Ruby Rose's Favorite Fleas

Everyone always wants to know, "where do you find your stuff?"...and truthfully, there is no simple answer to that simple question. We hit the road far and wide: from swamp meets and thrift stores to yard sales and secret spots - but our absolute favorite place to score goods is at the flea market. We've compiled a list of our favorites, put these fleas on your radar:

aka Alameda Point Antiques Faire
When: 1st Sunday of every month
Where: 2900 Navy Way Alameda CA 94501
Prices: 6 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. ($15), 7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m. ($10), 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. ($5)
Details: More than 10,000 visitors visit per month. PER MONTH! 10K! We clearly aren't the only ones that are head over heels for this fabulous flea market. The Alameda Point Antiques Faire is the largest antiques show in Northern California with over 800 dealer booth
s, each selling items that are 20+ years old! It is an antique/junker paradise.Alameda by far is our favorite for the overall experience!The variety of merchandise and the displays are so creative. The food vendors and food trucks are amazing and delicious. Plus, for the loading the truck (my least favorite part) this market provides carts to get the large loads to your car and has an area to pull into to load.


When: 2nd Sunday of every month
Where: 1001 Rose Bowl Drive Pasadena CA 91103
Prices: 5 a.m. - 7 a.m. ($20), 7 a.m, - 8 a.m. ($15), 8 a.m. - 9 a.m. ($10), 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ($8)
Details:A whopping 2,500 vendors and 20,000 buyers flock to the Rose Bowl each month. This famous flea has been happening for the past 45 years and is still going strong. The Rose Bowl Flea has highs and lows for us. It is by far the best for vintage clothing, leather goods and accessories for us, and we can find what we need and what we cannot live without. The front area has some wonderful offerings, if we were shopping as consumers, this would be great, although when trying to buy for a store, we find the loading too great a challenge. The aisles are way too crowded, and loading zones are not friendly and lastly, there are not many food options, so we pack our own. Oh, and lastly, this is a great place for people watching and star sightings! This is a photo of Ty Pennington shot with one of our favorite vendors, uber chic!


aka Long Beach Antique Market
When: 3rd Sunday of every month
Where:4901 E Conant Street Long Beach CA 90808
Prices: 5:30 a.m. - 6:30 a.m. ($12), 6:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. ($6)
Details: "chic, cheap, unique, vintage" is their motto. This is the flea market that started it all for me back in the 80's so it feels so familiar and easy! We love this market for all things vintage, retro, and industrial; and we love our vendors that we have worked hard to build a relationship with here. There are a few clothing vendors, but not as much as other fleas. The loading and navigating the aisles are good; but for food, there aren't a lot of options. 


aka Melrose Trading Post
When: every Sunday at Fairfax (and starting March 15th every Saturday at Taft)
Where:7850 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Prices: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. ($2)
Details: Melrose flea is easy and fun. We come here for clothing and accessories. They have great vintage, art, and trends. It is a small market, but there is great shopping and food all around. And it is only 2 bucks to get in! There is a parking lot and also parking on the street surrounding the market, watch carefully for signs and meters,...we have first hand experience with expensive tickets.

Guest Post by Stacy

Confession time. My name is Stacy and I am the daughter of junkers. Every weekend we were on the road to a flea market, swap meet, antique car show, or some other event where junking was also possible.

My Mom collected California Indian baskets, Navajo rugs and blankets, and pueblo pottery. My Dad collected everything else. Seriously everything. Peddle cars, Buddy L trucks, Ford trucks and cars, slot machines, gas pump heads, enamel advertising signs, black powder rifles, pocket watches with steam trains on the back, and on and on.

autograph

When I moved away to college I didn’t take the junking bug with me, or maybe it was just dormant. I collected floaty pens and books from the art museums that I visited, but not much else. I didn’t really decorate with antiques until I started receiving things from my great grandmother and my grandparents. But still much of that went in to boxes in the garage.

I hung my grandmother’s turkey platter, The Barnyard King. And I love having my great grandmother’s autograph book. The family treasures made me start to appreciate the trips we took, the people we met and the esoteric knowledge that was still lodged in my brain.

barnyard king

My French-made Turkish-style rug was nice but did not compliment my 1930’s Jo Mora Cowboys and Indians prints (from my grandparents garage). I was visiting Mom and asked if she still had the Navajo rugs rolled up in the basement and if she didn’t mind I’d like one for my floor. She had started collecting in the late 1950s and by the early ’90s she was ready to move on. She said I couldn’t have just one, I had to take all that were left. Several trips up and down the basement stairs and the backseat of by vintage Prius was filled with rugs wrapped in brown paper.

Last Sunday after Stephanie and I returned from the Sunset swap meet and our trip to Sally Loo’s I decided to unwrap the rugs and see if there was one I might want in the house. But I wanted all twenty five! Every one I unwrapped was my new favorite.

I narrowed it down to eight on the living room floor and one on a chair. And one in the hall and two in my bedroom. Each one is a work of art and I was having trouble with the idea of walking on them. But Mom said they a made for using and can’t be enjoyed while rolled in brown paper. So I will use them and enjoy.

rugs

I’m sure my brother and I complained about our travels. We wanted a ‘normal’ house with ‘normal ‘furniture from ‘normal’ stores. And maybe even ‘normal’ parents. We were crazy. Thanks for the travels and priceless times Mom and Dad. Now every time I open my front door I remember another junking adventure.

Loading Fun

We talk about shopping at flea markets and the thrill of the hunt. It never gets old--anticipating, arriving, shopping, shopping, and all of the comaderie with vendors and shoppers with like interests. When we go to Alameda, we take the truck and concentrate on furniture and home accessories because, for one, there are unlimited options, and two, the loading of the truck is pretty convenient for two gals. This is where the hard work begins!


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When we get to this not-so-fun part, there are a lot of things to remember to take the stress out of this step.


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1. Notes! It is so important to take good notes. For us, we like to shop row by row. We make purchases and also ask certain vendors if they will hold the large items until the end of the day (which they are always happy to do as this could make or break a sale). We then write a brief list--row, space number, and how much we paid.


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2. Water, water, water...and the Feel Good Bakery! Before we go, Stacy will freeze water bottles so that we have cold water all day to keep hydrated. And the bakery? It does just what it claims, it makes us 'feel good'!!


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3. The collapseable carts are perfect to carry the essentials and to pack all the smalls and breakables in. The more you can fit in these carts, the better. When they are filled, we take the booty to the car to unload, then enter again by showing our stamped hand. We are then ready for more!


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4. When it is time to pick up the BIG items, we head to the loading area and pick up a cart. There are all different sizes and it is important to pick the proper size (it is so frustrating to wait for a cart only to see that someone is rolling away with one that only has a few items on it). On this particular trip, we had our list and loaded row by row.


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5. Once all our purchases are picked up, we head back to the loading zone. One of us will then pick up our vehicle and head back to "the zone". One of the nice "loader men" will usually flag us in, or have you wait until a space is available. Once we get a spot, we bring our load to the car and start loading. And now for the awesome part...if you need, these nice men will actually help you load! We make sure to tip them accordingly. On this trip, because there was a lot, we tipped ten bucks. He was so grateful and made an extra effort to see that everything was secure and tied down. The way I see it, ten dollars is worth it--so that my husband will not be irritated at me that I bought that last piece!


Basically, regardless of what everyone else is doing, use your manners, ask for help, and the whole experience can be totally fun! Happy Flea Marketing!


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