Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lead us not into temptation

No matter how hard I try to resist, every year about this time I get the urge to start my Saturday morning off with a trip to the flea market.  Such was the case early this morning as I headed out to the Grand Daddy of New Jersey out door shopping destinations, the Englishtown Auction.  Though I try to keep up on the local lore I have no idea why the oldest and largest regular flea market has the word auction in its title.  I can tell you however, that if it cannot be found on the cheap at Englishtown, well, it can't be found.

Like similar establishments, Englishtown has three distinct segments and associated with them three stratas of socio economic position.  For the elitist shoppers there are the six or so buildings divided in small cubicles with roll down steel doors.  If you are one of the "rich" folk that patronize the market with any regularity this is where you will find the more established store like kiosks hawking everything from incense to samurai swords.  Dank and dust, it is generally loaded with some favorably priced items.  Next in this multilayered economy are those vendors who are there every week and have earned themselves a spot in the paved areas surrounding the buildings.  This is where you will find the bulk of the stolen and knock off designer goods as well as substantial bargains on everything from socks to leather belts.  Finally there is the dust bowl.  Most of this area is populated by rank amateurs trying their luck on a ten dollar table off the dirty paths attempting to unload garages full of various and sundry crapola.

While I did pick a few items up today (some kitchen implements and the world's most sour dill pickles) the best part of the visit was people watching.  Sadly, I did not bring the camera and had to rely on my phone for this safari but every size and shape of humanity was there trolling for a bargain.  Just another nice way for an indigenous New Jersey Polack to spend a few hours on a reasonably nice Saturday.
Why I decided to forgo my usual sausage sandwich.

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