Local Adventure: Rose Bowl Flea Market

RoseBowlFlea

I’m the first to admit that I’m prejudice: the minute I hear “flea market,” I can’t help but think chintzy, cheesy, and dirty. I mean, the word “flea” really doesn’t help things out when it comes to appealing descriptions.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been meaning to go the Rose Bowl Flea Market but, despite my best efforts, never seem to get around to it. That is until a few weeks ago. I convinced my sister, aka my local adventure partner-in-crime, to make an early day of flea market hunting. I’d like to say I have tons of experience at this kind of stuff, that I know my top-notch from my not-so-top-notch, and that I bargin with the best of them. But, the truth is, I’m still getting a handle on all that.

Which is ironic because, when I lived abroad, I would bargin for every item at the farmer’s market from an extra slice of prosciutto to a better deal on the loaf of bread. What can I say? Maybe it just seems easier to do in a language that isn’t mine — to be brash that is. No matter the reason, the reality is that I went to the Rose Bowl Flea Market I was more of an observer than a buyer. Even so, I scoped some items that I’m hoping to snag at the next market, which is this coming Sunday, March 11th for those who live in the area.

Car Stall at Rose Bowl Flea Market
Car Stall at Rose Bowl Flea Market

Practical meets creative at this car-cum-seller’s booth.  While I wasn’t all that into the Mother Goose paintings and other stuff he was selling, I loved that he just popped the trunk for  his “booth” set up.

Vintage Bakelite Flatware
Vintage Bakelite

Do you love Bakelite as much as I do? I have a small obsession with everything in the yellow family because it fades over time into all sorts of shades of mustard yellow. I have a carving set similar to this one but seriously contemplated getting a second, because in my opinion, a girl can never have too much Bakelite.

Vintage Fork Sets
Vintage Fork Sets

Vintage forks are one of those things I can never seem to look past. Of all the vintage flatware that I have, there’s a disproportionate amount of forks. Maybe it’s because the architecture of the fork lends itself to so much more variation than a spoon or a knife. Or maybe I just have a thing for forks.

Silver-Plated Flatware
Silver-Plated Flatware

Fork obsession or not, I still searched through table after table of all sorts of flatware. I found a few treasures at this table where full matching (!) sets were for sale.

Danish Dinnerware Set
Danish Dinnerware Set

The simple, modern lines of this gold-tinged Danish dinner ware drew me in. It reminds me of some of the pieces I saw a few months ago at the California Design exhibit. I could totally see myself using these — if only I had the space to host a dinner party.

Glass bottles
Glass bottles

Glass bottles are so mysterious, aren’t they? I look at them and feel like each one has a story to tell. These faceted bottles have an airyness about them that I’m especially drawn to ever since I was around all that seaglass while house sitting in Hawaii.

Salt Shaker Chess Pieces
Salt Shaker Chess Pieces

This is not at all my style but I love the playfulness of this idea. I think I’d rather the salt and pepper shakers we’re filled with something else like different salt blends. That way you could have a salt chess set near the dinner table as a sort of exotic salt and pepper sideboard. See where I’m going with this?

Mid-century toaster
Mid-century toaster

Look at the lines on this baby! It has sleek art deco details that remind me of the 1920s apartment buildings on my favorite L.A. street, Rossmore Avenue. I have always longed to live in one of those art deco buildings but it hasn’t  happened — yet. I’m thinking this toaster could fill that art deco void in the meantime.

Vintage Lace Napkins
Vintage Lace Napkins

We don’t have much vintage in my family because we’ve all moved around too much to keep heirloom items. I think that’s why old lace is all that more intriguing to me — it’s someones past in a piece of fabric. I don’t care for the ornate, overly-detailed lace I normally find but really like the simplicity of this pattern.

Indian print tablecloth
Indian print tablecloth

On the tail end of our trip, I stumbled upon this booth of tablecloths made with Indian-inspired prints. Ever since I traveled there a few years ago, I’ve been drawn to any block-printed fabrics from there. This lady had visited India and brought back some fabrics that she was selling at the Rose Bowl. I got a few and you’ll be seeing them in future photos, I’m sure.

Indian Block Print
Indian Block Print

This is one of the block prints that she uses for making her fabrics. I’m jealous because, in my alternate life, I would indulge in crafts like block printing.

Driftwood desk
Driftwood desk

I’ve been on the lookout for a new office desk for our place and though this table wouldn”t work, I was in love with it. This whole booth was made from reclaimed wood and junk construction pieces that were cobbled together to make desks, coffee tables, and all sorts of funky furnishings.

I was going to ask more about it but my sister distracted me when Nicole Richie rolled up next to us with bags full of awesome finds. I’m now convinced that I should head back to Rose Bowl Flea Market her in tow because clearly she’s a much better haggler than either of us are!

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