Today I mingled with the masses. If you want to know the true heartbeat of a community, spend an entire day at a down and dirty flea market. In Fort Myers, Florida, go to Ortiz Ave. they have it all. We're talking 100+ spaces, all outdoors, of good flea market junk, plus fresh produce, green peppers the size of grapefruit 4 for $1.00, Plant City (they are famous for) Strawberries $1.00 quart, live chickens (sadly, I had to resist causing a distraction so that I could free all the chickens), gardenia bushes, blue jeans, tires, washing machines, shoes, DVDs and well, back to the good flea market junk. If you know what to look for there were some extraordinary bargains on antiques, framed prints, and solid wood furniture. Or, if you're there trying to stretch a paycheck, 50 cent clothes and $1.00 sets of dishes were happily being bought and sold, left and right.
I enjoyed my finds and also the food. I noticed many people walking past me, gnawing on a roasted ear of corn with the husks and corn silk singed and pulled back as the "handle". Buttery stuff was squirted on the corn and then sprinkled with really hot paprika. It was adorable to see many small children happily munching on their corn treat (perhaps without the paprika?) as if it were the best lollipop in the world. Just outside the grounds of the flea market is a popular eating place, La Mexicana. It is a grocery store, bakery, and hot food line that is simply delicious and very reasonably priced.
I love the international flavor of flea markets. So many languages and music are heard. It is a very entertaining place to be. Watching people from behind my sunglasses keeps me quite entertained, but there are actual singers, guitar players, and people who will inscribe your name on a piece of rice. What's not to love?
This was my grubby and sunburned adventure today.