Wednesday, 9 June 2010

berlin review of fleamarkets

On a recent sojourn to Berlin I intended to sample the Kuche and blog about any number of the wonderful cafes and what delicious confections I consumed. Instead I reverted to my holiday-ing self (the kind who has a bizarre fascination with foreign supermarkets) and instead scoffed lots of those little yoghurt and freeze dried strawberry bars and drank lots of chilled Hefeweissbier.

What I did find time to do was visit some of Berlin's eclectic flea markets. One of the city's biggest draws, it's Flohmarkts are somewhere between the messy relaxed vibe of East London on a Sunday, and the serious vintage at Portobello market. Part cash in the bin, part collectable 20th century finds.

The Mauerpark in Prenzlauer Berg, just across from where we were staying is one of the biggest fleamarkets, and fairly newly established to boot. The stalls are a mix of folks having a clearout, antiques and vintage dealers, 20th century furniture and serious amounts of junk in cardboard boxes.

There's a whole section dedicated to street food, with deck chairs laid out in the sun and a bar to grab a pre shopping beer to recover from the Saturday night before. Whilst serious bargains are hard to come by, prices are still relatively cheap by UK standards. Mr LROC found some rare and valuable Star Wars figure tucked into a dusty box for a mere 2 Euro.

Arkonaplatz market is an altogether more serious affair, full of 20th century collectables such a giant light up letters and genuine anglepoise lamps.


Arts organisations such as Side-Seeing are reclaiming the fleamarket as a kind of sunday, with music and art, in much the same way as we are in London, in fact Jo Braithwaite an ex-Londoner has set up We Make Party which "has attracted bargain hunters to its day-long events that combine elements of German flohmarkts and UK jumble sales with a slant on hip vintage fashion, and a roster of musical acts that add to the party atmosphere." (I've quoted because I don't have the energy to rephrase!

Anyway, those looking to start their winter wardrobe early would be well advised to head to Germany to stock up on larger-size vintage boots, fur coats, leather jackets and bags. I know I will be.

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