Paris of the South offers flea market treasures

An industrial lot was transformed into a sea of flea market finds at the grand opening of the Paris of the South Flea Market this weekend. Everything from metal bed frames to African shea butter was on display at 530 Lyman Street in the River Arts District.

Vendors Anna Robertson and Trish Caldwell stood proudly behind a table of teacups, baseball cards and picture frames. “We’ve had a constant stream of people since 6:30 a.m. People are buying big stuff and little stuff. We’ve done pretty good so far,” says Robertson.

Customers were greeted by music from electric guitarist Al Schlimm and bassist Jake Wolf, who gave the flea market a festive feel. Gypsy Queen Cuisine and Ursa Minor Coffee provided nourishment and much-needed relief from the heat.

Over twenty vendors lined the parking lot, ranging from gently used treasures to hand-crafted art pieces. Milton Cable sells handmade cigar box guitars and mountain banjos under the name Cable’s Appalachian Strings. He appreciates the opportunity to expand beyond the typical craft show circuit. “It’s exciting to have a place in the River Arts District to display your art and get a local following,” he says.

Nate Gleiner, who was visiting Asheville from Cincinnati, remarked upon the close-knit feel of the market. “People were incredibly friendly and spent a great deal of time telling stories and giving advice.”

The market will continue this Sunday from dawn to dusk. Subsequent first, second and fourth weekends will feature collectibles, furniture, vintage clothing and “good old-fashioned junk at a good price,” according to the press release. Every third weekend will offer antiques of all kinds.

Whether you’re a devoted collector or causal browser, there are plenty of flea market finds at the new Paris of the South Flea Market.  All it takes is a good eye and a little digging to uncover local and regional gems.

Photos by Rich Orris

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17 thoughts on “Paris of the South offers flea market treasures

  1. Ken Hanke

    If they called it “Bucharest of the South” no one would come.

  2. Asheville Dweller

    Asheville is to Paris as American Politics is to Honesty.

  3. Ken Hanke

    The guy at the paneling shop kept eye over his parking lot like he was in East Berlin

    “The Berlin of the South.” It might fly.

  4. bill smith

    I don’t know why all of you are contesting the ‘Paris of the South’ thing. Paris is a snooty, over-priced city full of skinny-pant-wearing, smelly, anti-Americanists who run away from their problems, surrounded by beautiful rural communities.

    Sounds like a match to me!

  5. The Trolls Troll

    Sounds like a match to me!

    I concur, though I doubt the event organizers see it that way. I’m sure they believe Asheville, like Paris, is the center of the civilized world and everyone who doesn’t live here is a cretinous boor. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about having pride about where you live, but the hubris exhibited by some who live here really tests one’s gag reflexes.

  6. It’ll be a while before this flea market rivals the Marche’ au Puce…but given time the Marche’ will begin feeling the heat of stiff competition.

  7. hauntedheadnc

    I agree with everyone who finds it just the most [i]gauche[/i] thing ever to use a nickname such as “Paris of the South.” As though that particular nickname hasn’t been in use since the turn of the 20th Century or something — what nerve! What cheek!

  8. dpewen

    Actually I like Bucharest better than Paris … but we are neither … not even close.

  9. youbettie

    Visited on Saturday and the 20+ vendors seemed to have a hard time making the cavernous lot look full and parking was a little hectic. It has potential, for sure, as there are lots of artisans looking to vend on off weekends as well as those of us with yardsale items and no yard to sell them in. Keep it up!

  10. hauntedheadnc

    [quote]Actually I like Bucharest better than Paris … but we are neither … not even close. [/quote]

    Yes, but the “City of Relentless, Trivial Whining” sounds so much less poetic. Just let those poor, deluded fools who insist on loving Asheville have their fun.

    Btw, do me a favor and go bitch at Detroit for a while. They have the gall to call themselves the “Paris of the Midwest.” If ever a city needed a good sneering-at for daring to think highly of itself, it’s Detroit. Go get ‘em, tiger!

  11. brebro

    They are too busy on the Detroit message boards arguing over whether or not to be offended by the Robocop statue put up there.

    Oh and youbettie, I hate to nitpick, but you spelled pakring wrong in your post.

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