FLEA THE CITY IV: San Francisco

Soon after the Factory Flea we were lucky enough to take a break and head to the west coast. Had an amazing time exploring San Francisco- it was great to be overwhelmed by a level of culture and diversity that only a few cities in the country can offer. 

Above is not a concert in the park or a critical mass of protestors or anything out of the ordinary- just a standard weekend day in Mission Dolores Park.

Couldnt wrap our heads around the wealth of amazingly creative and unique shops. Just a few pictured above- The Apartment (Mission), Propeller Modern, Undefeated (Hayes Valley), Courtney's Produce (Castro). 

The Mission District is full of grit, energy, and colorful murals.

Although a major tourist destination, the Ferry Building was teeming with super unique and interesting vendors specializing in everything from 'salted pig parts' to olive oil and wild mushrooms. This place offers far more than tourist bait.

Among other small farmers markets we ran into, what really caught our fancy was the Proxy Project. Wow- a temporary use of a two-block area that has mobilized a flexible environment of food, art, culture, and retail within renovated shipping containers. Really amazing. Look out Proxy- here comes ParProjects!

Flea the City III: Savannah, GA

This past weekend brought us to Savannah, GA, home to a massive stock of historic buildings, 60,000 trees, and a lot of southern charm. Worth spending a day or two there if you are in the area.
Tons of shaded public squares to enjoy every few blocks
Live music at Ellis Square
Free public transportation around the city on 'the dot' plus another free bus system that serves the city's work force
Universe Trading Company- tons of unique finds with a dusting of hoarding
Savannah City Market- Very charming for a primarily tourist district.
Paris Market - Worth a trip to Savannah. (Period) Definitely the highlight of the trip. 
Vintage Belgium Books

Vintage cameras, lenses, and camera equipment

Flea the City II: Asheville, North Carolina

For the second "Flea the City" post, we visited lovely Asheville, NC. Seems like a really fantastic place with a lot going on. It is surrounded by amazing terrain and filled with colorful small businesses. We highly recommend it for a weekend road trip...

Blue Ridge Parkway
Lots of galleries, theaters, and street music all over town.
There seems to be a really strong appreciation for small local businesses in Asheville. LOTS of signs like these all over town, bumper stickers, and thriving small businesses.  

So much good food. And a ton of variety. Lot of waiting around though because apparently its not a secret. 
Super good lunch at a little place in the middle of nowhere called Trust. Every single thing on the menu is either grown on site or from within a couple miles. And the staff could not have been nicer. 
Although we didnt get a chance to fully experience it, there is apparently a big beer scene.

Flea the City I: Wicker Park, Chicago

Crazy big wind farm in the middle of Indiana..

"Flea The City" is a new feature on the blog, full of quick trips where inspiration has been found and captured. For this first installment, we are the tourists, but invite anyone else who has had an interesting experience somewhere to please send us a few photos and a few words to back them up. We will specifically be looking for content that may be of interest to the city-going, flea market shoppin folks out there. Thanks and happy travels.

This weekend we were treated to a very quick trip to Chicago. We have spent a good amount of time in Chicago in the past so we were fine skipping Michigan Avenue and the various dramatic observation decks the windy city has to offer. Instead we just spent our free time in the neighborhood of Wicker Park. It is full of great shops and places to eat which we managed to check out only a fraction of.

Renegade Handmade is a "bricks and mortar" retail store for the Renegade Craft Fair which is an amazing craft fair that focuses on DIY and indie-craft culture that started in Chicago in 2003. It has since expanded to  the "urban epicenters of creative indie-entrepreneurship" all over the country. The store was jammed with amazing stuff.
The wall of past Renegade Craft Fair posters.
Lenny & Me Home is a fantastic sister store to the original Lenny & Me vintage clothing store down the street.  Tons of great stuff without the musty smell and dust of a lot of stores that have this much for sale.
US #1 Vintage: If you are looking for leather, go here. 
Our greatest mistake of the trip was getting to Midland Arts & Antiques Market in Indianapolis just at closing time.  We spotted this interesting looking warehouse on the way to Chicago and decided we would check it out on the way home. We realized upon walking in the door that a) this was the same place a friend had just recommended we stop and b) it was awesome. Sadly we only made it about 20 feet through the front doors when we were told they were closed. I guess now we have a good reason to head back to the "Crossroads of America" soon.