HOME           /           ABOUT           /           ETSY           /           CONTACT

Monday, May 19, 2014

My BFF Jack

Another day, another flea market.



My recent trip to Trader Jack's, a flea market in Pittsburgh's South Hills area, was more of an impromptu trip than the trek to Rogers Community Auction a few weeks ago.

Mark was at a nearby University card show satiating his hobby appetite (baseball memorabilia), so I decided check out the nearby flea market. Mark and I have been here a few other times, and it's usually pretty hit or miss. This time around, I picked up a few cool things, but nothing major. I found a vintage Hamburglar glass, a calligraphy book, an old postcard of Mt. Rainier, and a few vintage tins. Stay tuned for a few pics of the tins in a future post. Anyway, I think I spent 5 bucks total.

While the finds were mediocre, what stood out to me was the attitude, the feel of this place. The friendliness of sellers at Jack's, especially with me holding a camera, was a complete 180 from the experience I had at Rogers.

I didn't mention it in the Rogers blog post, but I had been heckled for taking photos at the flea market. At Jack's, however, people were more curious than anything else.

"Is this for a project?"

"Are you a student?"

"You can take pictures, as long as you're not with the IRS."

I told a lot of people about the blog, although I didn't mention it by name.

One guy, who was selling the glass bottles pictured above, talked to me for about 15 minutes. The royal blue bottle, he said, was for a laundry detergent called moonshine. (If you look closely, you'll see moonshine etched on the bottle.) It apparently was a blue detergent that kept white clothes white, back in the old school days. We then discussed Pittsburgh history for awhile, including the time period when Pittsburgh didn't have the H. Blasphemy, if you ask me. Ha.

I think the conversational aspect of this place is something that's kind of a regionalism. Pittsburghers are friendly. Many talk to strangers as if they're good friends. I think it's welcoming and refreshing. While it's happened to me several times in Pittsburgh, it's also something I've never experienced anywhere else I've lived.






My favorite overheard quote? (I heard some good ones, so it might be worth a dedicated post during my next flea market trip.)

A mom talking to her kids: "This is a lot better than church, isn't it?"

What have your more memorable flea market shopping experiences been like?


  1. Thank you so much for the follow.
    Follow you back on bloglovin.
    Btw,I'm also on Instagram,maybe you like my account?
    Lovely greets from germany ;-)

  2. Haha omg that is too good. I totally agree a flea market is better then church any day! I haven't ever heard anything quite as memorable as that!

    1. So many one liners! I think going to a flea market might be a lot like watching Mean Girls. Lol.

  3. I'm always wary about taking photos of things like a flea market. It's a public place but the stuff doesn't belong to me so I'm never sure. I guess it can't hurt to ask though :)

    I haven't been to a good flea market in ages, they have one each month in Brussels that I'm yet to get too.

    1. It was probably a little bit of my own fault when I went to the first flea market, since I was just trying to get a feel for the scene there and kind of in my own head taking photos. When I went on this most recent trip, I asked most people for permission once they saw my camera and they were very abiding.

  4. Next time you go to Trader Jacks check out the soy candle guy inside the building. I freaking love those things! I stock up at the end of the year for Christmas presents and end up keeping a good bit for myself. :)

    1. and 2 bros bbq down the road a little, did you stop there? Really good stuff.