Wanderlust: Rose Bowl Flea, Pasadena, CA

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always gravitated towards vintage things. Maybe it’s that my parents have always loved antiques and showed me to appreciate objects with history behind them. Maybe it’s the thrill of the hunt and the idea that you’ll never know what you’ll find on a given Sunday at the swapmeet.

It’s been a long-standing tradition for my dad and I to venture to a swapmeet, either in San Diego or farther north every few weekends. Kobey’s Swapmeet in San Diego often has a few gems here and there. The Long Beach Antique Market is great for purely vintage things without any “commercial” junk. The motherlode of all swapmeets is the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena.

Culturally in Los Angeles and its surrounding areas, there seems to be a resurgence of popularity for the unique and vintage. I chalk up Rose Bowl’s glorious nature to that, and it’s size. The event is so big that it takes several hours to walk the whole thing- and good luck seeing everything. Another pro tip is to get there early when it opens or stay close to when sellers are just about to pack up for the day. Some of the best deals I’ve made there were because a seller simply didn’t want to haul everything they brought there home.

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I can’t really tell you what I found this weekend because some of the items are Christmas gifts. I found one of them on a second sweep my pops and I made after running to the car to drop off some things that were getting too heavy. It was a lucky find, and I even got a steal of a deal on it. I asked the seller for the price expecting that she would say a high price, and was pleasantly surprised when it was a fraction of what I thought it would be. CC’s rule number one on successful deal-making: Always, always, always ask the price before walking away from something that you want in the fear that it will be expensive. Sometimes sellers are too lazy to price things with tags, and it works out in your favor.

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There’s just something about finding something that’s seen so much history.

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