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The Perfect Use of a Fall Saturday: Flea Markets

Written by Valerie Dreyfuss

November 27, 2023

In developing my style and finding clothes and accessories distinctive to my wardrobe, scenes like flea markets are liberating, allowing me to hand-select unique pieces from a non-curated variety. While shopping at popular clothing chains may be less complex, the authenticity and inventiveness of flea markets cannot be replicated on the mainstream level.

Last weekend, my fellow thrift-enthusiast roommates and I ventured around the annual flea market at the Jeffries Point Waterfront and the Boston Open Market on Boylston Street on October 28, 2023. It was a surprising 80-degree fall day, and the energy of the whole experience felt almost magical.


The Jeffries Point flea was first on the agenda. Only 30 minutes from the city, dozens of art and clothing vendors gathered to sell their pieces along the beautiful waterfront. Whether people were there to absorb the thrift and vintage scene or pay a five-dollar entry fee to enjoy drinks and dance, the Jeffries Point flea market crowd was refreshing. It provided an exciting escape from the city.

Handmade knick-knacks, reconstructed vintage clothing, and unique accessories were at every corner of the market, and their vast array of sellers enabled a widespread group of different individuals to find something. Whether you wanted to splurge and invest in a designer leather jacket or to purchase a 10-dollar pair of L.L. Bean Jeans,—which I scored—there was something for everyone here.

The seller, Matas, who sold me the jeans, had a boundless selection of pre-owned denim, sweaters, and T-shirts. Through browsing his shop, I realized the mere superiority of buying denim secondhand. The return of certain styles such as low-rise means pre-owned denim offers an authentic style that many mainstream clothing companies have been replicating. Additionally, the signs of wear in a pair of

pre-owned jeans offer a unique look to them, and I find them more comfortable and durable.


My roommates and I returned to the city to the Boston Open Market, located on Boylston Street. Right outside the Boston Common, dozens of vendors gather every Saturday from 11 to 5 p.m. Before the Open Market, we convened in the Common, almost in denial of the majestic Boston fall essence. Upon arriving at the market, I was immediately struck by their jewelry inventory and broad selection.

My roommates and I visited a vendor that sold art prints, and we all bought prints of a comic-style calendar from the 1960s; placed above our refrigerator, they provided a unique touch to our apartment. Anecdotal accents throughout our living space make it feel truly like home, and they also are reminders of the importance of supporting independent artists and small businesses.

Compartmentalizing my time at these spots reminded me of the importance of community-driven activities; placing myself in environments where I feel a sense of camaraderie is an essential component of my overall feeling of fulfillment. I was also reminded of how enhancing it is to experience this while being surrounded by people who equally appreciate and recognize the community.

The experience can also be personable—vendors are eager to share stories and offer guidance. At the Jeffries Point flea market and the Boston Open Market, there was a sense of unity and camaraderie, making them worth visiting.

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