Thanks for the add! Gros bisous :-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

This little Dany went to the market...

It's that simple... People need stuff, people want stuff, people love stuff. So where do they get that stuff?
In the modern world, we’re well accustomed to supermarkets with their serried ranks of stuff and shopping malls full of stuff. People elbowing each other, their trolleys bulldozing all sorts of stuff, among these purveyors of all the stuff you could wish for. Somehow, shopping never was my cup of tea, but I'll make a proviso because in this world a little too tedious where shopping online has become more exciting than going out to the store, one old-time tradition, that of the farmers or flea markets is one that survived, and is still alive and kicking.
A market is a magical place to go to because there you can get stuff cannot be got readily off the shelf 24/7,  you have to wait for market day. It is magical because, like Ali Baba, you are in awe and don't know for sure what stuff you will find there. It is magical because whether in Istanbul or in Avignon, the market is by nature colourful and anarchic and visceral. It is universal.
Bazar in Istanbul
Marché de Provence
It is magical because it is the essence of civilisation. In the beginning there was barter, and in the end there may just be barter. In the 2010 British movie Shank, in a post apocalyptic London, the fish market in the East End is the first place where links can be re-established between people. My point is that the wheel of history and the wheels of commerce travel hand in hand and weird ways. In the kingdom of modern business that us a continent where "historical buildings" date back 250 years at most, there is a place in Pennsylvania which has very little to do with the Modern World, and everything to do with the Old World. For the ultimate thrill of a medieval-like market experience, there is no place like the Saturday's market.
And no you won't find your knight in shining armour there, although you might who knows, but you will a whole array of people of all ages and colours, of all means, of all trades, of all interests, bikers, and truckers alike.
The architecture of the building dates back to the late 1950's, and I think there was a bit of vision in this building which occupies the size of nearly 2 football pitches. The entrance above is so kitsch, and reminds my of 1950's airport lounges. The behind the panes there are eateries and seats where people can sit and watch the car go by and park as if they were planes.
In a medieval town, a market was never far from a church, and although in this market there is no church, make no mistake, God is still watching you!
This guy sells possibly the best sweet italian sausage in the whole of PA.
Many stalls are Amish stalls of all types, but the bakery ones are the most impressive, there they are with they propane propelled food mixers. I wish I could have taken a closer picture but I am aware that Amish people do not care to have their picture taken.
Now look at this stand above, is this good junk or what. That guy has amazing vintage wooden sleigh for between 10 and 20 bucks.
And hidden amongst his pots and pans, look closely, yes thre is a human in there... here is "ma main man" junkyard Billy, whose real name I know not, but who cares he is my friend. Everytime I buy something of him he gives me somtehing else for free.
Not so healthy.... and yes you can also eat in one of the many eateries that serve every kind of ffod from plain old burgers, and pizzas to Amish and Korean food, and home made sherbet flavoured fudge.
Above is the most bizarre stall. A stall that sells hundreds and hundreds of dolls clothes for dolls of all shapes and sizes.
This market is also a treasure trove for Pyrex lovers, I got some absolute bargains there.
Lastly, here is Sherry stall. She will engage in conversation whether you are a buyer or not. She is an inveterate collector, and now has too much stuff so she decided to sell a lot of it. And her stuff is AMAZING.  For my next trip I already know that I will purchase a 1950's hot pink and turquoise melamine complete picnic set. Plus, I made friends with her, and I now go to zumba classes with her and her friends whenever I am in PA.

I can lose myself in there, it is so easy to just look around action figures, the comic books knives, coffee, knick-knacks, books, old copies of Life magazine with their George Petty pin-up illustrations, homemade kimchi, furniture, socks, rugs, wool, glassware, the JR Watkins vendor who sells all of the old Watkins products, like the Old Black Drawing Salve, the menthol ointment for colds, Watkins vanilla cinnamon, black pepper.....

The only place that near this experience is buried in my memory, and in my youth. Once upon a time, at a cross road on the D23 in the heart of Burgundy, there was a guy. His house was his kingdom, a veritable Ali Baba cave. And he DID have everything you could wish for. No one will ever know how all that stuff - sausages, ribbons, jams, postcards, rolls of fabric, goats cheese, you name it - found its way to "Les Grands Magasins" du Puits  (Le Puits' General store, see location picture below).... Mind you his shop WAS at a cross roads...Need I say more?


fabriquefantastique said...

what a lovely essay on markets. as you may know I am a big fan

The Vintage Knitter said...

That's a really interesting post. I love markets too and Saturday's Market looks fab, especially for all that vintage Pyrex!

Ginger said...

Your posts are always so incredible, here you've described the magic of a market perfectly.
I always visit markets in my travels and I have to say the city of Vancouver has a fantastic market, as does Oxford in the UK. I'll make a mental note to visit Saturday's when I'm next driving through PA!

Thanks for another great post.

Madatutube said...

Utz is healthy! Made with the finest oils and saturated fats available! I love the post card at the end, and you're the coolest blogger evah!

Henar said...

I loved this, great!!
Fantastic post!!


Pinupmania said...

There a very beautiful market uin Dieppe.

Danièle said...

Thanks for all your great comments. I actually have so much more to say about this market. Maybe I'll have another go at it in a few month time. Meanwhile I am thinking about writing about a specific shopping center... for someone who absolutely hates shopping, I must say,hmmmm. Maybe I dont myself very well!

Anonymous said...

Damn! I need some STUFF!! ;-)
I think our markets just need a little bit of photoshop to look as attractive as ancient markets.

Put some colours here and there, and Voilà!Of course, someone should invent the Photoshop for real life. Like you ca photoshop anything you want for REAL! God. I have to work on this idea. Don't steel! It's mine!

Bon et sinon j'aurais pu causer le Balzac, sauf que parler anglais me manque too much ;)

Danièle said...

Une autre fois pour Balzac, et ne crains rien pour l'idée vrai Photoshop, bien trop tarabiscoté pour moi, mais je te fais confiance! A +

Sew Country Chick said...

So fascinating. Whenever I travel the first thing I do is make a list of local markets and flea markets. I want to take my vintage trailer across the US on a flea market tour. I hate going to the mall now. Anthropologie in the US is just a rip off of real flea market style.