During my summer vacation to Maine earlier this month I spent a perfect Saturday morning at the Arundel Flea Market. It being Maine, there was a plethora of vintage hunting and fishing tackle on hand. The best of which was a deadstock 1960s LL Bean fly fishing vest (as pictured above), which I acquired in short order as it fit perfectly and of course because I of course needed it. Flea markets like the one in Arundel are a fairly common coinsurance in Maine, especially along route US1 which is lined with antiques stores and all sorts of other vintage hunting opportunities. The dealers are friendly, the prices are reasonable and you tend to find all sorts of interesting things and different themes than you would in Connecticut or New York. The fishing and nautical vibes are strong as are the selection of other New England centric goods. There are also fresh coffee and donuts, so there’s that. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.
With the exception of Newport Folk Festival, we’re not too hot on music festivals. You know the reasons: sweaty crowds, mediocre sound, endless lines for beer, girls dressed like fairies twirling glow sticks. But when Eaux Claires was announced, a two-day celebration on the banks of the Chippewa River in Wisconsin, courtesy Aaron Dessner of The National, and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, we started to get a certain promising feeling.
That optimism turned out to be entirely justified. Who could object to straightforward music in an easygoing Midwest setting, with plenty of Leinenkugel’s to go around? For this native Minnesotan (whose cabin is less than hour from Eau Claire), it was a welcome combination of good bands, positive vibrations and lack of ironic t-shirts.
It’s always on my calendar, the first day of the first Brimfield flea market of the year. At this point we have a plan in place. Drive up Monday night to get a hotel, wake up early and have breakfast in Palmer and then we do the show for exactly one day. By late afternoon we head back —this time making a detour to see Mr. Frank Pepe— and then back home. Easy as can be, and just enough Brimfield until next year.
Two things to say about this year’s outing: 1. the weather was perfect, good temps and no rain. 2. I didn’t buy one thing. That’s never happened to me before, but it doesn’t really bother me either. I enjoyed just being out there and seeing the people and all of that old stuff. This time around it felt like I was having plenty of fun just taking pictures. No promises for next year when I’m sure I will be back to my old tricks.
Go to Brimfield at least once in your life. Walk around, be at a field when it opens, eat a Pilgrim sandwich and maybe even find some treasures to buy.
This weekend was spent on a mission to get out of Dodge. With the heat being what it has been this Summer, its been a good year to get out the city as much as possible. Luckily, I’ve been able to escape to the beach most weekends. The setting for the past few enjoyable days has been the leafy and well-heeled enclaves of the East End.
Put simply, I’m not a regular in either Montauk or the Hamptons, but I did manage to see some interesting stuff. Saturday in particular, we popped over to the East Hampton Antique Show and spent some time off the beach perusing the offerings of about fifty dealers from all over the East Coast. Obviously there weren’t any super deals to be found, but it was nice to get some inspiration for what to look for on eBay or other flea markets. I even spotted an Ovadia on the grass out there. All in all, not a bad way to enjoy a few sunny summer days.
The islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea recently served me as the ultimate respite from my hectic life in the city. This past week I enjoyed three very short days off the coast of Napoli tending to the sun and sea in the paradise that is Ischia. And don’t feel like you need to wait until Agosto to enjoy the islands of Italy, June is the perfect time to visit as prices are better and crowds thinner, but the weather couldn’t be better.
The islands of southern Italy are famous for their idyllic surroundings and relaxed atmosphere. Capri is by far the best known of the bunch, but my vote goes for its larger sibling Ischia. The more time I spend on the Mediterranean, the more I want to be there. Frankly, it’s a very well-fed and well-tanned vicious cycle that is not to be missed.