Monday January 23, 2006

Swap Shop

After hearing about the Miami Beach Antique Show, there was only one reasonable thing to do this weekend: head for the Swap Shop! The circus may be gone, but there’s still plenty to see and do, especially with the current weather, which, despite being 5 to 10 degrees higher then it should be this time of year, makes being outside for a few hours not a forgone conclusion.

You want crap? This is where they have the crap: machetes, old toys, furniture in varying conditions, 8-track players and the 8-tracks they play, and chotckes up the wazoo.

Here’s a very reasonable gentleman doing a brisk business selling preserved piranhas.

Reproductions of Michelangelo’s David are fun for the whole family, whether in full-figure, 3/4, or bust configurations.

“Jesus is my Boss” is the hat-du-jour.

A dancing baby for Ally McBeal die-hards. Really works!

We didn’t really get close to this guy’s nuts, so we can’t vouch for their freshness. The freshness of his van, though, is plain for all to see.

The aforementioned old toys. Note Tickle-me-Elmo. Also note the crutches: the Swap Shop is your one-stop source for reasonably priced used crutches.

More toys: Lambchop chills with an unnamed Power-Ranger.

Set amid unidentified pieces of exercise equipment and lawn tools, a perfectly lovely little oil-on-panel

Antiques, as promised. Seriously, though: the silver may be real, but lots of the other “antiques” are fake as hell.

A lovely collection of wood and leather animal statues.

An impressive array of towel racks.

Wild horses.

The kitchen sink.

A collection of Cuban Puerto-Rican-flag-themed clothing and towels. Note: two different Daddy Yankee totes in the lower left.

Over in the produce section, a selection of lovely orchids. The problem with which being, after a few hours in the sun, the next stop is always a nice long brunch. You wouldn’t want to leave sensitive plants in the car for that long.

Out front, the carnival was hopping. This ride actually got stuck while we watched, but as you can see nobody was put in danger.

The log ride: more fun then having a bucket of water dumped on your head.

And there you have it. A note about parking: the “preferred” parking, which is first on your right as you approach from I-95 (on Sunrise Blvd), is $5. It’s also packed, and very difficult to find a spot in unless you’re early (the Swap Shop opens at 5 am on Sundays!). The second lot on the left is $3 – not a bad compromise, but pretty far from the action. The lot across the street is $2, but you may end up walking through an unpaved dirt lot.

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  1. skipvancel    Mon Jan 23, 09:24 AM #  

    Man this is great! When will the movie come out?



  2. flag 101: cuba = blue, puerto rico = red    Mon Jan 23, 10:45 AM #  

    No way man!! There are NO Cuban flags in that pic, and please, don’t get the Cubans worked up about Daddy Yankee being anything but from Puerto Rico!!!!



  3. alesh    Mon Jan 23, 11:33 AM #  

    uhh . . . thanks. Don’t I at least get some points for knowing who Daddy Yankee is?



  4. john    Mon Jan 23, 01:32 PM #  

    Okay, someone should shoot Preston Henn. It is like someone conspiring to make our world oh so trashier. Daddy Yankee, Pitbull, it is all the same- really freakin’ bad! Through the oddities of migration and intertwined history of the islands, of PR and Cuba, I have family from and in both. As any one from Miami knows they make those hideous outfits with every flag where there is a large enough contingent of tacky folks to buy them. Alas, they make them in both Cuban and Puerto Rican versions… And this is my burden.



  5. Rick    Mon Jan 23, 01:46 PM #  

    I’ve lived in South Florida for 23 years and I’m proud to say that I’ve never, ever been to the Swap Shop.

    What a huge waste of time.



  6. Lois Terms    Mon Jan 23, 02:21 PM #  

    I think the Swap Shop would be the perfect venue for the King Tut exhibit.



  7. Sean    Mon Jan 23, 09:25 PM #  

    John: Lighten up,lad! Everywhere you wander you’ll find these tacky testimonials to the lowest common denominator humanity has to offer. Nary a one of us has standing to smirk at the other; it’s all fun for someone, and where’s the harm? Not your burden nor mine, just the way it always was and will be. If you can’t yet stomach it, let it roll off your feathers unruffled. No need to fret what others are thinking, and three beers later it all makes sense.



  8. veronica    Fri Jan 27, 08:37 AM #  

    wow alesh!

    you just took pictures of my memories of the swap shop.

    the pictures are great…and i got a tiger which is exactly the same of the one in your pictures. (it comes from india..)

    well, what i haev to say now is SUPER COOL