Places to Visit »Brimfield Antique and Flea Market Show

brimfield flea market massIt's easy to describe the Brimfield Flea Market in southern Massachusetts as eight football fields long, but it's really difficult to keep that finite image in mind when you're faced with the reality of its overwhelming enormity. You just have to dig in (preferably with comfortable footwear) and weave through as much as you can bear; undoubtedly you'll emerge with something unique and special. In the four hours that we spent, I think we managed to see a little less that half of everything, but we still brought back a bag full of fun goodies (here are a number of photos we took that give a pretty good sense of what it's like).

Costume jewelry is everywhere and it's usually reasonably priced, and don't forget to take home some Pakistani jingly necklaces and great African beads – though be sure to barter for the latter, different tents sell the same items for drastically different prices. There are some clothes, though having gotten there on the second-to-last day, I think it's safe to assume a number of industry people had already picked over the selection pretty well.

One of our favorite purchases was an ogre/naked lady mug by Jim Rumph (who you can read more about in this week's style icon section) and some amazing old gag gifts from the 1950's. These Korean War era Tijuana Bible type comics and off color gag boxes were all from a mind-blowing collection a guy purchased when an old Philadelphian shop went out of business. We spent lots of time going through the boxes and boxes of zany adult novelties on sale (I posted a number of photos on RC).

And speaking of adult, we found some spectacular (but way too pervy) pen and ink drawings that we only declined to buy because they were too hard core and we were concerned that it might give anyone who came to our house the wrong weirdo vibe. The best thing about them was that the artist refused to sign any of his work out of fear that his mother might see them some day.

Midway through the concourse is the food area, and believe me you'll want to rest your feet and refuel by the time you reach it; the lobster roll was acceptable and some guy was singing Jimmy Buffett songs. Make sure you drink something to stay hydrated too.

Other tips: park at the small white church, they have a bathroom, a cookie stand, and their lot is the easiest to get out of; also, bring some bags – we had our trusty Baggu and a couple of canvas totes (designed by the talented Adam Fedderly) which made carrying stuff around a lot easier; you can take photos – but if someone looks cranky, ask permission first; and just make sure to buy something if you really love it. Not only will it probably not be there when you return for it, the place is so big that you may never be able to even find the vendor again.

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Posted on May 25, 2009