Thursday, February 2, 2006
I’m really into flea markets, because (if they are good) they manage to include lots of items I like to buy, like music on vinyl, furniture, musical instruments and odd stuff in general. My favourite flea market in Berlin is in the Treptow district right next to the Arena concert venue. It’s not open air, but in a disused factory building and while generally open to everyone to sell his stuff, mostly occupied by regular sellers who have their own booths and spaces in the factory halls (some pictures here).
If you come to Berlin and are interested in seeing all kinds of… stuff and marvel at the wonders of industrial mass production of the last 60 years, you definitely need to check out this flea market. (To me, it it the proof that our world is real and not a Simulacron-esque simulation, as I can’t imagine you could artificially build a scenario with millions of objects in all kinds of colours, shapes and physical features.) Actually, you could furnish a completely empty house with items from that flea market only.
The market is best visited on weekends (I really don’t know if they open during the week.), only five minutes to walk from the Treptower Park train station (look for Eichenstraße on the map). While you’re there, have a look over Berlin’s Spree river, which runs directly behind the market halls. You can get a nice view of the city and the Molecule Man from there.
Some sellers have begun to specialize in certain products, so there’s one guy only selling remote controls (but he has all of them), another one offers only clocks, and of course there are booths dedicated to colourful 70s appliances like orange telephones and tv sets. Lots of eastern-european stuff, too, of course. You can also get all kinds of machinery, power tools and even old medical devices. I doubt that everything being offered came to the sellers on legal ways.
Last saturday I bought an old Aspectar 150A slide projector from eastern german production. Unfortunately, the lamp burned out after two minutes of use and it seems to be hard to get a new one (230V, 150W, Ba15S socket). They are still produced but expensive, I guess. The small photo shop I wrote about had none of these lamps but they suggested that I remodel the projector so it works with today’s normal halogen lamps. (They don’t know that you can get me everytime by suggesting I build or hack something, so I guess I will eventually do that.)
I saw this old portable hamonium (made by Harmona in Germany), working, complete with stands stored in the top cover, for 180 Euros, but I don’t know if that is a reasonable price for it.