Food, fun and fashion at the flea market

VINTAGE: Hats and purses displayed at a Melrose Trading Post booth.  The market is open every Sunday.

VINTAGE: Hats and purses displayed at a Melrose Trading Post booth. The market is open every Sunday.

By Rose Lipner, Arts & Culture Editor

If you’re interested in spiffing up your wardrobe, revamping your room or even just people-watching, then you might want to head to a flea market for bargains and entertainment.

Just outside the bubble — that is, outside the Westside religious neighborhoods where most of us live — lies the Melrose Trading Post, a weekly flea market in the parking lot of Fairfax High School at the corner of Fairfax and Melrose.

Every Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm, for $3 you can enter the flea market on Fairfax, which has a ray of yellow and red balloons marking the entrance. There, you will find yourself looking at more than 250 tables full of second-hand art, clothes and accessories, along with the relaxing Los Angeles vibe.

You can park your car on the streets with meter parking, or you can pay extra to park in the parking lot near the vendors.

All across the lot, groups of friends, small families and couples are admiring different booths or stopping to get lemonade or popcorn from a food cart. Many people are holding cups of coffee or hanging on to their small dogs.

In the winter and early spring, the flea market crowd is sparse, most likely due to the cold shift in the Los Angeles weather. In summer and fall it is packed with kids and adults soaking up the sun.

The arts are well represented with modern artwork such as the New York skyline, and at separate booths, classic portraits and still life paintings.

Clothing-wise, there are vintage band t-shirts, leather jackets and edgy shoes every few booths.

Accessories like delicate gold necklaces, sparkling pendants, oxford and silver rings are among the options.

At the southeast corner of the lot near a fence leading onto Melrose Avenue, is a small vintage school bus, repainted white. It’s the home of Looksy, an online accessories website, which has a physical presence at the flea market. Customers climbed in and searched for jewelry, scarves and glasses.

A few of the vendors sell music vinyls, featuring artists such as the Beatles and Jimmie Hendrix.

In addition to selling music, all of the salespeople are listening to music of their choice in their tents: pop, rock and indie. Right beside one of the music booths, another merchant is selling a jukebox for $2,000 and a green vintage radio for $200.

The contrasting music flowing throughout the lot, along with the mix of perfumes and incense,

adds to the cultural mix of the flea market.

Other offerings are traditional furniture and homemade soaps and candles, and one vendor provides massages for a price of $10 for 15 minutes.

After conquering the Melrose Flea Market, you might want to venture even farther. Pasadena has the Rose Bowl Flea Market, others are in Ventura and downtown, and you can Google “Best flea markets in Los Angeles” for details and more ideas.

So pop the bubble, grab a friend, sip some lemonade and enjoy everything the Melrose Flea Market has to offer.