{On the Road} Global Finds in a Buenos Aires Flea Market

Remember that episode of Man Shops Globe where Keith Johnson spies loads of "fanciful" garden chairs at a flea market in Buenos Aires? Well last week I *finally* took my inaugural trip to the very same El Mercado de las Pulgas (literally, "Market of the Fleas"). I say inaugural, because I'll definitely be going back. Probably a few times. With more money, of course.

Most tourists simply visit BA's more-famous weekend market in San Telmo. Which is a fun market if you're in BA for a quick trip and want to see a few curios mixed in with local hippies, tango dancers and accordion players. But not if you really, really want to shop. Like moi. And Keith Johnson evidently. Great minds and all that...
From American Gypsy Living
The Mercado de Pulgas skirts the edge of Palermo Hollywood, one of the trendier parts of BA. So naturally I wasn't expecting any crazy-low bargains. But this was my first Argentine flea market. A "true" flea market with furniture and lighting and junk (mostly junk).

Good thing Argentines are late sleepers, too. When I lazily showed up with my coffee at 11am on a Wednesday, only about 1/4 of the vendors were open.

No matter, though. I literally  have a visceral response to large, barn-like, warehouse structures lined with vendors selling junk. My heart rate speeds up, I get twitchy, my pupils dilate.

Because how lovely are these birdcages?
From American Gypsy Living
There were birdcages everywhere! And this giant one was my absolute fave. Check out how small the chair looks next to it. The rusting, red-topped pagoda-style bird cage (below) was a beauty, too. Can you see her? She's hidden in there alongside loads and loads of wrought iron. Yep, Argentina has cornered the market on rusting iron. I can see why Keith Johnson's garden chairs seem to stand out. They´re creeping out of every treasure pile.
From American Gypsy Living
From American Gypsy Living


From American Gypsy Living
I would love to ship home those antique Argentine gasoline pumps (above). I don't know what for. If I could buy all the random things I've ever wanted, I'd have a living room to rival Ricky Stratton's in Silver Spoons.

From American Gypsy Living
And bolts and bolts of fabric! The majority of this bunch were upholstery quality which always gets my DIY wheels rolling. By the way, $10ARG pesos equals about $2.50USD a meter. Not too shabby!
From American Gypsy Living
The absolute jaw-dropper of the market was this beauty - an antique Italian red-glass chandelier with black prisms. I'm fairly sure these are called Murano chandeliers and are made by Venetian glassblowers, but feel free to chime in if I'm wrong.  I was so busy gawking, I forgot to even ask for the price. Next visit....
From American Gypsy Living
Now for things more in my price range. I was really considering walking away with this entire rack of vintage bottles. Something about the red and blue labels on dusky green glass was so charming.
From American Gypsy Living
I really have no idea what a small tub like this is used for? Anyone have a clue? I've seen plenty of bidets here, but this is a new one.
From American Gypsy Living
And rows and rows of gloriously random stalls....
From American Gypsy Living
From American Gypsy Living
From American Gypsy Living
Shopping Tip: Yes, you can bargain here. Although be forewarned that if you have an accent in your Spanish, you'll most likely be getting the gringo rate. If you're a serious shopper (i.e. you're shipping home a container's worth of goods) it's probably worthwhile to hire a personal shopper.
From American Gypsy Living
So I wasn't able to afford the Murano chandelier. But I found the perfect post-mercado refuel. A traditional Argentine snack: Coffee with medialunas (Argentina's amazingly delicious version of croissants). $15ARG pesos = $3.75! Yummy. (There's lots and lots of fabulous cafes within walking distance to the market. Check out Design*Sponge's review of BA's shopping for more local shopping, too!.)
From American Gypsy Living
El Mercado de las Pulgas
Days: Tuesday - Sunday
Time: "All Day" (On weekdays, probably not worth showing up earlier than 11am)
Expect to Find:
On weekdays: Vintage lighting, artwork and furniture
On weekends: Vintage lighting, artwork, furniture and miscellaneous odds and ends.

Corner of Avenida Dorrego & Niceto Vega
Bus: 108 (There's plenty of other bus lines that go to this area, I took the 108 and told the driver I was going to the flea market.)

4 comments:

  1. Gorgeous finds....loved looking at your BA photos :) Just followed your blog! <3

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  2. Ohhh, I am drooling over the bird cage!!! So jealous of your adventure there! I think you and I should have some future outings such as these. I love antique treasures and foreign junk! The things you could do with all that amazing stuff :)

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  3. Como me gustan este tipo de mercados!Lo que iba yo a disfrutar...!Especialmente me gusta la jaula para pájaros y esa lampara roja.:)
    Besos!

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  4. gracias, chicas! if only i had more money to spend and a bigger house to fill! xoxojess

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I´ll repay the visit in kind! xoxojess