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Flea Markets Around the World

The original flea market is likely to have been The Marché aux Puces of Saint-Ouen, Seine-Saint Denis, in the northern suburbs of Paris. It's a large, long-established outdoor bazaar, one of four in Paris, that earned its name from the flea-infested clothing, rags and upholstered furniture sold there. Dating from the late 17th century, the makeshift open-air market in the town of Saint-Ouen began as temporary stalls and benches among the fields and market gardens where ragpickers exchanged their findings for a small sum. In modern days, the largest "flea market" for antiques is still that at Saint-Ouen.1.

Sydney's best one-of-a-kind items At The Rocks Flea Market, L6 Harrington Street; some of the vendors sell one-of-a-kind (reputed to be) aboriginal pieces at reasonable prices. Other vendors include artisans who specialize in handcrafted puzzles, ceramics and prints; soap and candle makers; and plant and flower sellers. What's more, some of the baked goods sold here are better than mom's.2. China: Beijing's best place for everything including the kitchen sink! Affectionately referred to as the "dirt" market, Panjiayuan Flea Market, Third Ring Road, had been somewhat of a free-for-all until recently.

Collectors and vendors alike were concerned when talk of "regulating" this joyful jumble sale started about two years ago. Up until then, junk dealers and artisans had simply carted their wares to this dirt field by the railroad tracks-no licenses, no stalls, no facilities. As it turns out, a few minor changes have been implemented while a great deal of the boisterous atmosphere remains. You can still get Buddhist statues, old opium pipes, posters, post cards, second-hand instruments .and one vendor specializes in old, grimy sinks.

The prices are still rock bottom and the vibe is pure, dirty fun.3. China's best place to get pearl earrings for less than $2 Hongqiao Flea Market, (the northern gate of the Temple of Heaven, Chongwen district), is a multi-story market full of noisy vendors and often fanatical customers.

Restaurateurs can buy live crab from vendors on the basement floor; the ground floor caters to electronics buyers; purses are well-represented on the second floor; and the third floor deals in everything-shoes, jewelry, jade, teapots, as well as a rather remarkable pearl market. You can get a pair of pearl earrings here for as little as 15 yuan (that's less than $2).4. Japan: Tokyo's best discounts Ameya Yokocho, Yamanote Line between Ueno and Okachimachi Metro, is a mish-mash of about 400 vendors selling fish, fruit and vegetables, purses, shoes, clothes, cosmetics and watches.

You'll find tourists, families and Tokyo's trendiest young people here. Everyone knows that Tokyo's an expensive place, particularly in the tourist areas. Why not go where the locals go? You're sure to find some of the best deals in the city here.5.

Canada: Ottawa's perennial best Regardless of the weather, vendors at the Byward Market, 55 Byward Market Square, Ottawa, Ontario, set up outside 363 days out of the year (even they get a break Christmas Day and New Year's Day). With a total of 175 stands spanning four blocks, the fare varies depending on the season. As such, during summer months, you'll find bedding, plants and flowers, arts and crafts, as well as wonderful maple syrup and honey. During the winter, you can buy Christmas trees, wreaths and firewood. When you've finished shopping, you'll find lots to do in the surrounding area, which is fast becoming one of Ottawa's trendiest.6.

New York's celebrities' choice The Annex Antiques Fair and Flea Market, Sixth Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets; has attracted customers-ranging from local residents and tourists to artists and celebrities-for nearly thirty years. This place is great for antiques, furniture and collectibles. So, are you ready for the list of celebs? Well, to name a few, the following have been sighted: Britney Spears, David Bowie, David Duchovny, Boy George, Barbra Streisand.7.

San Francisco's best place to buy a rock n' roll couch Alemany Flea Market, 100 Alemany Boulevard; is housed under the concrete arches of Highway 280 on Sundays. Yup, a lot of this stuff is complete and utter junk, but you can find some pretty cool bohemian-style furniture, the odd lava lamp, some cool prints, cooking utensils, or even an occasional antique. The best part is that the vendors really just want to get rid of this stuff, so you'll get some smokin' deals. Think of this place when you need to furnish an apartment for about $100!.

8. Argentina: Buenos Aires' best street entertainment and some great deals A fair amount of buying goes on at the Plaza Dorrego Flea Market, Calle Defensa, San Telmo, but a lot of people seem to come for the entertainment. From mimes and puppeteers to musicians, singers and tango dancers, this place has it all. Vendors dealing in antiques, jewelry, silverware and old record players, are standing by to make a deal with you.

Make sure you have enough money left over at the end of the day to put a few coppers in the mime's hat! Unfortunately, this extravaganza happens only on Sundays.9. Uruguay: Montevideo's best way to spend a Sunday morning A good way to get the blood flowing after a rough Saturday night is to head to La Feria Tristán Narvaja Flea Market, Tristán Narvaja Street.

This colorful place bustles with activity as vendors hawk their wares. You can find old records, books, clothes, plants and even pets here. One vendor is said to deal in vintage dentures! Part folk fair, part market, this vital place will perk you up quicker than a double espresso.10. Israel: Tel Aviv's most jaw-dropping deals We saved the best for last.

In this world, there are deals.and then there are steals. If you're on a haggling roll at the Jaffa Flea Market, Yefet and Aleystion Streets, Old Jaffa, you may get merchandise for one third of the (already low) asking price. Whether you're a fan of kitsch junk, good quality antiques, old books, or musical instruments, this colorful place will have something for you.

The rugs sold here are of particularly good quality and can be purchased for next to nothing. This place is a hive of activity from dawn to dusk every day except Saturday.

.Michael Russell.

Your Independent guide to Travel.Article Source:


By: Michael Russell


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