Entries in flea market (4)


It's Here! Meet "Flea Market Fabulous."

During the summer and autumn of last year, I had the great honor of helping Lara Spencer--anchor on "Good Morning America" and host of "Flea Market Flip"--write her second book. It's called "Flea Market Fabulous" and it's just out today! Check it out here and in bookstores.

Last night, Jonathan Adler (who wrote the book's adorably colorful intro) hosted a party for Lara in his Soho studio. It was the first time I saw the printed book in action. Kind of surreal...

Also surreal: getting to watch Lara spread the word in various media outlets. So far, I've seen the cover on GMA as well as "Live! with Kelly and Michael" and "The View," and it's been featured everywhere from People and Redbook to Domino and Domaine. It's this project we poured our little hearts into for a long time, suddenly come to life, like magic, in front of lots and lots of people. Lottttttttts of people.

It was a meaningful, super creative (and in some ways, very intimate--we spent lots of time together!) experience with talented people: Lara, plus designer Jen Chu, photographer ChiChi Ubiña, editor Dervla Kelly, plus teams of amazing folks, from Lara's "Flea Market Flip"/"I Brake For Yard Sales" cast and crew to everyone at the publisher and even to Lara's sweet family. A real team effort.

Gosh, we hope you like it. Let me know!

And P.S. before you ask (because everyone does), here's the real scoop: yes, she is as nice as she seems. No, she wasn't a diva (not even close). Yes, her house is awesome. Hell yes, it's fun to follow her around a flea market. And no, she didn't phone anything in, ever; she really might be the hardest-working person I know.

I'm proud to be part of such a personal project. Lots of love injected in those pages! Please keep an eye out for the book wherever you are. And be on the lookout for possible future collaborations. (Paris fleas, anyone?)


A Sunday stroll at Clignancourt

My wider-angle lens might be down, but that didn't keep me from slapping on my slightly-less-user-friendly-but-still-very-pretty 50mm and sneaking around taking pics through the Marché aux Puces St.-Ouen de Clignancourt yesterday. The flea market is the world's largest, full of winding alleyways, hidden gems, and stall after stall of "man, I wish I could afford to ship that home" kind of stuff. During my time here, I'll be hitting lots of the city's fleas and yard sales, but I can already tell I'll be back several more times to this particular "puce."

Most of my visit was spent simply wandering around and breathing it all in. And my favorite part had nothing to do with anything I did or did not buy. Around noontime, several of the vendors casually started placing napkins, silverware, the occasional tablecloth, and bottles of wine on a few of the tables for sale in their stalls. Chairs were methodically pulled up, and soon, those tables were surrounded by friends taking a lunch break together after a long morning of selling wares. It was slow and purposeful and warm--familiar faces sharing bread and tall tales on a Sunday. They'll probably do it all over again next weekend. I'm looking forward to finding out.



Holes in Things

After scoring this varsity letter at the Golden Nugget flea, I found myself sifting through a dusty box of old photographs. Nothing really struck me (it was mostly pics of Persian rugs and sculpture, perhaps from an archive at a museum) until I came across this photo.

It stopped me in my tracks. On the back, it had a big official-looking stamp: "Nuclear Tests, Nevada, 1962."

I got home, did a little research, and figured out that it's the Sedan Crater at the Nevada Test Site near Area 51. I got it for a buck.

It's terrifying and beautiful all at once. I just can't stop thinking about it.


DIY Varsity Letter Art

The book I've been collaborating on over the past few months has to do, in part, with flea markets and home design. And that means I spent much of my summertime browsing the aisles and bins of fleas in the tri-state area. (It's been heavenly.)

Seeing as how I live in 475 square feet of space, however, I am not able to take advantage of most of the deals I come across; there simply is no extra room. Except apparently when it comes to art. If the stash I've been accumulating lately is any indicator, I have no problem with the idea of purchasing something I can later frame and hang -- like this varsity letter I unearthed at the Golden Nugget in Buck's County, PA, while visiting my friend Danny (himself a flea expert).

I've been collecting A's for around 15 years at this point, so am a bit overloaded on the letter, to be honest. But this little treasure was one of a kind and only $1. It reminded me of pennants I'd seen framed at the Boat House in Lambertville, NJ. Plus, I liked that it has a history: it's probably from an old-timey letterman jacket worn by some jock with a greasy pompadour and a comb in his back pocket. (Or whatever. Just let me dream my Danny Zuko dream, okay?)

Danny (Seo, not Zuko) (although I am pretty sure Seo could rock a pompadour much better, if he wanted) advised that I put it in the freezer overnight, just in case its fabric contained dust mites. When I was in the clear (whew!) (and gross!), I mounted it on a piece of $1 hot-pink felt. I cut the felt to the size of a $10 Ikea Ribba frame, and then used similar colored thread to sew the letter to the felt. To keep it stabilized, I also stitched the felt to the frame's paperboard mat.

For a grand total of 12 whole dollars, I now have a new letter for my collection that sits and cheers me on at my desk. (I need all the help I can get, really.) Cute, right?

Oh! And P.S. This where I insert a "tell me about it, stud" joke. You're welcome. xo