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Fancy hats and flea markets

June 25, 2011

DC locals are always buzzing about their favorite digs in the city.  Some of the typical recommendations are to check out seasonal festivals, free concerts, and flea markets.  Washingtonians speak fondly over memories of finding vintage items or great steals at flea markets, so a couple of us decided to check it out.  After a fairly long underground metro trip, we ascended the stairs to a beautiful, sunny, tent lined street.  We had reached the Eastern Market.

The Eastern Flea Market began in 1983 and has hosted tons of avid sellers and small business.  While we strolled up and down the paths, we saw everything from African masks to Buddhist wall tapestries, vintage aviation posters to undated jewelry and knick knacks.  And then there were the hats.

Fancy hats.

At first my roommate and I walked past and laughed and moved on to the next tent.  But I think deep down we both wanted to try on those hats.  We continued on and lost one another to the keen examinations of little accessories here and there which intrigued us.  I found another roommate and we decided to check out the other street which had fresh produce and more kitschy things for sale.  As we walked, I spotted a familiar image– a small photo of a building in the distance partially hidden by two structures.  I walked up to the man and said, “You shot this in the Hagia Sophia upstairs by the tiny window looking on at Sultanahmet Mosque in the distance.”  He was helping another customer at the moment and looked up surprised and said yes.  It turns out, we had shot the very same image (as I’m sure many have).

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Looking at Sultanahmet Mosque from inside a tiny window in the Hagia Sophia

It was refreshing to look out the familiar window to another building of which I loved so much.  I flipped through more of his pictures and saw another familiar image.  “The interior main dome of Sultanahmet, I loved the contrast of the low candelabra and the high main dome.”, and he told me he liked it too.

Not the same image as his, but you see what we're talking about

We spoke a little more and he gave me his card so I could check out his online gallery if I ever wanted to purchase more of his pictures from Turkey.  I thanked him and my roommate and I went on our way.  Now I had three things on my mind: fancy hats, Turkish nostalgia, and a grumbling stomach (I should mention that the latter two are typical in my daily life).  So off we went to meet up with the rest of the roommates and friends for food and music in the entertainment area.

"I have told you several times Chatsworth, I refuse to go to your tea parties until you offer crumpets."

While we sat together reviewing our purchases and what we liked while eating Jamaican beef patties and strawberry banana smoothies (and listening to an incredible band), someone had mentioned the hat tent.  Unsurprisingly, we all had wanted to try on those ridiculous hats– and how doesn’t?!  We sashayed over in fancy hat fashion and had a blast.

"Yes, we do have fancy hats and watch polo matches while picnicking on the lawn."

When it was time to go, off came the hats and back came the poor intern reality.  Oh well, it’s always nice to dream!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Marion permalink
    July 6, 2011 17:18

    If you don’t post that picture of you with the giant hat on the blog I will ground you. Love, Your Mother.

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