Untitled Document

GEORGETOWN FLEA MARKET
EVERY SUNDAY

LOCATION MAP

ANTIQUES/COLLECTIBLES

INFORMATION


EMAIL & ANNOUNCEMENTS


 



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Fabulous Flea Finds

by Stefanie Berry

The weather is warming and we're itching to stop hibernating and start hunting and gathering-hunting for bargains and gathering one-of-a-kind finds, that is...

Sure, the Georgetown Flea Market has some junk, but it's known for its quality furniture and antiques, and enjoys a certain prominence in Washington. Many regulars suffer from what some might call flea market snobbery. "We're the one. At least they tell me we're the best," says market director Michael Sussman...

That may be good news for the prominent antique dealers and interior designers who frequent the market, many even coming from out of town. They show up at around 7 a.m. for first pickings when booths are being set up and most of us are still in bed. Others soon follow, from Georgetown students to very prominent citizenry...

"You can find good things, like antique wicker, an iron bed, a farm table and chairs, maybe a nice piece of art," says local interior designer Elizabeth Hague, who tries to make it to the Georgetown flea every Sunday. Prices are fair, she says, and you can always bargain, which often works best late in the day when dealers would rather unload merchandise on you than reload it into their trucks. Roger and Susie Schwabacher, a young Washington couple, have made out well on a rocking chair, a coffee table and an oak chest of drawers. The chest is their favorite find, hands down. At about $80 including delivery, it was a great long-term investment. "We'll probably keep it forever," Susie says.



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Sundays at the Georgetown Flea Market
Treasures for dorm rooms abound at 32-year-old city bazaar

By Brittany Bond

Say Saturday night involved a pretty crazy party and the resulting hangover puts a major impediment on any paper writing potential.

There is an alternative to popping some pills and being sequestered to a shades-drawn room. It's the Georgetown Flea Market, popping up in the parking lot of Hardy Middle School at Wisconsin Avenue and 34th Street every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On sidewalks wide enough for a little early morning staggering, this bazaar of cheap and exotic fare is between 30 to 45 minutes walking distance from campus.

It might not have everything under the sun, but the Georgetown Flea Market surely has enough to keep people from leaving empty handed. Fairly standard of flea markets, it has many types of artwork vendors - from photography, watercolors, oil paintings and prints, to antique maps of geography centuries ago, authentic hand-carved African masks and unused ancient cigar box decals, beer bottle labels and fashion and fruit advertisements.

... Writer Larry McMurtry, who taught English at AU from 1970 to 1971, based his novel "Cadillac Jack" on the market... The market was started by Michael Sussman, who graduated from AU's Washington College of Law in 1972, took the bar exam and, while waiting for the results, began to organize a collective based on a market he saw in Berkeley, Calif.

Since then, he has seen the market grow into a fixture of the neighborhood and city. Originally managing day-to-day operations, Sussman is now in charge of making sure the market survives in dwindling city space.

"At 8 a.m., it's a thriving bustling place where neighbors come and greet each other," Sussman said. "It's like Brigadoon. It just appears, and it's really magical."

The selection and prices might be magic to some college students' ears. There is more than enough material at the market to put a unique, colorful touch to dorm room walls.

"There are great deals on furniture," Sussman said. "If you need a desk or a nightstand or a dresser, it's an incredible price compared to what's sold new now."

With several jewelry merchants vying for business, take time sifting through endless silver, gold, engraved or jewel-encrusted rings, fancy chains and one-of-a-kind pendants. Anyone looking for jewelry will definitely not leave without a unique, eye-catching piece.

There are deals, of course, at almost every station. Valuable $3 wine glasses and other drink sets are sold across from an Indian talisman and statuette dealer; and for people looking for ice cream scoops, there is a station selling all imaginable designs and styles. Also, buy a few flavored honey sticks to suck on and peruse such impressive pieces from a giant chess set with 10-inch carved Egyptian deity pieces to a collection of vintage transistor radios to the adorable sock puppet monkeys for sale...

For many vendors, the Georgetown Flea Market has become a sort of home. Terry Lewis, who deals mostly with antique appliances and spare parts, has had a booth at the market for about 15 years. He owns a retail antique store in Montgomery County, Md., but on weekends travels to the District to set up shop. Lewis' favorite part about the flea market is the fact that promoters spotlight antique vendors. This way customers who want quality collectibles keep coming back, he said.

Another nice aspect of the flea market is its wide draw of people from different socioeconomic classes and age groups, Lewis said. He also noted that "everyone's a regular," with about 200 regular customers attending each Sunday.

While Lewis only vends at the Georgetown Flea Market, other vendors work at several local shows. Peter Tomlinson, who sells his own photographs is a relative newcomer to the Georgetown Flea Market, with only three years of vending under his belt. His works include photos taken in places from Morocco to Tennessee.

A trip to the close Starbucks a few steps from the market is highly recommended before or after perusing; good coffee waits to remedy any lingering morning-after qualms. They also have a pleasant mezzanine, an outdoor, upstairs terrace that is perfect for relaxing, people watching, skimming through the news and lingering over the deals just made on a very productive Sunday morning.

Eagle staff writers Blair Payne and Dan Zak contributed to this report.

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