Who doesn’t love a good deal? We all do! But at what point does the time, effort and patience to find a gem among ordinary stones become just too much?
Recently, I tested my deal patience by scouring Los Angeles’ flea markets. They’re a big deal here – a customary shopping event, even. And what I discovered is that the “deal” is just the icing on the cake. The real reason you wake your ass up at 6am on a Sunday is to be inspired by both old treasures and new interpretations, and to absorb the creativity of your fellow flea-ers.
Over the past few months I’ve flea-ed at both the famous Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market and the lesser-known, but still treasure-packed Long Beach Flea Market. I’m not going to lie – there’s a lot of crap. Like a garage sale on crack. From old doll heads to vintage, worthless tchotchkes to used lingerie (eww) and a myriad of other frivolous, purposeless, well-used stuff.
But the hours of weaving in and out of vendor-carved walkways can prove to be fruitful. The markets abound with vintage denim delights like cutoff shorts and jackets, old bottles (I’m using some as vases), Navajo-inspired and re-purposed handbags (so on trend), vintage tees (yes, that’s a photo of a “New Kids On The Block” tee below), and, of course, the requisite flea-find: sunglasses. Jewelry – both new and old – is a prominent flea find, particularly bangles, pearls and broaches. The fur coats and accessories tell a story, not like the new fur that is so contrived and controversial. And, the housewares are unique and affordable (check out that cow hide table with tusk legs below!).
We’ll have to see if my flea-spree will last. In the meantime, I need to determine what I “need” so next time I’m feeling overwhelmed by the copious crap, I can zero in on that perfect deal.
Thanks to my dear friend, Megan Schultz for snapping some shots of our recent flea market experience.