LA Daily News

Bargain Hunter Recommends Topanga Vintage, of course!

The Los Angeles Daily News Bargain Hunter, Sandra Barrera, loves Topanga Vintage Market for its deals on vintage, antique and artisan goods, and for its ability to inspire unique home decor. This is one of several pieces the Daily News has run on our flea market, we are proud to say!

The LA Daily News Bargain Hunter has great tips!
The LA Daily News Bargain Hunter has great tips!

Come on down to Pierce College on the 4th Sunday of the month and see what cool, unique, quality vintage and antiques you can pick up for a great price.  With over 180 sellers, we have everything from furniture to clothing, toys to tools, and tons of stuff you never even heard of.  While some rare antiques and collectibles sell for thousands of dollars, most vintage and artisan goods are very affordable, retain their original value better, and are built to last.  

Plus, shopping at a flea market is an adventure in itself.  The day is full of history, beauty, surprises and the great outdoors.  Interacting with vintage sellers is also a very different experience from the retail experience at the mall.  These are passionate, knowledgeable people doing what they love.  Every item has a story to go with it, if you have the time.  So plan on at least a couple of hours.  Eat at one or two of the fun, delicious food trucks on site and sit back and enjoy some live music.

LA’s 4th Sunday Flea! Summer Hours 8am-2pm June through September. 8am to 3pm Oct through May. Over 180 of LA’s top vintage vendors, plus artisans, music & food trucks! Pierce College, Mason entrance at Victory Blvd at Mason Ave. Woodland Hills CA 91306 Directions: DeSoto exit north off 101 Fwy; Rt on Victory, Rt. on Mason $3 admission, kids under 12 are free, parking is free, no pets please!

What’s in a name?

"swap meet"
“swap meet”

Swap Meet” is a song off Nirvana’s album 1989 Bleach, but it didn’t make the cut in the 2009 re-release.  Ironically, that means it’s classified as “vintage vinyl”, which means you’re more likely to find it at Topanga Vintage Market, or PCC flea, or the Rose Bowl, than at your average “swap meet” .

Vintage albums and cd's at our flea market
Some of the vintage albums and cds at Topanga Vintage Market.

Of course, a “swap meet” is actually a place where pretty much anyone can sell pretty much anything. When I was a kid, we went to swap meets and swapped stuff.  But times change. Now it’s all about creating your own tiny cash business, so lots of swap meet vendors play it safe and sell just low cost essentials – like socks.  So many, actually, that LA’s Roadium swap meet has a sign saying “No more sock vendors accepted.”  

Swap Meets have Socks
Swap Meets have Socks

Would you buy used socks at a “flea market”?  Wikipedia says a flea market and a swap meet are pretty much the same, but I think not.  A flea market should have old stuff, hence the fleas.  Flea bitten. Worn.  Old.  Some say that the name comes from the famous Parisian outdoor markets, “les marches aux puces”, which means flea markets but sounds way better.  I bet they don’t sell many “socquettes”, but I may need to go to Paris and find out.

Eiffel tower in Paris, in same city as Marche des Puces
Eiffel tower in Paris, in same city as Marche des Puces

So why are we “Topanga Vintage Market” not “Topanga Flea Market”?

Swap meet, flea market, vintage market, antique market – it’s all good, right?  Except at Topanga Vintage Market we didn’t want new stuff, even socks.  We are junkanistas.  We wanted everything from fine to coarse, as long as it’s old.   And while hundred year old antiques are great, Lori loves mid-century glass and I happen to have a thing for all things aluminum, so we had to go with “vintage” – anything 20 years or older.  Including Nirvana.  We wanted to be really clear, cause we’re “all vintage, all the time.”

Topanga Vintage Market - is it a flea market?  Yes.
Topanga Vintage Market is it a flea market? Mais oui.

“Topanga Vintage Market” says it better than “Topanga Swap Meet” or even “Topanga Flea Market”, and we’re sticking to it.  Just don’t ask about the Topanga part.  That’s a whole ‘nother story.