Jacob Passy | A Bit Off
Flea with your family
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 08:10
Each year when Parents and Family Weekend arrives, it’s the same old tune. I hear my friends chattering on, unsure of where to take their good ol’ mom and dad. As college students, we know the lay of the land fairly well, particularly what is and isn’t a safe bet. It goes a bit like this: more expensive restaurants are a yes, and your dorm room is a no — at least until you clean it.
For me, I like to turn the weekend into a bit of a shopping trip so I don’t go broke preparing my closet for a Boston winter. My freshman year, having escaped humid Florida, I begged my parents to take me shopping for my first winter coat. This year, I plan to do something similar but also to make it a bit more extraordinary.
See, if I wanted to go to the Cambridgeside Galleria, I could do that on my own time and spend my own money. When it comes to getting my parents involved, I like to make it special. Believe or not, they’re as easily bored as I am.
That is why I’m taking them to the Top Shelf Flea Market this Sunday, Oct. 21, in our near and dear Davis Square. The market, which will be open from noon to 5 p.m. at the George Dilboy VFW Post on Summer Street, is all but guaranteed to have something for everyone.
This October’s installment represents the flea market’s sixth bi-annual occurrence, and it’s grown a lot over the years. The market also occurs each May. According to Giuseppe Timore, organizer of the Top Shelf Flea Market, he decided to create the market when he was writing “An Affordable Wardrobe,” a blog dedicated to thrift-store finds.
“I started collecting clothes whether they fit me or not, and the flea market was my way of selling that stuff,” he said. He added that the event often brings a diverse crowd of customers, largely because the vendors he chooses offer a variety of interesting options.
“It’s sort of a combination of the Tufts student community and people like me,” Timore, who is in his thirties, said. That makes it the perfect place to shop with your family, but what’s great is that this isn’t the typical thrift shopping experience. The clothes at Top Shelf, Timore guaranteed, are high quality and interesting.
“I try to find people who have a good, picky eye about what they’re selling,” Timore explained. “You’re guaranteed that there won’t be junk.” Which is good, since I know secondhand clothes conjure up an image of piles of less-than-appealing clothes.
This time around, Timore himself will be bringing a diverse range of men’s clothing with a nod to the prevailing fall trends.
“I’ve got a lot of tweed, sweaters, and nice outerwear. I’ve also got hip, lumberjack-style stuff that’s really old,” he said.
For women, though, Timore was enthusiastic about the wide range of styles that the other vendors, including Davis Square’s own Artifaktori, will bring to the mix. He shared that you can expect plenty of great vintage clothing, spanning from classic ’50s style to the funkier fashion of the ’70s and ’80s.
Timore ensured that clothes won’t be the only thing you find on Sunday. There will also be vendors selling jewelry, knickknacks and furniture — perfect for finishing off your dorm room decorating.
Timore warned me that the prices may be a bit higher than what you could find elsewhere, but he argued that, “they’re still very fair for what we get.”
For Timore, though, the most exciting part is how the flea market is slowly becoming more of an institution for local residents.
“I’m gratified that it’s become something that people look for every October and May,” he said.
Jacob Passy is a senior majoring in international relations. He can be reached at Jacob.Passy@tufts.edu.