Two Hours at The Flea

Guest Blogger: Tony Winn

Two hours is a curious amount of time.

In fact, some would say it’s downright mysterious. It’s truly open ended and malleable to the intention.

You see, a lot can happen in two hours: on a whim you can board a flight and land in Florida (hello surprise vacation), you can write a love letter to your long-lost whomever or you can spend your sun-kissed Saturday morning unearthing gold the Cleveland Flea. I think you should choose the latter.

Listen – I don’t know you, but if I had to bet I can tell you two things: you’re a busy person and your Saturday is worth its weight in gold.

Every adventure seeking Clevelander knows that the best way to freshen up your Saturday is to spend a couple hours treasure hunting at The Cleveland Flea!

Read on to learn how to conquer The Flea in two hours so you can maximize your Saturday.

Enjoy!

Happy Camper Bar Car – Well if you’re anything like me, you think that your shopping experience is improved with a morning buzz that only Happy Camper Bar Car can lend you; glad you agree. Thus, promptly I find myself maneuvering to Happy Camper Bar Car, like a metal to a magnet. I had one Hell of a Friday night and it appears that although I’m physically in Saturday, my body has left me in Friday hungover wanting to go back. I need a concoction to bring life back to these Frankenstein bones. Just like Superman seeing Louis Lane in distress, Happy Camper Bar Car is there for my rescue. Although I’m a well-documented Moscow mule man, there were two cocktails that looked rather enticing: Blueberry Basil Smash w/ lemon and rum & raspberry rose slush. Bottom line, whatever you choose from Happy Camper is more than likely going to be the right choice.

The Walk – I’m convinced that the very next best move is to take a walk around the Flea. You see it’s all about the planning; it’s always about the planning. When the Cleveland Cavaliers won in 2016, they didn’t just show up on the court like aimless kids at gym class; no, they planned their success. Let’s follow their example. Take a walk around The Flea and scope out the food trucks and vendors you want to check out. If you keep your eyes wide open, you’ll likely find a vendor or two that you didn’t know existed. If anything, The Cleveland Flea is a treasure hunt and you want to be the parrot-toting pirate who found the giant X. Once you complete your walk, plan to stop at the vendors that caught your interest.

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Ilthy – Ilthy put the C into three things: Cool, Cleveland, and Clothing. In fact, if my fingers will allow me to string these words together, I will say that Ilthy is known for their effortlessly cool, effortlessly Cleveland art and clothing. They bring a hip-hop flavor to a mainstream world and we bask in it hoping it will stain our personalities to be a bit more palpable. Ilthy is the brainchild of local Cleveland artist Glen Infante. Perhaps you’ve seen his work at Nike or his giant mural of Prince under the Shoreway Bridge in The Flats. Check his store out, you’re not going to regret it, your inner artist will thank you.

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City Dogs – There are things that pair well together in this life: peanut butter & jelly, hot dogs & baseball, broken dreams & middle school and The Cleveland Flea & dogs. As The Cleveland Flea is your dog’s favorite flea market, it’s no surprise that City Dogs, a program of Cleveland’s Division of Animal Care & Control, set up shop to showcase some of their handsome hounds. Let me tell you the dogs are cute, looking for a delightful home, and have given up all their smoking & gambling habits. If you’re ever on the market for a four-legged friend, look for City Dogs as they may be able to introduce you to the pup of your dreams.

Legend – Bad hair day be prepared to meet your new best friend. A personal favorite of mine, Legend is directly responsible for my hat collection doubling in size. What you may find to be the most noteworthy are their unique designs and attention to detail.  Like seriously detailed …the interior of the hats are custom printed, which is damn cool and super meticulous. These hats are made right here in Cleveland, Ohio and you can feel great about that. If you are thinking about updating your hat collection, stop here first.

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Emily Roggenburk – Emily Roggenburk is an entrepreneurial machine. From the boss lady who makes the Cleveland AF shirts, it’s only fitting that her and the rest of her line is cool AF. What I admire about her clothes are that they say a lot with a little. In other words, they aren’t loud yet make a loud impression; a counterintuitive outcome. I dig them, they’re fashionable to me, you should check her stuff out.

Lucky Road Guitar Co – I don’t claim to be a guitar expert, in fact, people have rarely seen me attempt to play guitar because I’m rather dreadful at it; sorry for the ear bleed. However, these hand-crafted guitars look so sleek that I found myself picking up a guitar and strumming along making noise that I’ll lie and call music. For the guitar lovers of the Flea, check this place out, you’ll probably fall in love or pick one up and serenade your significant other.

The Vegan Doughnut Co – By now you know my song and dance. My dad was a cop - yada, yada, yada, I really like doughnuts - yada, yada, yada,  I can’t help it it’s genetics – yada, yada, yada, etc and so forth. The Vegan Doughnut Co can be identified by the line of people waiting to get their paws on some delectable doughnuts. If you hadn’t had one of their doughnuts yet, you need too – they’re flea famous. Fresh, vegan and full of taste.

Kiko’s Kitchen – Every so often I find a new darling of The Flea who manages to have a love affair with my taste buds; my latest love affair comes in the form of yakiniku don. For those that are wondering what TF yakiniku don is, it’s essentially pan grilled beef with a spiced soy sauce served over a bed of rice with sesame seeds and lettuce. What I enjoyed most is you can taste the grill- it’s an ethereal sensation that makes me fall for food trucks over and over again. Two thumbs way up, I’ll be back for more.

Happy Camper Bar Car – Don’t judge me, I’m just saying if you eat food you usually want a drink to wash it down. But yeah, I’m the crazy one right?! Moscow Mule #2 is on the way.

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Walk Around and Enjoy The Flea – Life’s too short to be face down in your cell phone. Life’s too short not to enjoy your Saturday. In general, life is plain-ass too short. So do something about that! Enjoy the Flea, it’s there for you to sample and it’s there for you kick back and relax. This is your Saturday, make the most of it.