Monday, June 22, 2009

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market

I love vintage for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it goes with the three principles of being green. Reduce, recycle and reuse. And I would like to add reinvent as well. Mixing and matching vintage fashion and accessories is so much fun and it reinvents the concept of fashion.

Secondly, you never know what you will find, in terms of decade and history. Vintage stuff has lots of character and keeps you guessing.

Thirdly, things from the past are made to last. They don’t self destruct or wear and tear that easily. A year back, I found a couple of boxy vintage bags with the “made in USA” tag, faded but still obvious. They were very well made and the previous owners obviously took care of it well.

And once, I found a beautiful baby blue Samsonite hand luggage that looks like it could go on for a few more decades. I wonder how many can still recall the old Samsonite ad that had a herd of bulls running over their luggage. The luggage was still intact and sturdy. If there is any ad that promises what it delivers, it had to be that classic Samsonite one.

Fourthly, a vintage piece is truly of its kind. The possibility of finding a similar version is very slim. And vintage clothes will never make it to the celebrity section of “ Who wore it better ? “ For all the money that celebrities have, they still run the risk of running into another celebrity wearing the same designer togs.

In New York, my favourite vintage salvaging place is Hell’s Kitchen flea market. Located near the Port Authority Bus Terminal way (39th street at 9th Avenue), it is held only on Saturdays and Sundays. It is not named after the infamous Gordon Ramsey and his restaurant, though there is a little café called Hell’s Kitchen next to it. On a good day, there are around 20 stalls here and over at one of the bigger stalls are Tony and his wife. He is boisterous in his Italian ways and his wife Janet is charming in a very Cher (Do you believe in Love) way. This couple has the most extensive selection of vintage bags, shoes, hats and brooches and I have found quite a number of treasures here.

Heard that there is a much bigger flea market at Los Angeles near Rose Bowl. If I do get the chance to visit LA, I would like to check that out.

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