LBC Style: Flea Market Finds

Flea Market Sundays. Where else can you see all this mess and get excited?


I deeply appreciate vintage collectibles and antiques. Flea markets offer a centralized spot to discover treasures dear to my heart. Honestly, I dream to one day take my purchase to Antique Roadshow and end up as the shining star with the most valuable item featured at the end of the episode. I am always hunting for flea markets/antique locations from Monterey to Brooklyn to London. Locally, everyone knows the famous Rose Bowl Flea Market but I just recently discovered the greatness of the smaller Long Beach Antique Market.

I heard that most of the vendors at the famous Rose Bowl Flea Market can also be found at the Long Beach site but with much more affordable prices. Hold up. Less expense and less heat compared to Pasadena? I had to check it out for myself. Not only did the Long Beach Antique Market offer better deals but also a dose of renewed inspiration and reflection.

Should have saved those toys.

Need a Cabbage Patch Kid?

What is about flea markets that make you wish you kept all your toys growing up? Remember that out of date world globe from elementary school you threw away? That now trendy Pinterest worthy item is selling at the flea market for a minimum of $45. Every time you grew up is being sold at some flea market, somewhere. I even found this vendor selling multiple Cabbage Patch Kid dolls.

[Side story: I remember my childhood   Christmas when Cabbage Patch Kids were flying off the shelf. The doll was THE toy to get under the tree. I wonder if my parents, somewhat new immigrants at the time, understood the Cabbage Patch Kid craze in it entirety because I received a Cabbage Patch Preemie doll that year instead of the toddler age one with cute clothes. I bet Toys-R -Us sold out of CPKs and preemies were all that was left the night before Christmas. I had to wait until after Christmas to get the adoption papers for my own Cabbage Patch Kid named Skippy.]

People collect some “interesting” stuff.

This isn’t scary to some people but it creeps me out just a little bit.

I love looking through other people’s collectibles ranging from creepy dolls, camera neck straps, tea sets to old ironing boards. Even better is when I find another kindred spirit who collects something I too collect such as postcards. Flea markets vendors assure you that someone else in the world also (strangely?) saved those tape decks from the 80’s.

I love school furniture.

Where’s my Trapper Keeper? Oh. Under my seat.

I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with school desks, lockers and anything that reminds me of my high school chemistry lab. The nostalgia feeling gets me every time I come across such an item. Lately, I’ve found a growing number of school maps and other school theme collectibles. In these days where everything is digital and kids learn advanced technology at kindergarten, it is really nice to conjure the basic simple life rooted in my third grade memories.

I want to share and hear stories.

Mr. and Mrs. Groom had these chairs… and a dog that chased me.

As you walk down the many aisles of the flea market, it is amazing how small or large items can trigger an instant memory and ultimately a longer conversation. While wandering around the flea market I heard about PacMan and Star Wars sheet sets; I shared how a particular set of lawn chairs reminded me of my Westchester neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Groom; I explained my dreams of winning big in a game of Bingo; I expressed regret getting rid of that antique vanity now selling for $250. If you want to learn about a person, just walk the aisles of a flea market together and share with each other.

No Lemonade.

Long Beach flea doesn’t sell that tasty $6+ lemonade found at Pasadena but you can buy beer, walk around with that beer and buy yourself a hockey stick or a 1950’s working stove.

IMG_4459Long Beach Antique Market takes places every third Sunday of the month at Long Beach City College: Veteran Memorial Stadium


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