rose bowl flea market.

A few weeks ago, my friend Ashley invited me to accompany her to a flea market up in Pasadena that she'd heard about. Unbeknownst to me, the Rose Bowl Flea Market, which happens once a month, is one of the most famous flea markets in the country. Despite the unusually high humidity (for southern California) and the 99-degree heat radiating off of the black asphalt, spending the day walking around the flea market was well worth the drive up. Almost every kind of obscure treasure and trinket you could think of can be found among the vast spread of tables, blankets and tents throughout the sprawling parking lot of the Rose Bowl Stadium. It also shouldn't come to anyone's surprise that the people around the market were just as interesting as the objects they were selling and buying. We spent the majority of our time picking around the odds and ends in the Antiques and Vintage section of the market, which stretched so far that we never even made it to every booth.

Being on a strict budget, I went to the market mostly as moral support and to take photos, so I forced myself to resist even the most tempting of deals, save for one item I just couldn't go home without. Buried beneath a pile of old books and photos, I found a hand-carved wooden photo album titled "Our Baby" bound with leather ties. Intrigued, I carefully dug it out and opened it. A name had been carved Inside the front cover of the book and carved in the back, the date April 11, 1940. Only three pages of photos and handwritten captions were among the thick stack of homemade paper bound between the wood. I have this thing for old photo albums, abandoned shortly after being started. For five dollars, I couldn't bear the thought of leaving this treasure behind, and eagerly paid for it to be mine.

I'm still quite pleased with my one purchase of the day, and even more pleased with the prospect of going back in a month or two. As is usually the case after a day like this, I only wish I'd taken more photos.