Last Saturday, I had plans to go to 20th Century Cincinnati, but a change in the weather made the roads too doubtful to chance the drive. Alex and I found ourselves in a part of Louisville we’d never been to before and I happened to see a sign for a flea market. I also saw signs for XXX DVD stores and strip clubs, but there seemed to be a lot of people parking and going inside this place despite the bad weather, so I thought we might be onto something. Well…
As I came to understand the nature of where we were, I started to wonder…
When I think of Flea Markets, I think of booths full of antiques, furniture and collectibles sold by people who have a pretty good knowledge of what they are selling. This flea market was one of the unfortunate “new” styles of flea markets. I wouldn’t even call it a “flea market” as much as I would an “indoor garage sale”. The kind of place that sells knock offs, brass knuckles and cheap cell phone accessories.
I have been to several such markets, and I’m not put off by them, but they are not places I’d want to go without my husband. Often, they are the sort of place where you feel like something bad might happen, has happened or will happen again. Being that I was still dressed for 20th Century Cincinnati (we decided against driving to Cincinnati only after we had checked out the roads), I became uncomfortable with the appraising looks I was receiving. In my skinny leg Levi’s, vintage cardigan and boots, I was overdressed to haggle – much less escape notice. I dislike the term, but it’s not uncommon for my husband and I to look like hipsters, so I wasn’t surprised when two young women passed us and I overheard one of them say to the other, “What do they think they’re doing here?” Why, looking for a deal, of course! <insert nervous laughter>
Finally, we found a booth of odds and ends that drew me in with a 1960’s/1970’s decoupaged, wooden box purse. Personally, I don’t care for those, but I figured it was a sign of other vintage items and I was right. Sitting next to the decoupaged purse was this pretty appliqued lucite purse:
I was lucky that this purse didn’t have any damage other than a few missing seed beads because the elderly, bowlegged cowboy who sold it to me began grabbing things from his booth that he deemed to be cracked or broken and started tossing them into a cardboard box. The sound of breaking crockery made everyone nearby nervous. As he grabbed and tossed, he mumbled, “…asked me if I fix things. I don’t fix things! I sell ’em!” Yikes. TIme to move along.
It was easy for Alex and I to make our way through the rest of the building because many of the booths were vacant or full of things we didn’t need. Just the same, if you want a tee shirt with a picture of Marilyn Monroe repping your favorite basketball team, tattooed and throwing up certain hand gestures, I might be able to help you out. Poor Marilyn….
We arrived at the end of the building and discovered several senior citizens set up here (away from the more raucous booths). Love their hearts! They were all grumbling about how little they sell at this venue. Alex said he read somewhere that booth rent for this flea market is $40 per weekend. Although you’re almost guaranteed traffic in a flea market, paying $160 a month to be tucked away somewhere would give me reason to consider moving to one of the antique malls in town.
Do you have any of your own uncomfortable-while-shopping-for-vintage stories? I’d love to hear them! Where wouldn’t you go? Email me your response or comment in the link below.