Saturday, June 2, 2012

Brimfield — The mother of all flea markets

I've always wanted to go to a real flea market. (Blame Martha Stewart.) The ones I've been to in Mississippi always tended to be 70% useless craftsy dongxi (a Chines word that means stuff and so much more) and 20% junk and 10% actual antiques.

But the Brimfield Antique Market is like the Mall of America for flea markets. Vendors come from all over the country to sell everything you can think of: glass buttons, vintage clothes, tools, books, postcards, baseball bats... As the largest flea market in America, it also draws every kind of people. There were hipsters, people who carry teacup dogs in their purses, Europeans, Asians. I mean everybody.

The tiny two-lane town of Brimfield, Massachusetts is taken over by this market three times a year. The traffic was cra-cra, but there is enough parking to go around and very reasonably priced.

The main drag of Brimfield is divided into different fields which are open at various times throughout the 3 or 4 day fair. They switch up times so vendors can also shop. Apparently, something sold on day one for $100 could have been resold 3 times by the end of the weekend, doubling and tripling in price as it switches hands. It's all part of the fun.

I went with a limited amount of cash (tip #1: you can't spend more than you bring!) and really sore thighs (tip #2: don't do a ton of lunges and froggers before you plan to drive 4 hours and walk around a flea market all day. S-T-I-F-F.) I have to say, I was giddy. Hundreds of booths with everything possible! Infinite things to find and bargain on.

Some things seemed to be darlings of the fair. Such as metal milk crates (I bought one! Didn't even know I wanted one!). They're really cool. If I could have afforded it, I would have bought at least 4 and set my TV on them and filled them with books...ah next time.

Other purchases-- an old Kodak camera which I could have skipped, some delicate milk glass buttons and a printing block with neat old airplanes on the image.

 I was exhausted by the time I left around 4:00, but it was definitely a fun and overwhelming experience. Anybody want to go in July?

 Creepity creepsicum

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