Somehow along the way of social media, I started following @randolphmarket on Instagram. Their feed is filled with cool pictures of the wares, clothes, furniture and food they have at their monthly outdoor/indoor market. This weekend, I was finally able to check out the Randolph Street Market in person. I headed south after church early this afternoon. I decided to fly (okay, ride the bus) solo this first time out. It was super sunny outside. I had a little cash in my bag and was ready to see what was in store for me.
Upon entering, I was greeted by great live music and the smell of yummy street food and bunches of zinnias for sale. I, of course, did not look at the layout of the place or anything like that - I just headed left. There was all kindsa stuff to be seen: Vintage clothing and bags, antlers galore, Jewelry - handmade, estate stuff, costume pieces, junky and janky; Furniture - vintage, handcrafted, re-purposed, junky and janky; housewares, trees, old stuff, new stuff and everything in between.
I still do not know if it was a good thing or a bad thing that I did not have my car with me. I knew that whatever I purchased today, I had to not only walk it home but first, be on a CTA bus with it.
My first purchase was sensible. These cute handmade cards. It was buy one pack, get the second pack free. Yay!
It was one of the first booths I went to. Normally, I do not like to make purchases right off the bat but these were cute, small and reasonably priced. I’d be a real IDIOT to pass these up.
I ain’t no idiot.
These vintage letters and ol’ carousel horse are rather indicative of what one sees while walking around the marketplace.
I happened upon a booth that I was not quite sure what to make of. I can’t really told you what it sold, either. The structure of the booth was constructed out of old rusty box springs. There were old books, wooden crates, rusty tools, tables, flags - all kinds of ephemera and then pieces of drift wood. One piece was kind of curved. It was about four feet long. I had to pick it up. A gentleman came over and started chatting me up. Thankfully, he was the owner of this mystery booth. He said the piece I was holding was $8.00. The other straight pieces on the ground were $5.00 each. I told him it would be a shame to NOT bring this piece home with me. I handed him my cash. He asked what I was going to do with it. I says to him, I says, “Well… for starters, I’m going to try to not whack anyone in the face with it. Then, I’ll keep it away from my dog once I get it home." He laughed and agreed that that was a good plan. So, off I headed into the sun filled, vendor-packed lot with my four foot long piece of drift wood.
You can imagine the looks and comments I received whilst walking through the rest of the market with this piece of wood:
“You look like a wizard!"
“Are you going to cast a spell on me?”
“That’s quite a walking stick!”
“Don’t hurt me!”
“Are you going to part Lake Michigan with that thing?”
“Start with the Chicago River then work your way up to the Lake.”
We all had fun. I had a lot of fun walking this thing onto an overcrowded public bus.
Thankfully, I was able to get seat in the back corner of the bus.
I came home and boy, oh boy, did Trond think he was in for a real treat! And while normally, yes, I love to bring him treats, this one was only for me. Not for him. I ended up asking Tim to take a picture of me at home so y’all could get a sense of how long this stick is and what I must have looked like walking through the market with this thing. Tim said, “Sure - but do you want Trond in the shot?”
I told him I didn’t think we had a choice.
Indeed, we did not. Poor hund is drooling over m’wood…