Last Sunday, rather than the usual ballgame crowds, a different kind of fanatic filled L.A.'s Dodger Stadium parking lot. Shopaholics of all stripes came out to see the goods at the city's new monthly antiques, arts, food, and new-merchandise event, the L.A. Flea Market.
Just as eclectic as the cast of visitors hailing from throughout the L.A. area, the finds ranged from vintage Dior sunglasses to homemade face scrub. Among the 460 booths, I spied items from nearly every decade—shiny, industrial Emerson Jr. fans from the '20s and '30s, '70s costume jewelry, '50s filing cabinets. An entire aisle of Salvation Army outlets from the city's suburbs got their own area in a showcase that's planned to be an annual event.
When asked what attracted them to this particular market over landmark bazaars like the Rose Bowl and the Melrose Trading Post, vendors said the central location brought out more people. Christian Garcia, who sold a slew of orange and yellow Pyrex casserole dishes from the '50s, '60s and '70s earlier that day, pointed out that to his surprise many of the patrons were younger, lending a fresh vibe.
Envisioning the market as "Fred Segal meets Coachella" according to the L.A. Times, organizer Phillip Dane means it quite literally. Within distance of a shark-shaped kid's bounce house, a stage hosted a line-up of local bands and it will be a permanent feature of the L.A. Flea Market. Like NYC's Brooklyn Flea and Hester Street Fair, the goal is to provide multiple experiences in one go, with places to grab a bite to eat being one of the biggest draws.
Thanks to L.A.'s booming food truck scene, 20 gourmet trucks replaced traditional tents. Parked in a half-circle to one side of the booths, the set-up created an impromptu food court—naturally as popular as the merchandise booths if not more.
Admission to the L.A. Flea Market starts at $5 for general and $25 for VIP, which includes valet parking and help carrying purchases to the car. The next one will take place on 29 August 2010, check the site for more info.
Top photo by lazylosangeles