Saturday, April 04, 2009

Three Dorchester flea markets

We criss-crossed the Dot this Saturday morning to visit three local flea markets in quick succession. It was quick because the first two didn't take a lot of time.

The first was sponsored by I'm not sure what the connection is. I got the tip on the markets location from a postcard posted in the J.P. Lick's in Mission Hill, and the website doesn't offer any tie-in. Nor was there any promotional material on site.

This is the second time this market has been held at the old Dorchester High School on Peacevale Road, off Norfolk Ave at the Codman Square end. About twelve tables were arranged in the cafeteria offering CDs, homemade chocolate, used bric-a-brac, and one table supporting a number of steaming chaffing dishes we didn't investigate. We did spend a bit of time exploring the school's ground floor which is largely untouched by the hand of time. The gymnasium is like the gym the nuns dream about in the film, "Bells of Saint Mary's" with a running track elevated above the basketball court.

Our next stop was the Dorchester Flea Market on Adams Street close to Fields Corner. This market has been in operation since at least this past winter. The entrance appears to be a well-appointed clothing shop. We headed toward the back and through a hallway where booths have been set up, but the operation still seems a bit disorganized. Leather jackets and clothing were for sale in two booths and there was an attended kiosk in which people were using a computer but it wasn't clear if they were selling anything. There was a collection of used furniture scattered throughout but little foot traffic.

We then headed toward the grand daddy of Dorchester flea markets, the Maxwell on East Cottage Street, tucked away between Uphams Corner and Newmarket Square. I've passed this old box factory a few times and read reviews of it. Since this was flea market day, today was the day to visit. It is extensive and there is a mix of sellers and buyers. Some of the booths are professional. You can buy home made cakes, sealed videos, all sorts of used furniture and clothing, food, electronics, and root vegetables. A watchmaker has set up shop here and we observed him making repairs with tiny tools through a magnifying glass.

The Maxwell Flea Market is well stocked, we saw three fireplaces with flues for sale and a score of vintage metal file cabinets, but we made no purchases. You can't cart a credenza on a motorcycle, especially when two people are riding. On the way out, through the back parking lot reached by Harrow Street, we overheard a merchant telling a customer that the radio he was inspecting wasn't functional. "Take that one over there," he instructed, "That one works and it's five dollars."

What does the gym at old Dorchester High look like? You'll have to see the movie if you can't get to Peacevale Road. I recommend the film.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the maxwell flea market rocks!

it will be 13 years old in july and it is one of boston's best kept secrets.

the multi cultural flair along w/its bargains makes it soo unique!


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