Saturday, June 29, 2013

Flea Markets

There's something cool about finding old things and giving them a new home. I love books that belonged to someone else first, vintage clothes and jewelry can be really beautiful and chic, and great finds in old furniture can be fun when they're given a fresh coat of paint decorated with your own personal style. As much as I like modern furniture, it just becomes more interesting when you mix it with renewed, classic pieces.

I live near a corner of some pretty unique antique shops. Although I only shop in them on occasion, two places in particular are fun to visit. One carries seasoned, quality items, and the second is almost like an old flea market - which I loved in Europe and on the East Coast. For some strange reason, flea markets are illegal in the city I currently live in. Although there are some great farmer's markets, they will not sell anything other than food and arts and crafts. There is, however, a current movement to change the law. In an article in MPR in April, they were finally moving to repeal it after sixty years.

I admittedly miss flea markets because I love to paint and fix up old pieces. I painted my grandmother's dark, stained corner bookshelf a bright red. I found a great old metal toolbox to hold paints and brushes that is now a weathered blue...and dining room chairs seem to change color when the mood strikes. I also like to paint the frames holding my photography in a unique way to give them a pop of color and more depth.

I recently came across an article on a favorite site, Apartment Therapy, listing some of the best flea markets in the world. In the article, Awesome Flea Markets Across the Globe, it lists some great places to visit when you're traveling:
Do you check out flea markets when you travel or do you travel for flea markets? If you fall into either category, AFAR has a list of 17 awesome flea markets all over the world that are worth a visit:
Since I've yet to visit any of these, consider this my travel bucket list. The top 5 are:
  1. Portobello Road, London, England
  2. Mauerpark Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  3. Jaffa Flea Market, Tel Aviv, Israel
  4. Jeu de Balles, Brussels, Belgium
  5. Bazar el Rastro, Madrid, Spain
Now, granted, for someone who loves to travel and would like to find any excuse to get on a plane...oh, how I miss the days when I flew on buddy passes...these are pretty interesting locations to begin with. 

I'm not into clutter, but I am into interesting finds. Maybe call it an excuse to travel or an excuse to create - or maybe it's the writer in me that just loves how something might have a story. Because you can buy a lot of cool things to reflect your personality, but isn't there just something really special about finding the right piece that brings a little history along with it?