As far as the eye could possibly see were vintage tables, chairs, lamps, stools, curtains, clothes, pictures, night stands, mirrors, cutlery, glasses, cups, toys, shoes, beds and wardrobes. Yes, ladies and gents this and more is what awaits you at the Rose Bowl Flea Market – or as the hip kids call it – the Market. For there is no other market quite like it. Unique in its kind for the vast quantities of high-end, top quality interiors and merchandise of every shape and size, the Pasadena Flea Market is a location for world-class shopping beholding some of the most beautiful pieces of everything you could imagine, I have ever seen.
From the gargantuan Rose Bowl football stadium a voice booms out of the loudspeakers as you huddle amongst a ton of other mad women and men who have chosen to awake at far too early an hour for a Sunday morning. “Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to the Famous Rose Bowl! The pride of Pasadena!” The voice encircles you and leads your foot into a step back in time. Suddenly you feel as though you were in the early 1900s about to enter the wonderous and mystical circus of the Rose Bowl. What lies before you is a mix of modern, vintage, old and new waiting to be bought, by you.
Memories linger comfortingly around the various possessions that people once had in their sitting room. All of these prized things once had a home, if they could talk they would tell a lengthy tale. As I walked aimlessly amongst a plethora of objects who each seemed to call my name wishing for me to adopt them I felt lost in the buzz of bartering and excitement and trailed down a reminiscent path of what was and what is to be. Suddenly I heard a tune slowly dance it’s way into my mind and as I turned to find the culprit my eyes fell upon the most beautiful record player. Have a listen:
For those who have never been to this gigantic Market go. Remember to arrive early for at around 9:30 am the sun emerges and it burns (my neck turned purple). You meet the most unexpected people such as a lady who looked like a kind troll who made tables, desks, counters, walls out of reclaimed wood. She made the most beautiful things and welded them herself. Her burn marks and cut skin were proof of her toils! My friend Elsita and I stood looking up at her as she towered over us smiling broadly enthusiastically explaining her creations. We bought mason jars and bottles which were according to photographic evidence (!) dug up from people’s gardens. Who drank the Milk of Magnesium from the bottle I bought dated from 1940? Who stored their food or goodness knows what else in the Mason Jars dated 1878?
Sometimes we need a reminder that life goes on. Everything at this Market either once belonged to somebody else or were in fact part of something else. The reclaimed wood tables or benches, (made by the kind looking troll lady) had been made by the wood that once made up her family farm. A part of me was quite saddened by this, and yet as with everything life goes on, things change; this is not a bad thing, it is just the way life goes.
After the Pasadena Market my friend and I went to a modern furniture shop which although pretty was quite a shock to my system. A lamp on a horse? Why of course!
Flea Markets are quite a nostalgic and romantic place. A sort of mysterious and yet cuddly place. They are a place one can let ones imagination run wild as it wonders who once wore a pair of shoes, or played with a toy aeroplane. I had no idea what to expect when my friend invited me to this Market. I never imagined its size nor the experience I was about to have. As we wandered back to the car, past clever ice- cream vendors catching tired shoppers in need of something cold and sugary, I felt a comforting sense of continuity as I re-entered the real world of my daily happenings clutching a bag full of 1920s mason jars. As we got in the car the echo of the loudspeakers hummed a distant tune, re-affirming that life, indeed, is good. Have a listen below- (You may call me corny. I am. Fact) Now enjoy!