03 May 2010

Top Shelf Flea Market: It's a Wrap!

I am pleased to officially announce that the Top Shelf Flea Market was nothing short of a roaring success! The vendors all had a good day, and the shoppers stayed long and had a good time too by all accounts. I suppose it helped that it was 90 degrees outside, and there was a water ban on, and that we had plenty of cold beer and ice cold 1950s old lady style air conditioning...but still. I figured it would be a good time, but I never could have asked for the turnout we had. My most humble thanks to the vendors, Pat and the good folks at the Dilboy VFW, and most of all everyone who stopped to shop or even just catch a beer and chat. I may have made a few phone calls and such, but the success of this thing lies entirely with all of you.
photo: Christine of N'East Style
This shot says it all. We were jamming from before we opened until about 4:30. At least, that's the first chance I got to step out from behind my booth. Again, I'm humbled.
photo: Christine of Carmen & Ginger
Here I am at my booth, in a real madras sports coat and the new "Giuseppe" bow tie from the lovely Ellie LaVeer Stager, fashioned of an old pair of Nantucket Reds. (before one of you wise guys says it, I know I'm showing a bit much square and I really need a hair cut. Oh well.)

My little corner of the world. A special thanks to the old guys at Simon's for teaching me how to set up a men's shop.
A goofy picture of my shingle. Note the tape measure around the neck. That would have been a dismiss-able offense at Simon's, well out of my rank. But hell, I was the man in charge that day, right?
My, ahem, desk. Complete with pins, cigar box and beer. I can't tell you how many people wanted that plastic record player. Sorry, not for sale. Can't believe nobody bit on that USA made Sero plaid shirt...maybe next time.

Paper bags courtesy of the wine shop (thanks, Chris), all part of the grand art project this thing was for me.

A picture of Francesco, aka Nonno Frank: father, grandfather, soldier, barber and custom tailor. If it weren't for him, I might never have developed my love of clothing. I brought him along for luck...guess it worked.

Kerry and Rachael of Raspberry Beret in Cambridge. These two really know what they're doing. Ladies, pay them a visit soon.

The impressive "double wide" booth shared by Michelle of the Red Velvet Shoe and Christine over at Carmen & Ginger. More cool stuff than you could handle. Well done!

The booth of the incomparable Bobby from Boston, 'neath the watchful eye of the man himself, local war hero George Dilboy. Extra points to Bobby for representing the synthetic Hawaiian shirt on this sweltering day.

Nimco and Rob, and everything you need for a real swinging kitchen. I almost bought the Shriner's hat, but no one was selling a miniature motor cycle to go with it.

Ladies shopping for lady-wear at the Artifaktori booth.

Hip records at Doc & Gam's table.

Longwings, neckties and vintage flannel galore courtesy of Zach de Luca.

James (in the knit tie) and Zoe of Swamp Rabbit Books. First editions? Signed copies? Never thought you'd find that book? Talk to these two.

Eddie over at Sunshine Lucy's really brought it with the creatively refinished furniture. My apologies for not snapping a good photo, but you can make him out in the foreground of the first photo.

My personal favorite moment of the day: as I tend my booth, a young hipster couple peruses my selection of neck wear.

girl: There's a lot of good stuff here.

guy: I know, and the best part is that there's nothing ironic about any of this. These people are all for real.

I will gladly take that as a compliment, thank you very much.

Once again, my undying gratitude to everyone who made this possible. Look for Top Shelf II in the Fall.

p.s. if you're the guy who bought three pairs of pants from me, you forgot your brown Brooks Brothers chinos. Drop me a line and I'll see that you get them.


Main Line Sportsman said...

I am very impressed...I love Flea markets and yard sales and this looked mlike a really unique set up...wish I was in B-town to attend...but then I am a Flyers Fan and probably would havfe gotten into it with some Bruins folk.
Nevertheless...well done my friend.

Anonymous said...

I hope your next summer Top Shelf can be a little later! As a California college student coming home to the east coast, it would be perfect for me to make the trip and see you all. Wish I could have made it, really looks like you all had a great time.

Charles said...

Congratulations. It looks fantastic. Glad to see someone putting the flea back in flea market.

Thornproof said...

Looked great!

Wish that I could have been there ... maybe I can make the next one!

Enzo AGC said...

I was home in VT for the weekend going through my dad's wardrobe for fall GANT ideas and had planned to make the detour on my way back to NYC but it just wasn't in the cards man. I'm sorry I missed it, it looked like a blast. See you at the next one for sure.

Anonymous said...

Looks great. Wish there was a left coast edition.

Turling said...

Congratulations. I'm glad it was a success.

Pigtown*Design said...

Excellent! You did an amazing job of pulling this together. Well done, you!

Anonymous said...

Well done. I am in search of authentic madras shorts and a jacket. Would you being able to assist me please?

Thank you,

Anonymous said...

Longtime reader - awesome post. Those shoes are dying for trees to be put in them though! Your setup looks great, very classic menswear shop.

Young Fogey said...

Congratulations! It looks like it was a great success. I wish I could have been there, and wish you luck for the next one--and all that follow.

David M. said...

I was nice to meet you. Thanks for the ties. Too bad the "19th hole" pants were too small for me. I'm looking forward to the next flea.

The Red Velvet Shoe said...

You know that the only cure for a champagne hangover is more champagne, right? Congrats on a smashing success of a show on Sunday...looking forward to TSF II in the fall.

GK said...

The only thing to say is, "Great Job! Totally impressed and in a bit of awe."

Old Trad said...

Apart from your good self and James (of Swamp Rabbit Books),
was there anybody else dressed properly there?

Giuseppe said...

Quite a few, in fact. Encouragement for the future.

Dutch Uncle said...

Old Trad & Giuseppe:

Haven't been in Boston since the Sixties, but I can assure you that back then, people in Boston dressed differently from those in L.A.

No longer, it seems: The photos speak for themselves.

Giuseppe said...


Not to be sour grapes, but that was half a century ago. While I do hope that we might see a return to adult drssing, I don't want everybody to start wearing "1962 costumes" as it were.

Imagine how irrelevant it would have been to wear a celluloid collar and jhodpurs in 1962.

TRVS said...

I wore a black vintage sheath dress, heels and a french twist, does that count?

dandy nihilism said...

yo bro, we all have our pocket squares ride up from time to time

Young Fogey said...

'I don't want everybody to start wearing "1962 costumes"'

Despite the TV show "Mad Men" being misinterpreted as a historically accurate account of how most people behaved in the past (it's as much of a "historical document" as Galaxy Quest was), it has had the beneficial side effect of making a slim silhouette more popular.

So, unfortunately for G, some people already are donning 1962 costumes. They just don't put them together very well.

Anonymous said...

"girl: There's a lot of good stuff here.

guy: I know, and the best part is that there's nothing ironic about any of this. These people are all for real."

Hahaha--oh, my. That's so great. Thanks for the laugh.

ADG said...

Congrats Man!

Anonymous said...

All sounds (and looks) like The Self Preservation Society.

Giuseppe said...

Better that than the Self Destruction Club.

Young Fogey said...

"All sounds (and looks) like The Self Preservation Society."

Oh my! It's simply awful that people should find value in tradition and want to preserve it! How hideous that people want their society to endure! This runs counter to the ideals of perpetual revolution, and must be stopped at all costs...

...if your intellectual development ended in your teens, as it did for anyone who thinks like this.

Don't look now, Giuseppe, but you're starting to sound--dare I say it?--like a conservative. Welcome to the club! ;-)

TRVS said...

Young Fogey scores in the last round!!!! Well said, Well said!!!!

Bookcase said...

****** Congratulations. *****

Look Great.


Engineworks said...

GREAT blog chap! Just stumbled on it. One note. There is some denim history to the "plastic" Wrangler pocket label. Wrangler went to plastic labels ASAP because cowboys (the real ones) were complaining that Levi and Lee pocket patches would stick to the saddle on very hot days. I was told this by a designer from Banana Republic here in NYC. In fact the Wranglers with the plastic patch are considered "real" Wranglers. The ones advertised by Brett Favre and found in WalMart are considered the "trailer park" Wranglers. Denim aficionados shudder at the thought of removing the plastic patch.

Do blog on sir. I'm hooked!