The idea of shopping for “antiques” in Los Angeles seems laughable, if one is comparing it to celebrated antique markets of Europe, or artifact hunting on other continents. However, the truth is, Americana is an entity unto itself, not to be compared with distant European cousins. In fact, thinking of Tiki culture or Rockabilly style, one could, indeed many have, crafted a cult aesthetic style with it.
I used to turn my nose up at these humble-hearted, yet ostentatious bits of American history. As of late, perhaps not unrelated to my belated introduction to the television series Mad Men, I have taken quite a liking to these nostalgic morsels of kitsch, and I have found just the place to peruse, fondle, and sometimes adopt them from: the Santa Monica Airport Antique and Collectible Market.
Another find, is Native American jewelry – the beautiful chunky silver necklaces and rings adorned with turquoise and coral are stunning, and almost ritualistic – not unlike Tibetan jewelry which uses the same materials in a not dissimilar style.
As with any “flea” market, this one has the requisite stalls of junk one must pass by, or through, to reach what one is after, but even those stalls sometimes carry an overlooked treasure. The market is small enough to navigate, in the glorious Sunday morning sunshine (even most days in Winter), without feeling overwhelmed, or as though one might have missed out on something.
Prices are reasonable as well!