Saturday, September 24, 2016

My Vintage Road Trip: Hermosa Beach

 The downside of having so much good vintage in LA is that I couldn't possibly see all of it. Much of the vintage to be found there is situated in the amazing markets LA hosts. The only thing is, they're mostly on weekends (every third weekend, every other weekend, etc). Timing wise, our trip coincided with the Long Beach Antique Market and the Smorgasburg LA (brand new this year).

Sometimes the markets take place on the same weekends. For example, the Melrose Trading Post Market was happening at the same time as Smorgasburg. We opted to check out Smorgasburg because it was new and we were familiar with the one in Brooklyn. And, to be honest, I really was craving a ramen burger.

One other downside of having all these markets is that usually they're located closer into DTLA, and my sister-in-law lives in the 'burbs' so to speak. Los Angeles is quite sprawling and traffic can be a nightmare. I'm always amazed at how the locals manage it; everyone just seems to know how many extra minutes to add to their commute at any given time of day.

As far as vintage boutiques and stores go, those are also generally located in town. I didn't really have a chance to explore those much. I also didn't have time to explore the secondhand/thrift shop scene either. I've been a fan of B. Jones Style YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram stories (@bjonesstyle) on these topics for some time, so I really need to check these places out on my next trip to LA. She finds such amazing stuff, so I'll have to ask her to send me some recommendations. Beth Jones is really the best and I'd love to go along on her trips to Savers or Crossroads. She has such a good eye.

So, Hermosa Beach was my last vintage road trip pit stop this summer. The vintage scene there is a unique one, actually. Down by the beach there were three vintage/secondhand stores in a row which reminded of the thrift stores I used to browse through in college. To be honest, the vintage in their stores was not my cup of tea really, but fun to poke through anyhow. There was good beach type vintage and secondhand clothing (think 60s & 70s hippie, surfer attire). Granny Takes a Trip had some cool vintage and secondhand bikinis and swimwear and denim, Southwest style jewellery and a killer collection of vinyl from the 60s, 70s and 80s, too. The owner of the store recommended her niece's shop, two doors down as well. The third, LopaLopa, was in between those two and caters mostly to men. It was also the priciest of the three, so I didn't spend long in there.

I thought this might be the extent of the vintage offerings in Hermosa Beach and the South Bay area until I found Stars Antique Market located up and away from the beach on Pier Avenue. I knew this was a place I'd like because it felt more like browsing through estate sales.

Basically, it's a huge warehouse "barn" for individual vintage and antique dealers to have their own 'shop' for selling their collections. It felt almost like walking through a museum of memorabilia from different eras. I got lost in a nostalgic journey back in time through old Surfer magazines, vinyl records, typewriters and sewing machines. Beautiful vintage tea towels and other knick knacks, too. The building is surprisingly expansive, so there was lots of vintage to see, just for memory's sake. It's definitely a place to visit when the other weekend markets aren't in session.

***The good news is we just booked our Christmas to LA! I'll be back to get to some of those other markets and stores that I didn't get to before. If you're in the LA area, here's a cool website to consider consulting as you make plans to hit up some good vintage shopping while you're there:

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