S.W.S Ep. 2 "The Rosebowl Flea"
Hey guys. Hope you liked the first episode of ‘Sundays With Syd.” Haha the name cracks me up but my guy likes it so we're keeping it! :) It was really fun to document my day and reminded me how much I like getting out and doing some exploring. This episode is one I was super excited to write about because it was so fun and seriously a long time item on my bucket-list: The Rosebowl Flea up in Pasadena.
Even growing up going to swap meets, fleas, and antique-ing with my Dad I had never gone and made the trek up there. Definitely a long time coming! We went up to Pasadena the day before and stayed over night. Not necessary, but it is quite a drive. A couple factors to consider:
A) The weather. It was going to be really hot. And it was. When we rolled into town on Saturday it was a cool 100º F. Eeek, So the earlier you get there the better. If it wasn't the temperature of the devil's buttcrack I could've stayed there all day long just looking meticulously at everything. In nearly triple digits, we lasted 3.5 hours which is still impressive to me! Haha.
B) Speaking of getting there early…you can pay a bit more to get an earlier entry into the flea. Normal admission is $9 walk-up entrance when they open at 9am or $10 to buy tickets in advance online to avoid waiting in lines. We went between 8am -9am for $12 walk up and didn’t have to wait at all in line or it would be $13 online. For the even earlier early birds its $15 for walk up entrance between 7am - 8am and then even earlier is $20 walk up for entrance between 5am - 7am. The hard core hunters really do go that early!
C) So if you’re driving up from SD county like we would have, to arrive at say even 7:30 am, you’d have to leave at the butt crack of dawn. Totally up to you.
D) There are a few options to park. Some people in the surrounding areas I heard just ubered there. There is a paid parking lot. I think it was like $15 to park. That's like a tshirt! Don't use your money on parking. There is free parking if you're willing to look for it! I guess there was a free lot that we didn't realize til after we found parking along the perimeter of the bowl. Keep in mind on a Sunday morning in LA there are gonna be peeps out. Lots of runners, bikers, people in general so there were a lot of cars parked that weren't even there for the flea.
This fool ended up dressing TOO warm for the occasion. Despite the all white, I was overheating. Doc Marten’s and thick denim overalls make for sweatyyyy. However, you knew you were in LA because fellow Flea-ers came dressed in their usual stylish garb despite the heat. A lot of people in all black (goth is a lifestyle, people!! haha) and others just fully decked in their style. Excellent stylish people watching. Especially dude style. I was surprised to see more dudes at the flea than girls.
So none of the Flea takes place actually inside the bowl. It’s all just surrounding the perimeter. They give you a map when you first walk in that show you what sections carry what kind of stuff. Didn’t really have any interest in looking at the vendors that carried new stuff which are located closest to the stadium. All of the vintage and antiques are on the outside.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are seemingly endless aisles of tents and stands. We took the zig-zag approach and just snaked each and every one. On our first stretch of stands I saw a girl I follow on Instagram. Lol. It seems like I always see internet-famous or actual famous people when I go to fleas lately.
Besides the occasional cool random vintage tshirt, I was there hunting for a new point n shoot film camera. Sadly didn’t really see any. Just tons of these SLR’s which I already got.
I think it’s always best to go in with a plan. Know what you’re looking to get. Know how much you have to spend and stick to that budget. Remember to barter. And knowing when to risk “coming back for it later” or just buying it on the spot.
If you're going to buy jeans or bottoms I would wear a dress or some kind of skirt that you could try the pants on right there on the spot underneath your clothes. Most places don't have anywhere to try stuff on. And you don't wanna get stuck with clothes that don't fit.
It is INSANE how much vintage shirts go for these days. I would 8.9 times out of 10 its not worth paying obscene prices for them.
We went to an ATM before we rolled in and I withdrew $100. That was my budget. Not a dollar more. In the old days that principle would help those that are tempted to overspend but now we live in a world where you can paypal or venmo vendors when you don’t have enough ca$h. Sometimes that is super helpful when you see something you gotta have. Other times that can be dangerous haha ;)
It was hot as balls out and these $6 cups of ice cold lemonade were looking pritt-ee-good. I’d say either bring your hydroflask or just spend the money on these.
While there were a good handful of vendors that took digital payment (credit/debit, venmo, paypal) I would say that cash is still king. Withdraw your budget and stick to it. Plus you'll know if you really want it if you're willing to give up your finite tangible financial resource. I didn't see any ATMs there but might have just not been looking hard. We hit up an ATM before we got there.
Alright. So. You're gonna see stuff that you're gonna geek out over and get all nostalgic about. Just because you had it as a kid or were into it...doesn't necessarily mean you should buy it or need it now. I freaking loved Sanrio. Still do. But as much as I loved the Twin Stars. Would I really use this clear vinyl bag with them on it. No. I wouldn't. I would buy it and hang it up in my closet and seldom if ever, use it. So, what is my advice. Take a picture of it. Haha, for real though. And if you think you would use or wear whatever you are interested in buying then freaking buy it!! Or if having it visible in your house or room would bring you joy just looking at it, buy it! If not, then taking a picture will probably suffice.
Really not down for the straight up pile-on-the-ground-rummage-through-style of browsing. There were only a few stands that I saw with this set up. Most had their items hanging. Just more enticing and shoppable.
This whole booth was a Stussy stand. Everything was brand new in plastic packaging! Bags, hats, jackets, t's, pants, everything. Really good prices and some gems in there if you're down for a paw through. I snagged a long sleeve tshirt :)
I also saw the main actor from '13 Reasons Why.' I heard his voice and immediately recognized it and turned to my right and there he was. Looks exactly the same as he does on TV.
So there you have it! A quick look into my trip to the Rosebowl with hopefully a few pointers that can be taken and make for a smooth treasure hunt :)
- Go early & park on the street
- Bring cash & water
- Dress for the Weather
-Go with a buying game plan & a budget
-Have fun getting nostalgic and when in doubt just snap a pic
Thanks for tuning in!