southern california is is a great place to buy vintage - flea markets abound, and there are so many it can be hard to keep track! here's a rundown of the rotating schedule of the best los angeles flea markets:
- pasadena city college - first sunday of every month. no admission fee, and i hear this is one of the most affordable and accessible of all - lots of local rose bowl vendors come to this, with lower prices. many l.a. locals prefer this market.
- rose bowl - the second sunday of the month. admission $20 between 5am and 7am, $15 betweeen 7am and 8am, $10 between 8am and 9am, and regular admission begins at 9am, at $7. free parking. everyone's heard of the rose bowl... the market lasts until about 3pm, when the prices get lower and everyone is just trying to get rid of things - that's when you can get some great deals. it's huge, so wear comfortable shoes!
- long beach antique and collectible market - third sunday of every month. held at veteran's stadium, this is another enormous one to tackle. admission is $10 from 5:30 am to 6:30 am, and $5 from 6:30am to 3pm. same principle as the rose bowl, and as at any flea market - the later it gets, the cheaper things are.
- santa monica antique and collectible market - fourth and fifth sunday of every month. admission is $7 from 6am to 8am, and $5 after 8am - location is the santa monica airport. this one, i have heard, is on the pricier side - loads of high-end antiques and serious collectibles.
- the bustamante shows - an almost-monthly antique and collectible book fair in varying locations, generally around pasadena or santa monica.
... and here are some l.a. area markets that are held weekly:
- melrose trading post - every sunday, $2 admission. held at fairfax high school, on the corner of melrose and fairfax, the profits from this weekly show actualy benefit the school district! it's a nice manageable size, perfect for a casual browse. great vintage clothes - keep an eye out for shareen.
- peddler on the roof - less vintage, more crafts - and throw in some local "fashion designers", as well... eek. i haven't been to this, so be warned - this could be questionable. 10am - 4pm, the first saturday of every month, admission is $3 with free parking. held at the top of the parking structure at the sunset gower studios.
- roadium in torrance / redondo beach - open daily, from 7am to 4pm. i haven't been to this one either, but it seems like there is a lot of new stuff mixed in with the vintage items. admission varies from $.50 to $1.50. weekdays are geared towards vintage and collectibles, with wednesday being the best day to go, i have heard. weekends are primarily focused on new items.
- san bernardino outdoor market - from the same people that put together the rose bowl every month, this one is held every sunday. admission and parking is free. lots of new stuff, unfortunately, cuts the focus of the market.
here are some other general flea market links:
- an article on some of rachel ashwell's favorite flea markets. who doesn't want to know where the instigator of the whole shabby chic phenomenon shops?
- good housekeeping's top ten flea markets, nationwide. how did i live on the east coast for 4 years and never make it to brimfield?
- fleamarketguide.com - a comprehensive listing of flea markets across the country.
- a yahoo guide to "collecting events".
- openair.org - this gets pretty global, which is interesting... it sort of seems like someone's graduate thesis project, or something. the site promotes outdoor markets of every kind (flea, farmer's, souks, etc.) and discusses the economic and social roles these markets play in society. not as user-friendly as i wish, but check out the archives and links.
- even more listings of california flea markets.