…is my favorite Mariah Carey song. There are TWO breakdowns! Diva please. It is also the theme of today’s blog post alongside flea markets, antiquing, art, living the dream, beheading, and soft pretzels.
This weekend my forever contest winning Aunt Sharon invited me up to Wappingers Falls, NY for a free 2 hour cruise on the Hudson River that she had won on the radio and a trip to the legendary Stormville Flea Market. Stormville is a real place, I didn’t just make up a town name from “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 3: Everyone Stop Crying, This is Amazing”.
The cruise was a fantastic mix of strangely limited free food (4 penne for you, 1 small meatball for you), awkward people, drunk housewives, and fresh sea air. Your typical cruise! The local radio station DJ was there plus a live band while everyone just awkwardly sat at their tables (ourselves included) and enjoyed the ride. It was so nice to be out on the deck people/river watching and a great time was had by all. I would say an especially great time was had by the drunk woman who pulled your typical Rose from the Titanic stunt and was promptly yelled at by the captain. This is us leaving….
Alright, enough FUN… get back to work Chenkus. I woke up early the next morning and immediately got my game face on to prepare for the massive Stormville Flea Market.
This flea market is HUGE. It takes place in a massive airport field and is half vintage/antique items and half wacky new stuff vendors. Let me show you some examples of what to expect:
We started out in the “new” vendor section. They sell a lot of strange things like bras, pieces of carpet (you read that right, pieces), gourds painted to look like animals, diabetic socks, etc. I was drawn immediately to the vendor that exhibited only 4 huge plastic bins of makeup for a dollar a piece. You know, that guy.
Grabbed a foundation and a liquid eyeliner for $2. Score! I’m pretty sure 1,000+ other hands have touched them so I’ll be sure to wipe them down with alcohol before using. Worst case scenario? I get pink eye and get to miss a day of work. Win win situation! Next stop? Pretzel town.
Next we floated over to the rows upon rows of antique goods. This is typically not the place you’re going to find something amazing that someone overlooked which you bought for a dollar and can now re-sell for millions. A flea market like this is filled with pickers, re-sellers who pretty much know the value of their pieces. You’ll usually be able to haggle them down to reasonable prices for good quality things. I wasn’t planning on buying anything but a painting one vendor had quite literally stopped me in my tracks.
It may not look like much to the average walker-by, but I have been thinking of this painting for the past two years. I was in the middle of a move – I move A LOT, in fact I’ve moved about once a year since I was 20 years old – and was trying to envision a bedroom that I could decorate once I was settled down somewhere for good. It was fall and I was driving upstate to my father’s. The colors surrounding me on the Taconic were so beautiful; the bright blue sky mixed with the deep reds, browns, and purples of the leaves and the wisps of white and gray in the sky just seemed perfect to me. I thought to myself, one day I’m going to paint that exact scene and make it the focal point of my bedroom. OK WELL NOW I DON’T HAVE TO because someone who is a much better artist than me did it. Thanks dude!
The vendor started at $45 for the thing. I wanted to see if I could haggle him down to $30, but I wasn’t sure if he would go that low. As I was staring, mesmerized by my vision come to life and dreading having to haggle (I suck at it) the seller walked over with an offer for $40. Like a true dingus my Aunt pipes up with “Sir! Money is not an issue, she is not interested!” I politely told her to shut her face and go away, which she did quickly while laughing and realizing what she had just done. Well that threw haggling out the window! I had to have it, so $40 be damned I took the baby home.
My bedspread is currently on my couch, so you can get a little glimpse of the start of my vision:
My only tip for this long winded adventure? Make a vision for what you want in the future. If you are poor, patient, and persistent you’ll always find a way to make your home look how you want without spending much money.
Sorry, one more tip… check out the Stormville Flea Market! They’re only held on specific weekends, so look at their site here for future dates and details.
Signed, sealed, delivered I’m yours,