To me, the Melrose Trading Post is perfectly, quintessentially California. The flea market is hosted at the end of a trendy shopping avenue in a high school’s outdoor parking lot, where truly eclectic folk sell everything from their handmade crafts to the junk they found on the street or in their garages.
The Greenway Arts Alliance, a nonprofit founded in 1997, organizes the flea market as a resource to the high school community that hosts it. The $ 3 entrance charge and booth fees have funded scholarships, library renovations, theater programs, field trips, equipment and uniforms for the band and sports teams.
There are only 250 vendors, but if you’re a dedicated peruser, you can spend hours digging through a huge variety of stands. Some host endless racks of $ 5 sunglasses, others sell vintage clothing, old photographs, and handmade modern jewelry. Some vendors bring truly unique treasures: old vintage jewelry (some with high price tags that are non-negotiable), delicate kitchen items, or beautiful old furniture.
The market also hosts performers – from jazz to folk – which creates a fun ambiance for wandering, especially if you’re the one in the group who chooses not to bring cash and shop.
I’ve come home with leather wrap bracelets, gold aviators, a vintage chain necklace from the 20’s, and a hand painted turquoise mirror. I can’t wait to have the excuse to shop here when I need to furnish and decorate my new apartment in a few months!