90s style flea-market

One of the very few flea-markets still around in bland and sterile 2013 Moscow.  Possibly the only one. It migrates around the Preobrazhensky farmers market but last two times the biggest concentration of sellers was on the lane from Metro Preobrazhenskaya to the market itself.

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Watch for “No flea-market” (literally “sale from hands”) signs. The old ones simply say no. The newer ones are much wordier and end with a promise of a 1000-2500 rouble ($30-80) fine. Most activity happens under this sign.

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This time the two policemen lazily chasing sellers away were not there, possibly because of Orthodox Epiphany, which is Jan. 19. But the police post is there.

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Not much active trade. The market seems more like a club, with animated, often – usually – political discussions. The loudest and most involved this time was about “pidoras Putin” and “Jews selling Russia away to Americans” and thus deserve to be hanged.  Alexandra, who was exploring the other end, witnessed an equally intense by less blood thirsty exchange abut the true creator of the Cheburashka concept.

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Usually nondescript household items from the 80s but among them you can find a picture perfect fur cap or a scarf that half of male population would wear 40 years ago.

badgesSoviet-era badges. If looking for a small and inexpensive embodiment of the epoch, that may be it.

flea_market_bookschildrenWhereas even five years ago flea markets were for the poor, now glossy magazines will lament of their disappearance and write reviews of the few remaining ones. Fashion-conscious Moscow kids no longer find it shameful to shop at flea markets if only they were allowed.  These two are contemplating a quality pair of skates. Those who understand are still hunting for light soft old variety with blades made of superior steel.

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