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Downtown Flea, new monthly market to open in Los Angeles

Downtown Flea, new monthly market to open in Los Angeles
A 1940s California souvenir tablecloth ($75) is from Uncle Bunk's Trunk, one of what organizers say will be 250 vendors at the inaugural Downtown Flea, a monthly market launching July 28 in four parking lots in downtown Los Angeles. (Uncle Bunk's Trunk)

Downtown Flea, a new monthly vintage market in Los Angeles, is launching July 28, and for founder Phillip Dane, it's part of a sacred shopping tradition.

Flea markets, he said, "are great social places and recession-proof businesses, whatever your budget."

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The Downtown Flea will premiere with vintage dealers and Etsy crafters, he said. Among the offerings: midcentury clothing and home decor, handcrafted contemporary furniture, housewares, jewelry, baked goods and Loyal Dean skateboards.

"This is not a swap meet," Dane said. "I have nothing against them, but there will be no tube socks for sale."

Dane created the L.A. flea market at Fairfax and Melrose avenues in the early 1990s and staged a short-lived monthly event at Dodgers Stadium in 2010. For the Downtown Flea, he said he has assembled 250 vendors from San Diego to San Francisco, including Uncle Bunk's Trunk, a purveyor of midcentury table linens, and Pretty Sly, an importer of South African-designed pillows.

Mobile retailers will sell goods from vintage trailers, 10 food trucks will include the Melt and Cousins Maine Lobster, and a DJ will spin tunes. Dane said he plans to launch a mobile phone application called Flea Hunt that engages shoppers with his event and nearby local businesses.

"My intention is for this to be the flea market for the next generation," Dane said, "for people who want to shop for unique things in a block party atmosphere."

The Downtown Flea is planned for the last Sunday of each month. It is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in four open-air parking lots on Spring Street, Broadway and Main Street, between 2nd and 3rd streets. Entry is $5 at 246 S. Spring St.

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