Scenes from SOWA Sundays

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved to shop.

Even as a young girl, her mother would always take her shopping with her. They would go to Rustan’s, a luxury department store in the Philippines, and she would follow her mother around, adoring the colorful clothes and shining jewelry. All the salespeople knew the little girl’s name – she was the kid always shopping with her mom. The little girl felt special, like she was part of a secret club of women (and gay men) who were connected by their love of shoes and sales and shiny department stores.  The little girl was happy; all she wanted was some trinkets and maybe a nice dress or two. And some fried chicken after. Slowly, but surely, as she grew older, her love for shopping started to dig its roots deep into her being.

That little girl is now 30, and if you couldn’t tell from the fried chicken reference, that little girl was me.

I inherited the shopping gene from my mom, and I’m proud of it. Nowadays, our shopping joints extend to eBay and Filene’s Basement, from Milan to New York, from thrift shops to Saks. Each and every time – no fail – my feet and legs would give up first, and I would turn cranky and yet incredulous at how my mom seemingly has boundless energy.

Our last shopping trip together was at SoWa a couple of Sundays ago. SoWa is New England’s largest outdoor weekly bazaar. There is a farmers market, an open market with food trucks, arts, crafts, and independent designers, and a vintage market.

it was a little cloudy when we arrived

but we were greeted with bright sunflowers

and other pretty flowers

some of which were pretty cheap (3 for $1)

there was also some gorgeous produce

and lots of fresh fruit

I (of course) tend to gravitate towards the sweet stuff, like honey

and jams

and carbs

Remember my favorite blueberry-lemonade bread? I get that from When Pigs Fly.

I also checked out some barbecue sauce

These are from Burnin’ Love. One of their sauces is called Heartbreak Sauce, because “an empty jar will break your heart!” (I have a soft spot for witty marketing lines.)

there were some herbs which made me want to grow my own herb garden

there was a band that played jazz music that lent a lively atmosphere to the open market

And there was a food truck section, where I saw some familiar favorites:

like the Bon Me truck

Roxy's Grilled Cheese

and Cupcakory (their raspberry buttercream cupcake is luscious)

my mom and I ended up sharing the pulled pork from Silk Road BBQ

and I braved the long lines at The Froyo Truck only to be disappointed when they ran out of Nutella (it's okay, I "settled" for plain)

there were pillows and other house decor but I didn't get to buy any

but I did buy a couple of heavenly-smelling candles

I also looked at some other cool items like leather-bound flasks

and itty bitty bottles

at the vintage market, there were all sorts of wares, like these old records

vintage luggage

leather goods

even cookware

and this lovely apertif set which I ended up buying

And as the story goes, the little girl in me felt like I was right at home at SoWa, shopping with my mom. She bought a few things too, and we both left saying we wanted to come back soon.

If you’re in the Boston area, check out SoWa Sundays in the South End (South of Washington Street, where it gets its name). It is open every Sunday through the end of October, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Have you been to any outdoor bazaars lately?


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