Monday, April 11, 2016

#A-TO-Z CHALLENGE – LETTER “F” - FLEA MARKETS!


First off, before I get started, I must apologize for my absence. My ISP, Verizon, made the “business” decision of selling all Florida accounts to Frontier, which I have never heard of. The reason I have never heard of them is because they are owned by *gasp* AOL – America On Hold. It took me three days to set up an account and pay my bill, but during that time, the internet went out. Seeing as I do not get out much during the weekends, I was stuck. Mea Culpa. I still have the same infrastructure as before and the service/speed seems to be good. I have a year left on this contract. We'll see how it goes. Time to get caught up!


Letter “F” is for Flea Markets! Flea Markets are ubiquitous on the world's landscape and they all have their own unique flavor peculiar to their part of the world. So it goes with the Flea Markets on and around Nebraska Ave. They tend to have an international flavor along with the down-home southern style of all the fried food you could possibly want to speed you on your way to your next heart attack or stroke, or just increase your waist size.

courtesly:blog.asianinny.com   

This all looks delicious! But, it's all about 9 jillion calories and it's designed to catch you at your weakest; after four hours of shopping and you're hungry and thirsty. Give me 2 of these whatever-they-ares and a 128-oz Big Gulp!

There are also many fine things to be bought at the Flea Markets, along with pets, so you can probably bring fleas home with you, inadvertantly, or advertantly, if you wish, knowing that Fluffy or Mittens is going to have to have a Flea Bath, along with shots and de-worming. People sell all kinds of things at these Flea Markets and many make a decent living doing so. These folks are a step up from the “Entrepreneurs” and many of them started out there on the streets, before they earned enough money to rent a booth for the 3 or 5-day markets that thrive around here.


Hand-raised birds for sale seem to be a big item at the International. A few people sell them and I'm not sure how much they are. Probably cheaper than buying at a pet store, but certainly expensive. You can also buy the caged variety; finches and parakeets that squawk and beep, for much less.

The International Flea Market that is on Fowler Avenue and Nebraska Avenue is huge and in an old mall and open from Wednesdays to Sundays. From the outside it doesn't look like much, but on the inside? OMG! It's heaven to Flea Market mavens and has the distinction of having a couple tie the knot there! I think that's pretty cool, really!


I'm guessing these two met at the International Flea Market and wanted to tie the knot where they met. Pretty sweet and sentimental!

You can get anything from 3 dollar sunglasses which last about 3 days to computers. The guy who has the computer boot is pretty savvy and he fixes them, too. We've spent a lot of time talking about his computers. There are lots of booths, that look like hobos just picked up a bunch of junk by the side of the road and are attempting to pass them off as tools, but they don't look like any tools I've ever seen.


For 2 or 3 dollars, you can have the coolest looking shades ever, for, er 2 or 3 days. Me? I have several pair of those heave FBI sunglasses that are dark as sin. I order mine from the same company that sells me my canes. I look like this now:


My character in RS3, SpZViolaFury, co-Leader of Clan SpiritZ. It wasn't until I got the glasses that I realized I had the same hair-do and glasses in real life. Our clan is 11 years old (10 of which I've been a member in) and we are highly respected. I am, of course, a total derp and am merely a figure-head, even if I am maxed as a combat player/slayer. 

We also have the “fun-lan” Drive-in flea market, which doubles as a Drive-in movie theater at night and functions as a flea market from Thursdays until Sundays and they have a festive neon sign they love to show everyone!


Doesn't this just scream "fun"? It really is a nice time, but I'll go there in the daytime, thank you. I'm 

The fun-lan Drive-in is currently showing Batman vs. Superman, or vice-versa and after howling your way through the movie, you can buy antiques (real ones), fresh produce and locally produced arts and crafts. It has been rated as one of USA Today's “10 Best Swap-and-Shop” places in the country and it has a carnival-like atmosphere as well. You can also buy the same carny food that we all love to chow down on, just don't overdo it, your doctor will hate you. For giggles, fun-lan has an fb page, and the comments are hilarious, especially the one about the woman and her sister who went to see “50 Shades of Grey” and were in proximity to the lone guy in his Corvette... it's worth a read.


But, this is what's going on INSIDE the building of the fun-lan! Check out the cars, and look at the band! There's an arcade and just all kinds of fun things to see, buy and do, even if you hated the movie! It is easy to see why it is the USA Today's "10 Best Swap-and-Shop" places in the country!

These are the two biggest that are closest to me that don't require some huge trek out into the outback. There is one more way out east of Nebraska, called Big Top Flea Market, but it's practically a clone of the The International, and several of the vendors will have more than one booth at each. There is another Flea Market that is note-worthy for it's very unusual items in Oldsmar, Florida, which is one county over, that my mom and I used to visit when she was alive.

But I really enjoy the International Flea Market for its Nebraska Crazy (a wedding!) and the ambience, and the fun-lan for the occasional unusual or really arty item you'll find that was made by someone local. Fresh produce grown by the denizens around here are also offered. We have a thriving Farmer's Market(s) that are supplied locally, and our little neighborhood society, V. M Ybor contributes in it's own way, which will be the subject of my next post.


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