Monday, January 24, 2011

Swap meets

I'm not sure why the title of this post is what it is. I flew into Oakland, CA, rented a car and headed west towards San Rafael. It was Sunday and as I drove the freeway I came across a memory that I have not thought about in a very, very long time. Swap Meets. I passed about three of them at sixty miles an hour and all I wanted to do was pull over and take it all in. Old drive- in theaters bursting with stalls selling everything you can imagine; it was an instant time warp.
Where I live now, we have farmers markets during the growing season. We sip our Starbucks with canvas shopping bags in hand as we buy organic produce and maybe a handmade soy candle. I love it. Swap meets – I did not love but they were a cornucopia of items sold by questionable con artists. I could take ten dollars and get the best knock off gabardine bell bottom pants that looked just like the ones that cost three times as much in the department store.
Flea markets or bazaars have certainly been around since people started selling goods. Catching a glimpse of the swap meets along the freeway also made me realize that they aren't part of my community culture any longer. Somehow the concept has not spread to the suburban eastside of Seattle. Drive-in theaters don't dot the landscape with their wide and expansive lots just waiting for someone to come along and fill them up with every bootlegged, knock off, bargain priced item known to man. Why do I actually think that that is a shame?
I smiled as I drove by and enjoyed the moment of nostalgia.

No comments:

Post a Comment