The Best Flea Market
By Richard Mahler
Author of "New Mexico's
"Sooner or later, everybody in Santa
Fe shows up at 'The Flea.'" This declaration by the late abstract
Santa Fe painter, African art dealer and bon vivant Don Fabricant
stands the test of time.
Sprawled across several acres owned
by the Tesuque Pueblo, about 6 miles north of Santa Fe on U.S.
84/285, Tesuque Pueblo Flea Market is an eclectic institution
where one can buy anything from used, plastic ice-cube trays to
antique Tibetan religious artifacts, with plenty of chile ristras,
fresh pinon nuts and silver-turquoise jewelry thrown in for good
measure. There's a surprisingly good collection of antiquarian
books, Latin American textiles, folk art, Persian carpets, precious
gems and even house plants.
"The Flea" is the closest thing to
a Moroccan bazaar you are likely to find in North America. And
as in Morocco, the buyer is expected to bargain, haggle and beware.
"The Flea is not about making money,"
opined Fabricant, who supplemented his irregular artist's income
by trading goods at The Flea. "It's about socializing and observing
humanity in its infinite variety."
If You Go: Tesuque Pueblo
Flea Market is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Friday, Saturday
and Sunday from (roughly) mid-March through November. No admission
for customers. 505-995-8626.
Richard Mahler is author of "New
Mexico's Best" and several other books. A journalist and photographer
as well, he specializes in travel writing, among other subjects.
He has contributed to National Public Radio since 1973 and to
the Los Angeles Times since 1979. He has written thousands
of articles for more than 100 magazines and newspapers, including
The New Mexican, New Mexico magazine, and Santa Fean
magazine. A longtime resident of New Mexico, he lives in Santa
For a full listing of Richard Mahler's
books, and to place orders for them, visit Amazon.com.
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