I guess you could say I’m more scavenger than shopper: nothing gets me more motivated than a pile of junk that could potentially house a one-of-a-kind find (I treat Los Angeles in the same way). So when it comes to second-hand shops, discount furniture stores and flea markets around and beyond the city, I’m always up for a challenge. But when Sunday morning comes around and I’m looking to wander, rather than scrounge, I can always rely on Melrose Trading Post to provide the perfect alternative.
Located at Fairfax Middle School, this gem of a market is the ideal size for some laid-back Sunday sightseeing. Everything from vintage artwork and clothing to candid vacation pictures of random families, Melrose Trading Post offers just the right amount of everything you could find at larger flea markets like Rose Bowl.
Admission is $2, parking is readily available in the school lot and the market is located in the midst of some of the best shopping in the city (If you get a chance, check out Wasteland a few blocks down on Melrose and Martel.) Okay, go go go!
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Bitten by the Melrose Flea
From fancy to funky to sometimes downright fugly, Melrose Ave. is a shopping mecca for all tastes and budgets. While tourists flock to this famous strip to browse the shops, locals know to show up on Sundays for the landmark Melrose Trading Post—more commonly known as "The Flea"—at Fairfax High School.
Here, you can find hipster clothing necessities like vintage boots, faded tees, handmade dresses, charm jewelry, and an endless rainbow of colored jean shorts. Need to decorate a new apartment? The Flea is a one-stop shop for all types of stained-wood and hand-painted furniture, picture frames, and mirrors. For those final touches and crafts, you can find quirkier items like Bird and Feather's miniature glass terrariums, Mostly Minerals' rocks and gems, and even a pile of old black-and-white photographs of strangers from the past. No matter how random the items they sell, the majority of booths are of a quality that warrants their own storefront boutique.
The Flea is more than a cheap and consolidated way to shop; it is a space to wander through while people watching, expanding your tastes, and stumbling upon items that make you smile: for instance, a map of Winnie the Pooh's Hundred Acre Woods mounted to a piece of wood, which was my most recent takeaway from The Flea. What will yours be?