The Starlite Swap Meet | KCET
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Rather, they stay toward the back of the booth, letting the buyer-to-be approach with any questions.
Star Lite Swap Meet Lakewood
Swapping, bartering and buying are all encouraged. Clothing Looking to add a little something extra to your wardrobe? Short, short club dresses and sheer tops stand out on snow white mannequins, and are definite attention grabbers. Pair the latter with a heavily embellished pair of jeans if wanting to go all out. Tees screen printed with the Seahawk and CenturyLink stadium are also widely available, and largely emphasize neon green, making for one of a kind, homebrewed gear.
Cactus is one of the more unique items for sale. Electronics In the mix is a good number of electronics vendors, from colorful cell phone case hawkers to a wall-to-wall DVD shop.
Outside, one tent houses nothing but speakers of all sizes, which boom out a medley of tunes to the passersby. Perhaps getting the most visits are those who entice with old school games and consoles. The game booths have aficionados rummaging through bins, seeking out the classics.
Sure, prices for popular titles like Super Mario may run a bit higher than what one could find for sale online, but there are the rare treasures, and that possibility makes it all the more fun. Religious paintings and heavily gilded Jesus and Virgin Mary figurines are also given quite a bit of space, bringing a dose of spirituality to that which is being offered.
Fresh cut flowers dot a few of the booths outside, inviting the browser to take in, and, perhaps, even buy up a bit of nature for oneself. Vehicles, particularly those containing the components of a larger stand, are often modified and outfitted with shelves, metal crossbars, and netting to better store merchandise.
The stands are themselves props, or "movable items, easily manipulated by the user who provides instant modification" Rojas. They serve to connect the user to the space in the enacted environment created by the vendors occupying the property's void.
The Starlite Swap Meet
The structures are, for the most part, modest in size and design, but will occasionally reach heights equivalent to a two-story building and may sinuously weave around the many trucks, equal extensions of these entrepreneurial enterprises, parked in between the stands. Several hours are often spent building the structures, which are typically composed of metal poles, tarps, and the joints and cables that hold them together.
Working a stand can be rigorous, and requires a certain kind of physical stamina that can endure seasonal weather changes and heavy lifting. Remaining relatively intact for only a few hours of the swap meet's hour-long days, the stands usually begin to see their end at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. The ritual of erecting and dismantling the stand is largely determined by natural time in that the swap meet is solely lit by sunlight, yet sometimes still remains despite evening's darkness; some vendors are stubborn enough to work according to abstract time in order to make an extra buck.
The swap meet, although legal, has often been a source of concern to local officials, who have regularly identified health and safety violations.
As a result, property owners have often felt pressured to close the swap meet - or at least pressured enough to alarm vendors of the possibility of closure if they continue to violate regulations.
The swap meet manager will periodically -- approximately, every six months or so -- try to clean up vendors' violations, which may be anything from placing items outside of a demarcated vending space to selling food out of one's truck.
For the most part, vendors will comply, but will eventually go back to their old habits. The entire sequence -- from officials showing up to the eventual vending of uninspected foods -- happens so regularly that it almost seems like an inherent part of the swap meet's workings. Of course, the concerns officials bring to light are often legitimate and ones that can and should, perhaps, be addressed more efficiently.
Some architectural and planning solutions, such as simply repainting lines to create more generous egress and ingress passageways for safety vehicles or providing spaces where people can prepare food within health code regulations, could resolve the ongoing and regular concerns. Conclusion The solid sense of community that exists despite the seeming ephemeral nature of the whole operation is impressive.
Despite its thriving weekends, by Sunday evening and straight into the end of the week, after the trash and bottle collectors have stocked their supplies, this loud, eclectic place, where raw capitalism settles the score, becomes a desolate, concrete landscape where runaway plastic bags, caught on fences, rustle in the wind. Always becoming, it follows a constant cycle of rowdy occupation and silent emptiness; once again, it is what it was last week and, come the following weekend, the swap meet will appear and disappear.
This consistency within a seemingly transient existence -- as marked by the immediateness of the transactions, the exchanges, the relationships, the potential for growth, the ability to mobilize and move ahead into new spaces, relatively easily reshaping one's business as one goes -- is perhaps part of the reason why spaces like the swap meet thrive as they do and have long appealed to folks like my family and the many others who shape them.
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To be able to go from drive-in theatre, to swap meet, to vibrant community all in one space and in such little time is both exciting and inspiring to witness and live.
These observations are sprinkled with bits of theory, evidence of my background in urban design, and are also based on my increasing appreciation for the happenstance innovation that comes into play as a part of the swap meet's and similar institutions' inhabitance of potentially lost urban spaces, their vast emptiness seeming to be their greatest asset.
All photographs were taken by Jennifer Renteria in April