosted the week before Mother’s Day; she even stayed open on Sunday for those still perusing for the perfect mom gift.
“My son said, ‘Why do you want to do this?’” And I said, ‘It’s because I want to see people, it’s my social life.’ And I knew this space had good mojo [magic charm].”
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