russian vernacular photos

Ever since the bulk of outdoor flea markets in Chelsea moved to Hell’s Kitchen, I’ve restricted most of my browsing to the Antiques Garage. I’ve ignored the few smaller markets left in the neighborhood, assuming they were closer in spirit to the kind of flea market whose specialties get no more obscure than knock-off designer purses and cheap socks and bootleg dvds. But I was wrong. One day this spring I stopped at one of those weekend parking lot markets that I normally pass by. I found the usual ratio of wheat and chaff but also some genuine antiques action. I was lured into one booth by a plastic photo album that depicted a surfing teddy bear. When I opened up that talismatic plastic ersatz Hawaiiana I was rewarded with a small but remarkable stash of Russian portraits and snapshots. Comrades of all inclinations as well as mail-order bride shoppers will find plenty here to whet the apetite:

where angels fear to tread

give a hoot don't pollute

comrades, a love story


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