Meet Merl! A Vintage Bazaar regular and super duper vintage seller, jewelry designer, killer photographer and self-described crazy cat lady. We like Merl and we think you’ll like Merl too. Lucky for us all, she took a wild ride through June’s Vintage Bazaar in Chicago and snapped shots for us all who couldn’t be there.
Read on for more pearls from Merls…
“Don’t steal the little boy’s snow cone Merl. Do NOT steal the little boy’s snow cone Merl.” I may never have stolen anything in my life, but in the middle of the steamy afternoon after hefting a 16 lb camera rig in the 95+ heat, I was not above bribing a mini gent for his heavenly looking snow cone to avoid the understandably long line at Jo Snow’s booth. Luckily for said happily preoccupied young man, I was instead soon distracted by the multitude of wares awaiting my perusal outside at the Vintage Bazaar this past Sunday in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago.
I had already finished my first circuit of the day inside at the Aragon Ballroom [1st of 4 I should note] and it’s evidence of my extreme eco friendly magpie nature that contrary to being overwhelmed by booth after booth of vintage knick knacks, clothing, accessories and home decor, I was instead ravenous for more. Each booth was chock full of one of a kind gems that were carefully curated by the shop owners and the goods were practically jostling for my attention. I was beginning to think that agreeing to a limit of 10 favorite items by Katherine and Libby was impossible, but there’s nothing I love more than a challenge, so with that numbered constraint in mind, I began to rack up my picks of the day (in no particular order, past numero uno.. cause really, who can blame me for my favorite pick?).
It’s no secret to anyone who has met me that I have a serious soft spot for our furry friends. When I spotted this happy little chihuahua from One Tail at a Time making the rounds of the Bazaar, my heart melted [joining the rest of my body in the puddle on the pavement] and the need for some doggy love in my life hit an all time high. Unfortunately, with 3 cats and a tiny apartment, that’s not an option for me right now, but I highly suggest if you have the availability to strongly consider fostering or even adopting one of their available pups!
I have a special place in my heart for the original animated Jungle Book movie, seeing as how my siblings and I would watch it at my grandparents in New York City when the adults needed a break from us and the weather wasn’t nice enough to lock us outside. This beautifully illustrated cover caught my eye first thanks to the tiger taking precedence front and center [cat lady alert] but it brought a smile to my face to remember those earlier times. (This vintage Jungle Book is from Gypsy Mouse.)
One of the best comebacks I’ve had directed my way from a disgruntled friend who didn’t like his ‘celebrity’ comparison I had provided: “Gee thanks, on that note, has anyone ever said you look like little orphan Annie?” Though intended to be a zinger, it was actually quite hilarious. Touché Daddy Warbucks, touché. (This vintage Annie bag is from the similarly hilarious Sara of Lovestory Vintage.)
When I was younger, I was convinced I would either end up as a lawyer or a surgeon [this was after princess of all the horsies and kitties of the world was removed as an option thanks to my older brothers]. The lawyer was prompted by the fact that I loved to argue, and the surgeon was thanks to my insane curiosity concerning bodily functions. The severe lack of memory effectively killed both of those careers before they had even begun, but thankfully I’ve retained both my ability to voice my ideas til I’m blue in the face & my fascination for how, why and when our body does what it must do. (This vintage Medical Library book with amazing flip up illustrations is from Victims of Vintage.)
I have a [worst kept non secret, secret] secret. I’m a cat lady. Some might even toss a crazy in there from time to time. I pretend not to hear them, but we both know the truth. This beautiful articulated lion necklace was actually the first item I spotted that day that had to be one of my 10 favorites. My friend Andrea saw me weaving through the crowded booth towards said jewelry and said “I knew you were going for that ya cat lady!” Busted. (This vintage ‘articulate beast’ necklace is from Rainbow Vintage.)
I have a vintage lamp obsession. Thankfully I’ve managed to mentally 12 step myself away from the ‘edge’ but it was pretty dicey for awhile there. An old flame actually tried to impose a limitation that I must donate a current one before bringing another into our abode. I think I showed up with 3 more later that day, only partly out of spite. I mean.. they were still great lamps that had no business living in that thrift store a minute longer. (This vintage lamp is from Miss E Vintage.)
In case anyone was still searching for a belated birthday present for yours truly, this chest is at the top of my list. It’s actually surpassed a solid gold pony, mostly because this piece actually exists. (This vintage gold mirrored chest is from Andrew Celis.)
Summers in Chicago are the only thing that make the winters bearable as far as I’m concerned [though even I can admit that last years was kiiiiind of a cake walk] and with that little pond at our doorsteps, it seems criminal not to take advantage of it with multiple beach days every week. Insert: the vintage swimsuit of my dreams. Now.. if only I could lose a rib or two, and maybe a butt cheek to fit into that tiny number. (This vintage 50′s maillot is from Dethrose Vintage.)
Directly after I squealed & decided right then and there that these mugs were the 10th favorite item of the day [see: cat lady status above] my friend Sarah surprised me with -a pre-selected- late birthday gift with the 3rd matching mug. It should be noted that though her gift came after my decision, I can always, always be bribed with cat paraphernalia. (These vintage tiger mugs are from Zzouzi Vintage.)
Last, but certainly not least we have these beautiful air plants from Acorn. Though I grew up on a flower farm, until recently I had one of the blackest thumbs known to man. My current green flock and I are going on 3 months and I have hope that I might have finally kicked the death hands. What makes these a logical next addition is their easy watering schedule [check the video] that even a time challenged individual like myself could manage.
The inclusion of the food & beverage trucks not to mention the music provided by Chirp Radio and the rocking new do’s turned out by Joe’s Barbershop make The Vintage Bazaar a truly unique shopping experience. I will definitely be returning for the July 8th market, this time with my pocketbook instead of camera in hand.
See You At The Market!
The Vintage Bazaar is now monthly, second Sundays in the summertime, 12pm-5pm
At the Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence Ave. in Uptown just east of the Red Line Lawrence CTA station + outside at Lawrence and Winthrop.
150+ vendors of vintage decor, housewares, furniture, clothing, jewelry, and accessories, plus beer, cocktails, local food, and DJ entertainment from CHIRP, classic haircuts and straight razor shaves from Joe’s Barbershop.
FREE historical tours of the Aragon Ballroom, conducted by local history buff Albert Walavich, will depart every half hour from the Aragon lobby, 1pm-5pm.
Summer, 2012 dates:
June 10 – DONE
July 8 – NEXT!
More at thevintagebazaar.com
All photos taken by Merl Kinzie.