December 5, 2008

Christmas Shopping Around the World (World flea markets)

Christmas Shopping list…or how to tease the Santa

Gifts for any occasion:

Just another way to send the artsy message, visit:

Be adventurous, be creative – head to the flea markets where you’ll find a great variety of everything – from first editions of the War and Peace to the original Coco Chanel tote, from antiques and vintage to pre-war photographs and unique table games (forget Scrabble and Monopoly.)

(This is my flea market experience near the Castles in Chateaux de la Loire in France, 2005. To see more photos from the flea market, visit my "flea market" album on the right hand side of the blog.)

My flea market favorites so far are the ones in New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Moscow - the things you can find there are beyond the imaginary. Just a few days ago I happened to stumble over a flea store in Barcelona, I call it a store not a market, because it was a store, only it resembled a very antique market. Piles of old metal boxes with Flamenco drawings, old paintings of Barcelona seaside, pre-war telephone and radio apparatuses, and photos, photos of all the Catholic saints and popes one can only imagine. I was very tempted to grab something, but then I thought - what if they still have the "black death" plague on them? Of course, it's unlikely, but if you saw the conditions of Spanish public bathrooms, you would understand my stand point on being choosy what is ok to get hands on in Europe...and what needs to be left alone to gather more dust.

Locations of flea markets around the world:

New York - Annex Antique Fair & Flea Market, 6th Avenue from 24th to 27th St, Sat-Sun, Sunrise to Sunset. All you can find at $1.00 admission fee: furniture, Decorations, Jewelry, Clothing, Silver, and Works of Art. + SOHO & NOHO have their own flea markets: Soho Antiques Fair, Grand Street and Broadway, Sat-Sun, 9am-5pm - antiques and crafts, leather jackets and lots of random stuff; Noho Market, Broadway and West 4th St. Open 7 days a week - clothing and jewelry, along with tapes, sunglasses, bongs, etc.

Los Angeles1001 Rose Bowl Drive. Scour a football field’s worth of one-of-a-kind treasures, and remember, this market is held only on the 2nd Sunday of every month.

Montréal - Marche aux Puces st-Michel, corner of St. Michel & Cremazie, Fri-Sun, 9am-5pm. 2 Floors with 60 vendors offering antiques & collectibles, books, clothing, crafts, furniture, jewelry, stamps/coins, toys, vintage phonographs, gramophones, records and used merchandise.

Portland - Barr's Flea Market, 1225 N. Marine Drive, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm. Indoor market with a good selection of antiques, collectibles, primitives, crafts, coins, new merchandise, housewares, electronics, sportswear, and sports related merchandise. Good selection of Pacific Northwest, Indian & Eskimo items and artifacts. Springer's Flea Market, 183000 SE Richey. If you are willing to pay the admission to shop for new and used merchandise, clothing, electronics, children’s items, art, prints, books, collector lines, decorator items. But again, there are 10 flea markets to choose from. For a small city like Portland, it is pretty outrageous, which means – the Oregonians have accumulated “antique trash” more than any other cities.

Dallas - Kleberg Flea Market, 13939 C F Hawn Fwy. One of many!

Rome - Mercato Andrea Doria, Via Andrea Doria, Mon-Sat, 7am-1pm. Apart from the magnificent displays of fruit and vegetables, it has numerous stalls selling meat, poultry, fish and groceries, as well as an interesting clothes and shoe section. Situated northwest of the Vatican Museums, it is a little off the normal beaten track and has remained very much a Roman market that caters for the needs of the large local population. Campo de' Fiori, Piazza Campo de' Fiori, Mon-Sat, 7am-1:30pm. Right in the heart of the old city, Rome's most picturesque market is also its most historical. Every morning, except Sunday, the piazza is transformed by an array of stalls selling colorful fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry and fish. One or two stalls specialize in pulses, rice, dried fruit and nuts and there are also flower stalls situated near the fountain. But the huge open baskets of ready-stripped broccoli and spinach, chopped vegetables for minestrone and freshly prepared green salad mixes are the main attraction for visitors. They provide a real visual display as well as an edible feast. Mercato delle Stampe, Largo della Fontanella di Borghese, Mon-Sa, 7am-1pm. This market is a veritable haven for lovers of old prints, books (both genuine antiquarian and less-exalted second-hand), maga­zines and other printed ephemera. Italian-speaking collectors can enjoy a field day leafing through back issues of specialist magazines. Other visitors might prefer the wonderful selection of illustrated art books and old prints of Rome.

ParisSt-Ouen Marche aux Puces de St-Ouen, rue des Rosiers, Sat-Mon 9am-6pm. Extending across 15 acres, the largest of Parisian flea markets, it has some 2,500 dealers sell antiques, artwork, furniture, books, jewelry, and other odds & ends.

London - Bermondsey, London Bridge (Northern/Jubilee), Fri. Antiques market, famous for once being where thieves could sell their goods with impunity (a royal license meant that stolen goods bought here did not have to be returned). Come here early in the morning (from 4am!) for the best bargains, bring a torch. North of the market, along Bermondsey Street there are huge warehouses full of antiques that keep the same hours, but they are slowly being bought out and converted to lofts. Most of them will ship worldwide. Borough, fruit wholesale, Mon – Fri, 4am-8am. Farmers' Market 12pm-5pm Fri, 10am-4pm Sat. One of London's trendiest markets, mainly for its unspoilt Victorian architecture and its location in 'Booming Borough' under the railway as it leaves London Bridge Station. A film location manager's dream, there's rarely a month when a film isn't being shot here it seems (eg. Bridget Jones, Richard III....). Camden Market, Camden or Chalk Farm. Camden Market is one of London's top attractions. It's a young place, but somehow seems to bring out the youngster in everyone. Virtually everything is on sale here, clothing, music, antiques, collectibles, ethnic art, rugs, food and drink. It does tend to get a bit crowded on Sundays, and you could think yourself back in the swinging sixties. Very mixed quality of goods on offer but there are real bargains to be found, such as African art and Arabian rugs. Recently it's become a haven for emerging fashion designers - the 'latest' club wear (yawn) is to be found here. Greenwich Market, Cutty Sark / Island Gardens (Docklands Large), Sat-Sun. Sprawling series of markets selling antiques, arts & crafts, clothing, books. More of an attraction than a serious market. Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill Gate (Central, Circle). If you're after something special you'll find it here - remember to haggle. The South end of the street is mainly antiques, the middle is vegetables, and the end bric-a-brac. As it's held in ultra-fashionable and expensive Notting Hill it's also great for just hanging out. You’ve got to love the Brits!

Vienna – If you are traveling to Vienna, Austria, you might as well stop by one of the Vienna’s famous flea markets located behind the Naschmarkt.

Berlin - The usual stock of second hand books, clothing, records and bric-a-brac which you would expect to find at flea markets across the world, keep an eye out for Russian icons, or freshly pickled Spreewald gherkins and if you want to try out some authentic German leather shorts (Lederhosen). Straße des 17 Juni, Sat-Sun, 11am-5pm. One of Berlin's biggest and most touristy. A bustling and fashionable market with a variety of stalls selling everything from fancy buttons and a variety of hand-crafted items to funky second hand clothes, jewelry and records. Arkonaplatz, Sun, 10am-6pm. Come here to browse among stalls offering a range of clothing, brick-a-brack and furniture or find yourself a sunny spot in one of Arkonaplatz's cafes and watch Berlin´s alternative crowd do their thing. Check out the stands toward the back: some nice 70s lamps and other lounge accessories. Boghagener Platz, this flea market is a gem! Expect to find older folk peddling relics of communist suburbia along side members of a younger generation with not-quite-hip-enough personal effects to dispose of.

Moscow - Izmailovsky flea market, Metro station Partizanskaya, Sat-Sun 9am-6pm, but it's best to get here early You could easily spend a whole day at Moscow's Izmailovsky Park, with its reasonably priced souvenirs, handicrafts, used books, and such Soviet memorabilia as authentic army belts and gas masks. Be sure to wrangle over prices: bargaining is expected here.

Amsterdam - Waterlooplein flea market, Waterlooplein, just at the top of Nieuwmarkt, Fri 9am-5.30pm; Sat 8.30am–5.30pm. The main flea market in Amsterdam with around 200-300 stalls selling a huge collection of everything from general bric-a-brac, CDs, DVD's, electric appliances, to large furniture, spray paint and a huge amount of second-hand clothing with a lot of new goods also. Albert Cuypmarkt, Mon-Sat 9am-5pm. Amsterdam’s largest and biggest market specializing in general goods, a lot of food produce, exotic herbs and spices, new and used furniture, material for clothes, dresses and curtains, free range of organic fruit & veggies and more. Art Markets Amsterdam, Sun only. Various Amsterdam artists present and sell their works here. If you want to bring home some affordable art from Dutch painters this is your change. Dappermarkt, Mon-Sat, 9am-4pm. Amsterdam’s cheapest market that allows to get a glimpse of Amsterdam's Middle Eastern and North African communities. Dig through the piles of useful, useless, and stuff which even your mother would not wear all at staggeringly low prices. You will find everything from pharmaceuticals and stockings to fresh fruit and peanuts, it's worth a look if you have nothing else to do or you really like markets.

1 comment:

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