Fashion, Music to be Found at Swap Meet

Yesenia Pereyra

The monthly swap meet was held in the warm afternoon of Oct. 17, with eye-catching antiques, chic clothing and lunch trucks at GCC’s parking lot B.

It was also the swap meet’s 15th anniversary since it was first held in October 1994, said John Harris, program assistant. The swap meet is sponsored by GCC.

Catherine Theobalt, a customer from the neighborhood, was looking at colorful quilts. “I’ve been here a couple of times. It is great, not crowded and much less expensive than the Rose Bowl [Flea Market],” she said. The Rose Bowl, compared to the swap meet, is $8 for general entrance, and the vast sea of tables and huge open space of the parking lot accumulates to busy a metropolis center.

The nearest stand to the parking lot entrance was that of the vendor Diter Wanting, who sells antiques, picture frames and various lamp designs. He comes at least three times a year, and claims that “people like the strangest things; you never know who will come and what they will buy.

“But one thing they all have in common, is that everybody wants a deal,” Wanting said. He is one of the few vendors who do this as a hobby and to get rid of old objects to have space for new ones.

Another vendor, Zack Alcala, had a stand a few spaces next to Wanting’s. Glass cases on the tables were filled with earrings of all colors and shapes for any taste. Hair pieces and hanging necklaces were also on display. Alcala also attends the Rose Bowl Flea Market, Pasadena City College’s swap meet and owns a shop in Sun Valley.

Alcala attracted customers not only because of his colorful gleaming jewelry, but for his lively vendor spirit. As customers were walking by, Alcala was clearly audible, saying “cheap, cheap, cheap” in Spanish, and joking with costumers.

An anonymous vendor was selling pieces that looked antiqued, made out of heavy material. The worn out gold color due to time and all the hands that they have been through clearly show that they were valuable.

Pieces such as a Buddha sculpture and wide metal plates were for sale for $20. The vendor did not want his name to be revealed, but he did mention that some pieces were from Egypt and Iran.

A fashionable boutique-like stand was in the middle of antiques and toys, held by Stephen Briscoe, the designer of the clothing line Stylelab.

Briscoe designs dark shaded color dresses, hats and old wallets that are fashionable, yet simple.

He described his dresses as “elegant, timeless pieces that can work for cocktail parties, work, [and] any occasion.”
Briscoe said by coming here, he “wants to reach a broader crowd of customers and provide them with quality boutique merchandise.”

For customers interested in records and purses, Elizabeth Barksdale was the vendor to go to. Records were available from Fleetwood Mac, to the Stray Cats and Aretha Franklin.

Barksdale is a big fan of this particular swap meet. “I love this swap meet,” she said. “If you want to come to a swap meet, and get different classes of people from artists, professors and intelligent people, it’s here. It is very good, casual, no pressures, [and] we have nice vendors [here].”

Barksdale has been selling at Glendale for five years now, and has 30 years in the business overall.

An Eagle Food lunch truck was cooking early morning breakfast burritos, sandwiches and tacos.

A hot dog van, along with a food stand was present; hot dogs, juices, water and popcorn were for sale.

The vendor rates are $40 for pre-registered shoppers, and the day of the event costs $50. Operating hours are from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The admission is $5 per car from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and $2 per car from 8 a.m. to noon.
The swap meets are held on the third Sunday of every month.

The next one, taking place on Sunday, will be customer appreciation day, where customers will get free parking and a free 2010 calendar. All proceeds go to GCC’s general fund, said Harris.