Pack Rat killed Mr. Body in the study with the lead pipe
As many of you know, Pack Rat has recently moved to New Yawk, and I along with it. Getting set up in the new pad has been a bit of a struggle, but who has ever heard of an easy move? As I have mentioned before, we are having a hard time getting internet and with it, cable television. So thus far, I have been watching mostly PBS and the Olympics on static-y antennae TV (which will end this coming February. I’ll spare you all my soap box rant about that whole thing). Well, the other night I caught a documentary on flea markets strangely titled A Flea Market Documentary. What a gas it was! Rick Seback from WQED narrates this road trip through the cluttered tables, decorated tents, and gaudy displays of America’s flea markets. For anyone who loves this kind of second hand shopping, it is a must see. Even though some of the vendors have a significant amount of teeth missing–and even though there’s enough black face memorabilia to make you squirm in you chair–and even though the camera crew goes as far west as Pasadena, CA to the Rose Bowl flea market, but only goes as far east as Pittsburgh, PA (I mean come on, New England has, like, the granddaddies of flea markets), this documentary is totally fun. It’s not only great as a vicarious shopping experience (the rugs from Afghanistan are breath-taking), but it’s also shows an awesome cross section of the people that make up this nation of ours. Like an anthropological study, it gives clear snap shots of all sorts of different people, such as the retired identical twin brothers who sell vintage coke bottles and cans, or the Italian perfume vendor who sings to pretty women to attract them to his booth. And, as a nice surprise, Frank DeCaro makes a cameo as he checks out some of the flea markets with a (boy?)friend. (Old school The Daily Show fans will remember DeCaro from his “Out at the Movies” segments. Yuppier people will know him from his NY Times reviews.) Although the release date claims that it’s original release date is 2001, the camera work and the fashion all suggests to me that the footage was shot in the early nineties. And to me, early nineties fashion in and of itself is worth the price of admission. Even though I may sound a bit mocking here, I sincerely enjoyed it and recommend you all scour your local listings to see when it will be on a PBS station near you. Who knows, maybe I’ll use their route to plan my next road trip?
photo copyright WQED