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Say Bonjour to the New Flea Market at Hollywood High

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Saturday was the debut of a new LA flea market, located at Hollywood High, about a block down the street from Hollywood and Highland. It was supposedly inspired by a proper French marketplace. In truth, we did not find it that much more Francais than the Melrose marketplace (though there were at least two place to buy crepes). One of the standout sellers was French: her wares were vintage pieces from the 40s to the 80s, including some scene-stealing dresses, accessories that ranged from blingy costume jewelry to beautiful Bakelite bangles?and a star-spangled bustier.

We found the marketplace to be very similar to the Melrose Trading Post in terms of proportions and spirit, if not in size. The majority of the spaces were occupied by vintage purveyors -- some of whom, like the first lady, offered a carefully selected variety from a certain era; some offered kitschy knickknacks and doo-dads (we hearted the guys who had the African American ballerina Barbie sharing a scene with an MC Hammer doll), but there were a few whose offerings suggested the vendors made a run to Goodwill an hour before opening and just bought a bunch of crap to sell. In addition, there were booths offering new products, mainly jewelry and accessories. We made one discovery: Beatrice Holiday, a line of unexpectedly cute bags and accessories made from recycled bike parts. The line pushes all the right buttons: cute, affordable, clever, and green. It didn't hurt that Alison was friendly and enthusiastic, and her dog was a sweetheart. Other the Beatrice Holiday, we were mostly mehhhhhh about the new items.

A couple of trucks showed up for the party: Le Fashion Truck, and a newbie called Tin Box (more on them later). About half a dozen food trucks were parked on the premises, but we didn't see anyone partaking.

We arrived at the flea about 2pm, and foot traffic was light. We got there either too early or too late for the entertainment, which was supposed to include a marching band and French music. It didn't take much more than an hour to see everything, and that includes stopping and ogling the merchandise at a few of the booths.

This is another one of those ventures that, if it's given time to mature and generate some buzz and attract more merchants which will attract more shoppers which will attract more merchants, it could really be fun. The marketplace gets high marks for being public transit friendly: it's a three-minute walk from the subway station at Hollywood and Highland. Admission is $2, and the flea does also serve as a fundraiser for Hollywood High. The flea happens the 1st Saturday of the month, 11am to 6pm.
· Open Market Place [Facebook]