My husband occasionally leaves sections of the paper out for me after having read it the night before. Such was the case last week when I discovered, next to the coffeemaker one morning, a terrific article in the paper about The Cleveland Flea - he really gets me.
I know of dozens of great resale, thrift and vintage shops in Northeast Ohio (and there are most certainly twice as many that I have yet to discover). But the one thing that has been missing is a decent monthly flea market in the area. The newspaper article showed great promise, so this past Saturday the girls and I headed into the city to see for ourselves. To our delight, it was all that and more.
As soon as we walked through the gate, there was the greatest welcome we could have dreamed up: a kids' crafting table. I believe one of my girls said, "Boo-ya!" as she headed for the table and got busy. I let them have at the bits and bobs for about 15 minutes, and was only able to lure them away and into the market proper with the promise of food trucks. Works every time.
There was a little bit of everything, from soaps to jewelry, framed artwork to motocycle jackets, crocheted scarves to Hardy Boys mysteries. The aisles were filles with treasures and so many pretty old things like midcentury chairs and that huge vintage classroom chalkboard for $15 up there. Even though we aren't looking for furniture for our home right now, it is still fun to look. Echt?
The food trucks and carts did not disappoint, either. The girls loved their ice pops by Chill PopShop and I really enjoyed the plantains w/chimichurri at Jibaro. But our favorite, hands down, were the mini-donuts from DonutLab. So tiny and fresh, not overly sugared, and made to order. So so good. Coincidentally, everything we ate had a $3 pricepoint, including a glassine bag full of mini-donuts (or $6 for two bags if you feel the need to try both the plain as well as the cinnamon, ahem). A flea market tapas experience is not only delicious, but easy on the wallet as well. We would have loved to try other things from the trucks, but most sold out by mid-afternoon. Moral of the story = bring lots of singles + get there early.
There was a nice variety of vintage and newly handcrafted items at the market in September. Vendor applicants are juried each month and the organizers of The Cleveland Flea seem to put a lot of effort into curating a multi-faceted market with something for everyone. One of my daughters is really into making charms with perler beads lately, so she was excited to see that one of the vendors made fun accessories with them. I popped into a booth with vintage linens (surprise) and bought a sweet embroidered dresser cloth. Wright and Rede sold his wonderful handmade leather bracelets, wallets and journal covers that I absolutely loved. If he isn't there next month, I will be sure to order something for PLC (and maybe me, too) from his Etsy shop for the holidays.
The Cleveland Flea is open the second Saturday of each month (closed over the Winter, because HELLO, we are in Cleveland after all). I know we are looking forward to going to next month's market with some friends. I've heard whispers about some allowance money being set aside for that day. Be still my heart, my little treasure hunters. xoxo
p.s. Still thinking about those mini-donuts.