Tag Archives: Flea Markets

Now You Know

Not long ago, I had the opportunity to go to a giant flea market, where I saw a set of airline seats for sale, presumably to decorate some lucky person’s home. As I recall, I snarked about the fact that nothing says “living room” like the experience of flying coach, and a sharp-eyed commenter pointed out that these were, in fact, seats from first class. I think that only marginally improves things, but ok.

But in case you were wondering who would actually buy a set of used transit seats and put them in their home, look no farther. Last week our downstairs neighbors moved out, and temporarily placed a row of blue seats in the building’s entryway. I can’t tell if they’re van or bus? They still have seatbelts attached. I ran to get a camera. Here they are:

These seats do not recline. They also do not belong in our hallway.
These seats do not recline. They have no tray table to put in the fully upright position. They also do not belong in our hallway.

You’d think they were here prior to being thrown out, but no. A pair of large men came with a van and took away these seats along with a giant pile of boxes. The seats were moving on to a new apartment as well, it seems.

It takes all kinds.

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Of Flea Markets, Dirndls, and Crime-Solving Dogs

With spring comes the return of the Flohmarkt, or flea market, a famous feature of the Viennese landscape. To be honest, it’s possible they were here all year, but the weather was so bloody awful that who would have known? So, a couple of weekends ago I hit the Flohmarkt Trifecta:  three flea markets in 2 days. Curious what there is to buy—and what single purchase I finally selected from among the tens of thousands of objects on offer? You will never guess.

Flea market at Freyung in Vienna
What the hell is this stuff, and why does it haunt my dreams?

The first flea market (which was also the smallest) gave me an unfortunate false sense of what to expect from the others. This consisted of a few stands in the neighborhood of the Freyung (last seen on this blog here). It was there that I saw a table of totally scary paraphernalia from both World Wars as well as associated other military campaigns, liberally mixed with crucifixes, dolls, and other items familiar from horror films.

This photo is incapable of conveying the terror instilled by this display — but I couldn’t take better pictures because the totally scary guy manning the stand was looking at me and probably putting a curse on me.


So naturally after that I was curious about what to expect from the semi-annual Neubaugasse Flohmarkt, held in the 7th district. This is a gigantic flea market running up both sides of a long street and consisting of dozens of stands and a bewildering collection of objects. Allow me to set the scene:

Neubaugasse flea market in Vienna's 7th district
Thank God it wasn’t raining.
Turtle shell from Neubaugasse flea market in Vienna
This noble sea creature did not die in vain. Not at all.


At Neubaugasse you could find an incredible range of objects, from a turtle etched with images of the first American presidents and a giant bald eagle, to a pair of airplane seats, to cameras of every possible variety.

Airplane seats from Neubaugasse flea market in Vienna
Because there’s nothing you long for more in your own home than the experience of flying coach.





Overwhelmed by this display, we headed downhill and into the 6th district, and thus into the rear portion of the Naschmarkt. The Naschmarkt is best known as Vienna’s largest outdoor food market, but it also has a flea market at its far end. This flea market is only on Saturdays, but takes place year round.


Flea market at the Naschmarkt in Vienna
At the Naschmarkt, if you want stuff rather than food, head out back.




I can now unreservedly say that this is where you want to go if you are in search of Tracht.


That’s right. Tracht.


Tracht at Naschmarkt flea market
Why do I write Tracht with a captial-T? Because in German one capitalizes nouns, and Tracht is a Thing.


What is Tracht, you ask? Tracht is traditional regional clothing—your dirndls, your lederhosen, your little green felt cavalry jackets with brass buttons that probably have a name but I don’t know what it is. Also, Tyrolean hats (not pictured here).




By now you are wondering what purchase I made—what single object I selected from this glory to bring into my home and represent my identity. Was it a dirndl? Was it a dead animal? Well, it was at Neubaugasse that a certain book among the thousands upon thousands displayed there caught my eye:

Kommissar Rex book in Vienna
Here I am and there is Rex, right under my hand, as though I am petting his adorable head.

It’s a commemorative picture book from the first season of Kommissar Rex, a television program about a crime-fighting German Shepherd. It is my favorite TV show, it is teaching me German, and it was a flea market, damn it! A flea market is a temple to misguided purchases.

I make no apologies.

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