Last weekend I got an itch to go and see. That translates into a need to do something a little different from my routine. I took advantage of the nice weather and headed out to The Flea…
The Flea Market takes over the Nashville State Fairgrounds on the last full weekend of each month. Vendors set up outside and in, offering items ranging from HGTV-inspired décor to hemp-infused tanning oils and everything in between. For me, a day spent wandering the market is always a curiously satisfying mixture of people watching, amusement, discovery, befuddlement and impulse buying (I’m looking at you yams).
The outside vendors primarily cater to the home decorating crowd. Nashville has consistently ranked as a ‘Top 10 Hottest City’ for the past few years and is gaining 100+ new residents each day. The number of houses, condos and apartments being built is staggering, and I am guessing many of these new dwellings are being furnished and decorated with finds from the flea.
I like the outside vendors because there’s less of the ‘shop’ and more of the ‘seek and find’ vibe at play. You can find everything from lovingly restored antique furniture to taxidermy treasures to mountains of old yearbooks, all nestled among outright piles of crap. As George Carlin once famously said, “Have you ever noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff?” There’s a LOT of shit you can explore to end up with some pretty cool stuff!
Much of the art that I create involves repetitions of three (or its multiples). I am drawn to piles of the same thing because I never know when inspiration will strike and I’ll have a sudden need for hundreds of chandelier prisms or patina covered doorknobs.
You could say I am a flea market fan. My all-time favorites include the Cowtown Rodeo and Flea, Porter Flea Market, Rose Bowl Flea Market, and the Highway 127 Corridor yard sale. I am even planning on visiting the Lincoln Mall Road Antique & Collectible Market during my trip to Miami at the end of the month. I love all of the sights, sounds, and smells of a good flea market and look forward to being surprised by something so visually arresting or artfully arranged it’s impossible for me not to stop and look.
Regardless of where you live, anytime weather permits you won’t go wrong spending a few hours, or the day, wandering a good flea. What do you like best about flea markets? Do you have a great flea market in your town? Or any great recipes for LOTS of yams? I’d love to know….