Are You Ready To Go To A Flea Market?? + Our New Favorite Face Masks

Hi, friends! Earlier this morning, Julie walked us through the ins and outs of both bedroom and furniture design and Y’ALL, it’s such a good post. MEATY. There’s SO much great info in there (and just WAIT til you see the full reveal tomorrow!).

So this afternoon, to balance it out, I’m just dropping in with a lil’ midday snack for ya — the online equivalent of a walk around the office and a water cooler conversation. Take a quick break and talk with me, okay?

This weekend, the Long Beach Flea Market is reopening, which has gotten me thinking: are you ready to go back to the flea market? Or, more broadly, are you ready to start shopping in-store again, period? 

I’m just curious — what’s the vibe like in your part of the world? How are you feeling?  

Here in LA, I’m in a confusing limbo. I spent more than 11 consecutive weeks alone, without any human contact, but that streak ended on May 30th. Over the past two weeks, I’ve spent time in crowds of thousands (or, in some cases, crowds of hundreds of thousands). And now, that’s left me spiraling a bit. Yes, it’s still a pandemic. Yes, our local government has given the green light for businesses to reopen anyway. And yes, it’s wild to process the sudden shift from self-isolating to marching in crowds to seeing lines outside of dine-in restaurants when nothing has changed.

Currently, some of my friends are now choosing to return to self-quarantine again for two weeks, which I think is smart. Some friends are relying on testing — we use the drive-thru site at Dodger Stadium, which employs a self-administered cheek swab over a nose swab — and are getting checked weekly, which I think is responsible. And some of my friends are just returning to life as normal, complete with brunches and weddings (YES, y’all, I know someone who attended a full-on, crowded wedding this past weekend). 

I’m stuck, though. I still don’t know how willing I am to return to regular life. I’ve said on the site before that the only thing I’ve missed more than my mom over the past few months has been the flea market — y’all, I love a small business and I love a good vintage find — and while I was joking (I do love my mom MORE than the flea market, it’s okay!!!), the flea has always been my favorite way to spend a Sunday. 

photo by tessa neustadt | from: our round top flea market trip!

I love that it’s outdoors. I love supporting vendors who don’t necessarily have the time, bandwidth, or funding to reach an online audience. I love negotiating. I love waiting in line at 5 AM and using a headlamp to search for goods as dealers unpack. (Yeah, I’m that nerdy, y’all.) And honestly, I JUST LOVE PICKING. I love snooping through stuff. I’M NOSY, OKAY? 

And these are the thoughts that are rattling around in my head now as I think about the Long Beach Flea Market this weekend. These are real people who deserve support now, more than ever! Many have gone months without the income they’d formerly depended on to make ends meet. Plus, it’s outdoors, and we’re pretty good at wearing masks by now, right? 

But also, it’s still a pandemic AND it’s still getting worse. I’m COVID-free (again, shoutout to the easy testing available at Dodger Stadium, highly recommended for any LA resident who’s been in a crowd over the past few weeks!), but I can’t trust that everyone has been cleared. Is it worth isolating for another week til I can be tested again? Did I really go from “I NEED TO SANITIZE ALL MY GROCERIES” to “hello, stranger, please let me pick through your belongings” in the blink of an eye?

I figured that since a lot of states (and countries!) are re-opening, maybe you’re having this dilemma, too. If you are, ARE YOU AS CONFUSED AS I AM? How are you handling it? Honestly, out of all the places I could go right now, the flea market does feel like the safest bet…but also, should I just wait a month? Do I really need to buy…something? (Cause y’all know…you can go with a list to the flea market, but the real finds are the ones that you just stumble on.) If I am healthy, do I owe it to my community to support those who are rebuilding after months away from an important revenue stream? I live alone and can self-isolate for a few more weeks (I’m a pro now!) — does that change anything? 

LET’S CHAT, please. It’s gotta be a weird time for all of us, right? How are you balancing it? Catch me up on what’s happening in your neck of the woods. (I’ll be here, waiting.) 

PS. No matter where you’re going or what you’re doing, please wear a mask. Two symptomatic hairstylists exposed 140 (!!!) customers to COVID, but no new infections were linked to their salon because both the stylists and clients were wearing masks. We’ve shared some of our favorites on the site before, but here are a few new ones from small businesses and indie makers that we love.

1. Wild Posy Flora Mask With Filter | 2. Purple Print Fabric Mask | 3. Protective Mask | 4. Cotton Floral Face Mask | 5. Hand Dyed Shibori Indigo Face Mask | 6. Face Mask | 7. Summer Picnic – Fabric Face Mask With Filter | 8. Non-Medical Face Masks | 9. Gingham Face Mask | 10. Blue and White Polka Dot Face Mask | 11. Blue Face Mask | 12. Polka Dot And Flower Print Face Mask

PLEASE STAY SAFE, y’all have kept me sane while I’ve been alone and I want you to be healthy!!! OK, now we can chat.

Opener Image Credit: Photo by Alanna Hale | via Real Simple

Fin Mark

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