Above you can see the sad remains of what was once a thriving vintage and antiques market. Held on the first weekend of every month, there was a time when this entire space would have been jammed full of dealers in old stuff. I’ve been going to the Metrolina market for around fifteen years, and over that time I’ve watched it shrink and shrink and shrink. This week the word was out that the owners are retiring and selling the property.
The reality of the show I attended yesterday is not quite as pitiful as my photo would lead one to believe. To the right are two large buildings that contain vendors. The scene inside them was livelier, but still there were plenty of empty spaces for absent vendors. To the left are a row of smaller buildings which are occupied by little shops that open only when the show is in progress. These people are now scrambling to find new spaces for their shops before Metrolina closes in June.
I could go on for hours, reminiscing about all the wonderful things I’ve found here over the years. But I’ll not, mainly because my keyboard couldn’t take the tears. Just know that a sizable amount of my collection was purchased in this empty lot.
It’s not all bad news, however. One thing that I’ve found to be true about myself is that I find the same amount of stuff to buy regardless of the size of a market. A lot of this has to do with the fact that knowing there is less ground to cover lets me take the time to give everything a closer look. I love old photographs, but if time is tight I’ll pass by a stack because looking through them takes so much time. Yesterday I took the time to sort through some I found and was rewarded with a wonderful Victorian woman on a bicycle and a fully documented shot of a 1923 beach with bather.
And there is a section of dealers that I always seem to leave for last because I just never find much there. Yesterday I had the time to pass through that area and found another 1930s chenille beach cape. Because there was extra time, I stopped at a favorite restaurant for a pimento cheese burger and a craft brew, and then did a walk-through of a nearby antiques mall. There I found a superb early 1920s dress with embroidery and a sweet little change purse with Florida tourist destinations.
This mall has been in business for about three years, and is located in an old textile mill. It’s is huge, and has been pretty much full since opening. Unfortunately I noticed that one big room has closed, and there were a few empty spaces. Worst of all, I’m seeing more new decorative objects. These are not a good signs.
I’ll show off all my plunder later this week, but here are a few things I loved but did not buy.
I see a lot vintage prints, and I just love the ones showing women involved in sports. These two were new to me.
This is a counter display, and is three-dimensional. I love stuff like this, but I just do not have the space for it.
My regular vintage clothing dealers were not there, but I did spot a few nice pieces in various booths. This was a lovely 1960s dress and jacket ensemble from maker Dan Millstein.
I pretty much limit myself to buying only fashion magazines, but this The American Magazine cover was just too fantastic not to share.
I’s love to hear what other vintage shoppers are finding in their geographic areas. Are sellers of old stuff all moving to the internet?