I am in a constant, perpetual struggle with 2 conflicting personalities inside me. The one who wants a clean, classic, beautiful home, you know, like what it looks like after Queer Eye for the Straight Guy comes over and redoes your home (seriously, where does all the stuff go??), and then the one who has a disturbing, almost addictive obsession with tchotchkes,trinkets, antiques, knick-knacks, whatever you want to call them.
I’m obsessed with flea markets, not that this is unique. My absolute favorite so far is the Elephants Trunk in Milford, CT where I have basically furnished my entire room for about $30. (But more on that on another day and trust me, I have plenty to say. I will be going there in Sept in a joint trip with the Brimfield Antiques show and I am bubbling over with excitement already.) Some are worldwide famous, like the Rose Bowl in LA, that I vow to get to one day. Some are just special, like the one that used to be on 26th and 6th, which is now a condo building that houses a Starbucks, CVS and Hollywood Tanning. I used to go to this one every Sunday with my mom, and I remember perusing each aisle methodically, no trinket left unturned. Unfortunately, she passed this sickness onto me, as I’m the same way. One time she bought me this amazing, vintage Chanel gold, costume jewelry bracelet, and another time I recall a lace, Victorian, vintage top for $10, way, way before you could buy a lace top at every single Forever 21 for $14.80. Back then, that was just a tiny shop in New Jersey malls that only suburb kids knew about. My mom had the original eye for things, and luckily for me, she did pass THAT down.
My dream is to go on a cross country RV trip, scouring the worlds’ greatest flea markets for inspiration. For the lucky few that actually do this for a living, like the old show, Man shops Globe, who worked for Anthropologie, this is a dream job.
One market that I love these days is the Brooklyn Flea in the winter, inside at One Hanson Place. It caters to a creative, and designer/entrepreneur clientele, more, “I wanna be the next—“, and less, “I’m cleaning out my basement today.” I got an amazing piece of art there last Christmas at a vendor called Arthouse. I’d just been talking about the iconic Pepsi Cola L.I.C. sign, so I marked it fate, when suddenly in front of me stood a gigantic, painted canvas of the sign, shown in the perspective of someone looking out FROM L.I.C. It was original, creative, exciting, and well priced, and 2 minutes later.. MINE.
Last Saturday, for the first time, I went to the Summer Brooklyn Flea- an open space, with 2 key words in mind. JUST LOOK. We responsibly walked each aisle, making sure not to miss each vintage shirt, Old Playboy or Life magazine, and every few minutes I would bellow out a so cute, or I want this..waaah.
There were food stands galore with interesting enticements, but I was way too full from my polenta and eggs. In the end, my friend bought a pair of Pearl stud earrings, and I walked away, with my good sense having beaten the battle of temptation…. I might not be so lucky next time.