Flea Markets, Book Stores, and Thrift Stores Along the Way

Flea Market Finds: Vide Greniers in France

If I got to choose what I would do on my last day, there is a good chance I would ask for three hours at a good flea market on a sunny day with friends, because that is just about my idea of heaven.

One of my favorite quotes is from director Robert Bresson: “Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.” For me, a flea market is not about shopping per se but about a feeling I sometimes have that something – in this place where there are worlds inside of worlds jammed up against other worlds and time is all over the place – is waiting for me to find it: to make it visible.

Because while Bresson is clearly speaking of the act of creating, this can take many forms. It might be film, drawing, or artistic endeavours, but it can also be cooking a memorable meal or putting together an iconic look or saying or doing the needed thing at the right moment. It can be the ability to look at a jumbled-up box under a messy table and see the one piece of treasure there, the one thing that needs to be found.

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Vintage Fashion: Now THAT is a Lot of Look

I have worn vintage clothing for many years, and it never fails to disturb when I see something labelled “vintage fashion” that dates from, say, the 1970s. (Even more horrifying, the 1980s being considered vintage in any unironic way.) Me, I am too mired in the esthetic of the 1930s and early ’40s to get hot and bothered about clothes that came after, but I have a lot of love for looks from an earlier era: many’s the time I’ve worn a 19th century piece with Levis and cowboy boots. Here is a selection of great looks from an older, and cooler, time from the gazillions of cabinet photos I have collected over the years. (Shoes, be sure and notice the shoes.)

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