The Long Beach Antique Market In Pictures and Jesus, In Fur.

by Matt on June 15, 2008

On Sunday me and my big redhead and our best friend Dana (a/k/a the uber famous Skampy) headed to the Long Beach Outdoor Antique and Collectible Market held at Veteran's Stadium. This once-a-month event is a massive meet-up with just about everything you could imagine and a bunch of stuff that will either make you laugh or stop and pause and say "Hey, I remember that!"  It's loads of fun and great for stocking up on props and unusual items for the studio and a great opportunity to see the colorful locals of Long Beach. It's people watching on a grand scale.

I decided to get some snapshots for design inspiration and thought it'd be fun to share. Not many people realize that before I began doing what I'm currently doing I began as a graphic designer and swap meets like this never cease to inspire and amaze me with the piles and piles of ephemera and knick-knacks of yesterday. Let's take a look, shall we?


Shapes and Letters
I could go crazy with all the amounts of signage and letters and shapes found at the market. Some things are just beautiful as is, like this motor parts sign. What are those things, anyway? Such amazing textures and surfaces.


Colors everywhere
Color usage of the past is such an inspiration to me. I'm particularly fond of the late 40s, the entire 50s and the early 70s. We can skip the 1980's altogether though.


Speaking Of The 80s
Here Dana models the decade's finest eyewear. In the middle is total Body Fuzion and far right is one of the greatest contributions to the world of art: Patrick Nagel. And would you believe there was an ENTIRE vendor dedicated to Nagel reproductions? Why am I hungry like the wolf?


Eyeglass Follies
I'm glad Dana was willing to model some of the market's finest eyewear. Yes, that's a pair of eyeglasses in the shape of a behind with legs wrapping around the head. Dana was especially happy with the Bloody Mary Eyeglasses, not so much with the beer. And then there's yours truly, eyes twitching and watering because the real prescription in the vintage frames really hurt. And then I made a face that made my tooth disappear. What's up with that? I swear they are all there. But I should probably check again.


I didn't have the heart to tell this doll family that they will probably be defaulting on their mortgage and moving into a Barbie Camper shortly. It's happening all over California really. Besides, that's the most haunted San Francisco Victorian Dollhouse I've ever seen. I bet Karen Black and Bette Davis are in the attic. Watch yourself.


So Much Good Stuff
In case you don't know, Long Beach, California is passionately in love with all things vintage. And I dig that. It's so much fun to see all the tableware of yesteryear and I drool over all the colors. It makes me feel I'm a kid again when I see all that Tupperware!


All My Troubles Seemed So Far Away
There were several scrapbooks I came across filled with nothing but Beatles clippings from newspapers. It made me realize their impact on popular music and it made me think of my dad on Father's Day. He's a huge Beatles lover. I LOVE YOU, DAD!

Record player 

Ipod Shmipod!
Both Adam and I freaked out when we saw this. If you're around the same age you probably remember these record players, too. I know I gave mine a true workout; it was always spinning my 45's of Diana Ross, Olivia Newton John, Captain & Tennille and Donna Summer.

And yet people have the nerve to think being gay is a choice and not by birth? I have just offered you scientific proof. Move on now. Really.

And saving the best for last…


I give you Jesus On A Pelt.

I'll let you absorb that for a minute.

So yes, there is he, the redeemer, the liberator, the savior, artfully painted on racoon? Fox? Squirrel? And whyyyyyyyyy? Surely there's a story behind this and when you walk the aisles you realize that there are always a million stories behind these objects. But this really takes the cake. I've seen him on cars, stickers, bodegas, t-shirts and even tortillas, but animal fur is completely new to me. He really does work in mysterious ways.

The Long Beach Outdoor Antique & Collectible Market is held the 3rd Sunday of the month. Visit their website for more information.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

tulip June 15, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Such fun!! We used to have some great places here in Atlanta like that. I loved my FP turntable!!! Now I am off to try to find one for my 4 year old. :)

foodlibrarian June 15, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Sounds great! I haven’t been yet but am putting it on my calendar for next month. Thanks for the Nagel memory lane visit. Oh, those 80′s – I had the Nagel book and print from one of those flea market vendors. I just hope the luminous Jesus pelt isn’t sold out…

cookworm June 15, 2008 at 6:14 pm

Thanks for the mini-tour. I have a real obsession with vintage and this stuff was great to see! The Jesus in particular really proves that truth is stranger than fiction.

suburbanrambler June 15, 2008 at 10:09 pm

those motor parts are gaskets. great collection of photos. especially love the triptych collages: complements and the right level of tension. [or some such...] post reminds me of san telmo.

suburbanrambler June 15, 2008 at 10:10 pm

those motor parts are gaskets. great collection of photos. especially love the triptych collages: complements and the right level of tension. [or some such...] post reminds me of san telmo.

Kitt June 15, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Great pics! Love those sunglasses.

Rachel June 16, 2008 at 1:59 am

I have to thank-you for my first laugh out loud, with tears streaming down my face moment of the week! The haunted doll-house is good…but Jesus in furs..awesome!
This is my first time visiting your blog, but hence-forth I’ll make it a regular pit-stop.
Thanks again!

Ben June 16, 2008 at 7:14 am

Thank you Son. I love you too !!
Those motor parts,a someone earlier mentioned, are gaskets..carburetor, exhaust flange gaskets, and who know what else.

DanaD June 16, 2008 at 8:57 am

Matt! Hi! Thanks for your previous advice re: shooting tables. Have another annoying question but you’ve been able to capture a color quality/certain je ne sais quois I have been attempting and getting close but no cigar! Your shots of Dana (nice name btw!!! :))– is there a specific filter in post you applied, or technique? What are the specs on those shots?

Also do you think the nikkor 60mm f 2.8 is an irresistible investment for a food photographer?

DanaD June 16, 2008 at 8:58 am

…aaaaaaand as a follow-up, do you edit only in photoshop, or have you used aperture? I’ve only just begun in photoshop. I commited myself fully to aperture on a friend’s insistence that it would much more closely mimic the actual darkroom workflow, which is where i got my start!

And follow up three: can you recommend any great books or websites for learning photoshop strictly as a digital photographer?

Again, thanks soooooooooooooo much!


Meg June 16, 2008 at 9:50 am

Jesus on a pelt? Wow. I was pretty sure that the shifting image Jesus (like often seen on Hello Kitty images; turn the image one way, and Hello Kitty is getting on an airplane with her suitcase, turn it another and she’s under the Eiffel Tower with her suitcase), first with alive Jesus in agony and then with dead Jesus was just about the height of campy Jesus imagery. But Jesus of the Successful Hunt may well take the cake.

Alicia June 16, 2008 at 10:12 am

So from what I can gather, you and I must be of similar age for I am also a fan of the turntable featuring ONJ and C&T…think “Muscrat Love”….and have a Mom who is a Beatles F-A-N-A-T-I-C. To the horror and fascination of my family and friends, my daughters are now also fans of cheesy 70′s music as well as preceding decades and post-decades…they are very diverse in their music knowledge. Thank you, thank you very much. I love your photos and your posts and hate to be stuck in the South when there are clearly many cool things to see in the Wild West! Cant’ wait for new recipes and new pictures…thak you for the inspirations.

kitchenbeard June 16, 2008 at 10:51 am

I really need to find someone to drive me out the the one in Alameda. I’ve heard it’s a full day event and totally worth it for funky stuff for props. I really miss the NYC flea markets on 7th Ave because I could get the most fun shit there.

Uncle Beefy June 16, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Wow! Now that is a whole lotta envy!!! Love the letters in the 1st pic, the colored tins – great, body fuzion – all over that like syrup on a pancake, Jesus on a pelt – over the sofa or the mantle? The lil’ turntable…it’s okay we understand ;)

keiko June 16, 2008 at 3:25 pm

PLEASE take me here next time I’m in LA! kxx

Foodwoolf June 16, 2008 at 4:04 pm

It’s always so fun to see where Jesus turns up at such swap meets. On pelts. On velvet. On belt buckles. Always with such interesting looks on his face too…

Thank you for sharing your great pictures, photo advice and entertaining commentary.


180/360 June 16, 2008 at 8:24 pm

So amazing! I wish we had antique markets like these in Vegas.

kristina June 16, 2008 at 9:28 pm

I am late for work, but this post made it worth it. I laughed outloud (as usual– Especially about the foreclosure), and really enjoyed the photography.

Steve June 17, 2008 at 10:45 am

this is oh-so-amazing. love it all.
LOVE IT! you rock.

Anita June 17, 2008 at 7:40 pm

I think that you don’t know what gaskets are might be yet another indication in the same vein as your pre-teen musical choices. :D

Walker TR June 18, 2008 at 8:34 am

OMG, jesus on a pelt is hilarious, i laughted so hard i almost peed my pants. so many other gorgeous shots too, thank you. and congrats on being married!!!! (i’m catching up my reading going backwards)

jenniferL June 18, 2008 at 10:59 am

wow… those are some good finds! love the glasses!

dana robinson June 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm

oh jesus on a pelt, i cannot believe you posted all this awesomeness!!!

TexanNewYorker June 19, 2008 at 5:54 am

Jesus on a Pelt — priceless. I just sent the link to my friend who, with her husband, collects Jesus art (actually, her husband creates some of his own). For more crazy Jesus art, check out her blog:

Bruce A. June 20, 2008 at 10:06 am

Send that photo to, right now!

Webmaster Al June 21, 2008 at 12:26 am

Don the promoter loved this piece! Here’s a link back:
Personally, I think there’s a handful who might confuse Jesus, Elvis and Fess Parker; which can lead to some unique artistic interpretations.

Alex Lopez June 21, 2008 at 9:29 am

Love, love love the retro stuff! And oh oh oh..I want those bloody Mary shades…too cool!

xtine June 25, 2008 at 2:34 pm

WHAT is that pelt??? It looks like it had a little mane or something. That little Victorian would be fit in perfectly on the scary part of PCH…

Woohoo for the Long Beach Outdoor Antique and Collectible Market! Yet another reason why I love living in the LBC! I think the Market is on again this weekend, 6/29th. Too bad we’re going to be out of town and missing out on the fun. If you go, please post more pics of your finds!

Rebecca June 30, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Fabulous! Yes, I remember those Fisher-Price record players-mine still works and my son loves it now! (Though I think my mom put it up when she realized how much she could get for it on eBay.) And the Jesus pelt–Jesus! that DOES beat a tortilla!!

Juanita July 14, 2008 at 4:31 pm

I love twitter, for it sent me to you! I thought the exact same thing when I saw the old school tupperware. *sigh* And the Fisher Price record player? Hello? Best thing EVER. Now I want to go to a swap meet. Thanks for the inspiration!

Abbey Goes Design Scouting July 31, 2008 at 11:27 am

this is wonderful! love your blog, just found it and am linking to it asap. xo Abbey

hipley May 21, 2009 at 2:10 am

check out the “Jesus Tile” on ebay. Thats whats up. The “Jesus Tile”.

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