One thing I love to do when I'm on an urban vacation is to check out the local flea market -- Les Puces in Paris, Camden Markets in London; but now I don't need a passport, let alone a plane ticket, because there's a new market right in L.A. (that isn't quite as much of a trek as the Pasadena Rose Bowl market). The newly-opened L.A. market had its first day today, held at the parking lot at Dodger Stadium. When you arrive at the market, you have the option of free general parking or valet (this is L.A. after all) and entry costs from $5 up to $25 for V.I.P., which grants you valet and access to fancy porta-potties and an exclusive seating area with complimentary soda and water, which was most appreciated on this inaugural day that pushed past 90 degrees.
The main draw for me was the abundance of food trucks (which have become as commonplace in L.A. as paparazzi -- one cruising every block). So I immediately went to check out the offerings and was surprised to see the longest lines were for shaved ice and frozen lemonade (why bother in my opinion); there was Indian, sushi, Mexican, Korean, fried chicken, fusion tacos, Middle Eastern, sandwiches, fries any way you can think and crepes. I settled on spicy shrimp soft tacos with a side of truffle fries (with a drink for $10 total) and was not disappointed. Then it was time to cruise the stalls.
What I wasn't interested in (that you find inevitably at most markets these days) are the crap stalls -- the merchandise that you can get at any cheap store in downtown L.A. like $10 tube dresses and $5 tank tops with Michael Jackson's face emblazoned on them. But amongst the crap stalls were the "real" flea market finds -- the used furniture and records and jewelry. From an antique birdcage to a faux fur fluffy tan jacket to pocket watches that I'd turn into necklaces, there were treasures to uncover. What wowed me most was the furniture -- if I were in the market to furnish a place with unique pieces, this is where I'd go. From an antique gramophone to a shabby chic dresser to turquoise Adirondack chairs, you could put your own stamp on your home decor with a trip to the market. The prices were definitely reasonable and the crowd was enthusiastic, so all in all it seemed like a nice first day for the market and I expect it will grow in popularity as the weeks continue and the sun isn't quite as punishing as it was today.