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Flea Day: Long Beach — 5th Sunday

November 4, 2010

Great opener

I love the every-third-Sunday Long Beach Flea Market. It’s satisfying on so many levels that other fleas aren’t. Best of all it never fails to have the stuff … and even if I don’t need anything, (need being a concept that is fluid) there’s always something interesting to see and be inspired by. The special fifth-Sunday flea market this past weekend was like the regular edition, if a little smaller. The vendors had the usual great fare on display, including this OOAK crab table and matching chairs. One of the first things we saw as we got past the entrance, this amazing set epitomizes the unusual type of item that can be found there. There was quite a crowd of people checking out this set, as well as taking photos of it. I don’t recall seeing it again as we went along, so I’m sure it was snapped up. Maybe by a dyed-in-the-wool Cancer, like myself. There was lots to see and, thankfully, the weather was cool enough that we could take our time to see all of it. I’ve grouped vendors selling common items …

Spirit of Africa

AFRICAN ARTS: Selling eye-catching artifacts from their homeland, these African vendors were hard to pass up. Astounding beaded chairs and wall hangings, textiles, masks, jewelry and ceremonial and religious objects, they all had a distinct African spirit and liveliness to them. Countries represented were Mali, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and others … vendors on cell phones speaking in their native languages added a cool touch of authenticity.

Fruits of industry

INDUSTRIAL CHIC: If it was metal, rusted, had lived in a factory in some point, and been worked hard, it was here ready for re-purposing. Cleaned up, bins, tables, stools, carts and even tire rests, could have new lives as family room, kitchen, or outdoor storage; decorative objects, indoors or out; or as art, put on a pedestal and elevated from its former life of drudgery. As seen in my previous post, it’s this type of item that came home with me.

Sit on it

FURNITURE & CHAIRS: If you could sit on it, it was there. And in diverse styles: Modern, mid-century, industrial, and more antique-looking items, all waiting patiently for new owners. My favorites were the slatted teak expandable pieces in the first picture of this group. Perfect weathered color, easy to store, and classically simple, I really regretted not picking them up. They were priced super-well, too: $500 got all the pieces; 2 large chaises, two matching tables … and I probably could’ve used my newfound haggling skills and gotten ’em down more! … **sigh**

So mixed up

THE MIX: No good flea market is without an unexpected mix of items. It’s the way stuff comes off the trucks and out of vendor’s vans; it’s luck; it’s reflective of vendor sensibilities and sometimes the lack thereof. It’s accidental and it’s always perfect and a pleasant surprise. Coming across scenes like the ones above, makes flea marketeering so much fun …

Plant life

PLANTS: Of course, there were plants for sale, too. A couple of my fave succulent vendors didn’t make it out but there was still plenty for juicy-leaf lovers to peruse. Exotic cut flowers and arrangements made an appearance, tillandsia’s dangled from branches, and succulents aired their differences. Not all the plants were living, however, and one vendor offered a huge assortment of botanic plates. The colors produced by their vintage printing methods were gorgeous, and a grouping of these plates would make a striking display.

I wish

REGRETS: The sad thing about flea marketeering is realizing I can’t have everything. And, every time I go there are always things I wish I’d gotten, but because of prudence and/or pragmatism, didn’t. This group is those things; from the top: A surreal lithograph by Margaret Keane, of one of her usual sad, huge-eyed moppets, next to a bizarre wig-head-stand thing. Loved its colors, which would provide the perfect color palette for a teenaged girl’s room. No teenaged girls at my house, so had to let it go. Next, a, let’s say torpedo-shaped, African fetish. Made of wood and bristling with screws, it seemed like some crazy, rustic porcupine from outer space. I already have too many African pieces — in the garage, mostly — moving on … Craft/scrapbook/collage/decoupage materials: bins and buckets of it, in many types of materials, everything you could think of. Much of it I already have. Somewhere. In boxes … Lastly, a cast iron dictionary stand with the most shapely legs ever … and they ended in the tiniest, most improbable wheels. Unfortunately, the only dictionaries Paul and I ever use are on our laptops, so really it would go to waste and end up standing in the garage, in the corner, probably. Oh, well … I hadn’t been to a proper, really good, flea in a while and this one really whetted my appetite for more. I love the stuff I did buy and can’t wait to visit another… In fact, Irvine’s flea is this-coming Sunday …

LONG BEACH FLEA MARKET is monthly, every third Sunday, with special shows as listed. Check their website here. It’s hands-down my favorite flea market!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2010 2:49 pm

    You’re killing me. Why can’t I keep that third-Sunday schedule straight? I thought of you yesterday when I was looking for something to eat during a work lunch break in Santa Fe Springs, drove by an old drive-in that seemed to be having a flea mkt and swung the car in. Within five minutes I had found a huge ceramic timer, chipped but so beautiful, for a buck. It’s sitting on the old Wedgewood stove and looks made for it. And then a manual typewriter in pristine shape. That old rush of adrenaline. I’m making a vow to be at Veterans the third Sunday this month!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 4, 2010 2:57 pm

      Hey, Denise, forgetting happens! Once I invited my family to the LBFlea, did personalized shopping bags for ’em, we left to get there early, and it was the wrong Sunday! Sounds like you found some cool stuff in SFSprings, I’m jealous…

  2. November 4, 2010 4:45 pm

    Long Beach is my favorite flea market, too. Fifth Sundays are great because sometimes new vendors get in who can’t get a space in the regular schedule. My friend and I call them the “rookies”. Love your pictures.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 4, 2010 4:47 pm

      Thanks, Lori, good point about the ‘rookies’, I heard some talking about exactly that while there…

  3. November 5, 2010 3:39 am

    Oh my, I bet all those Bauer boys are still there..I could use a few more ringware vases, preferably the chipped -cheap-o models ! Up here we have Alameda which I have yet to attend. Gardening always gets in the way..maybe this winter during rain break.
    I just can’t believe Denise found anything cool in Santa Fe least the air quality is better this time of year., and it beats Irwindale.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 5, 2010 3:48 am

      Hey, Kathy, I saw one vendor with tons of Bauer lookalikes … I’m surprised at Denise’s SFSprings finds, too… but I shouldn’t be… I know good stuff pops up in unexpected places sometimes!

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