Street Antiques

There are a fair few ‘informal’ street markets specialising in antiques, bric a brac, junk and plain old rubbish. Some of which desperately needs to be placed unceremoniously in a rubbish bin. There’s a fairly famous one in Zona Rosa, and another in the rather iffy Lagunilla market in Tepito. I regularly go to the Alvaro Obregon market for a wander, but today I turned away from that one and went in a different direction. Only to come across another market just a couple of blocks away. This one running around the four sides of a public park.

You can almost always find some funky stuff at these markets. Old Atari 2600 consoles with games. Old paintings, books and magazine. Flea ridden sofas. Tables and chairs that are being feasted upon by woodworm. Phones from the ’60’s. Watches, glasses, spoons, medals, stamps, coins, posters, sunglasses, toys, rugs….the assortment of stuff that finds its way to market never ceases to amaze me.

But there are two types of ‘antique’ that always fascinate me. Firstly, the amount of Nazi memorabilia. Its just not something you come across that much in the UK. World War 2 and Hitler’s Nazi party were and are a distant and bizarre turn of events in a world far removed for most Mexicans. Nazi helmets are not a rare sight on motorcyclists. And today I came across a mint condition Adolf doll, in box. I was almost tempted to buy it, just as a sort of strange and unusual momento from my Mexican adventure.

There’s also a plethora of old cameras. Really old cameras. Of all sorts of makes. Kodak, Zenit, Pentax, Canon, Yashica cameras. Some of which may still work. Others which may not. However, even if you find one in the former category, they make require a film that’s no longer made. I am really tempted to take a punt on one of these ancient cameras one day, if I can get a fair price on it. Just to see if I can get it to work, and to see what sort of photos I can get out of it. One day….

14 thoughts on “Street Antiques

  1. I collect maps and any old atlas, pre-1900 atlas are very interesting and rare. I am always on the lookout in Mexico for old maps. I have a habit of buying local maps anywhere I go and storing them in the map trunk here at home. Things change, maps are a way of seeing into the past.

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  2. Wooo. That is just bizarre. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ll be buying my kids a Pol Pot or Idi Amin doll any time soon, no matter how removed those worlds are from me.

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  3. Gary,
    Let us know if you ever come across cig cards on your travels through the markets.. It’s the one thing I collect, and have a hoot chasing down,,,,
    Cheers!
    Dan in NC (under a tornado alert at the moment – sheesh!)

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    1. I’m pretty sure you’ll find plenty of cigarette related stuff in the markets. One stall had everything Camel. Cig cards apecifically? I’m sure there are but I’ll look closer next time I’m passing.

      Stay out of the way of them tornados…play havoc with your hair, I’m told…

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  4. On the Nazi theme, I’ve been disturbed in Mexico City by the rather ready availability of copies of “Mein Kampf” at flea markets. I’ve also seen more than a few young men running around wearing T-Shirts with swastikas. I also have a picture of an old guy parked on Reforma on a WWII-Vintage BMW motorcycle decked out like it was leading a parade through Berlin, circa 1938. The bike had a sidecar and swastika flags, and the rider had a pointy helmet with swastika insignia.

    It’s rather creepy, especially when you consider that had he been focused on it, Hitler would have happily exterminated most of Mexico for being what he would have regarded as an “inferior race.”

    I’d love to know more about this rather odd fascination some Mexicans seem to have with Hitler.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where such regalia would likely get you chased out of town. And rightly so.

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    1. I will investigate it further – it fascinates me too. Mind you, in the UK Soviet emblems have often been used in fashion. As have British Empire symbology, phrases etc. And the British Empire, possibly, accounted for more unnecessary deaths than Hitler and Stalin put together. We’ll never know – it was one of the rare occasions that the worlds greatest collectors of information didn’t take notes.

      WW2 German helmets do make popular motorcycle crash helmets. Not sure how safe they are in the event of a crash, but probably better than the usual safety headwear motorcyclists use – nothing.

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