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The Starlite Swap Meet | KCET

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Swapping, bartering and buying are all encouraged. Clothing Looking to add a little something extra to your wardrobe? Short, short club dresses and sheer tops stand out on snow white mannequins, and are definite attention grabbers.

Pair the latter with a heavily embellished pair of jeans if wanting to go all out.

Star Lite Swap Meet: A Local Flea Market in Lakewood

Tees screen printed with the Seahawk and CenturyLink stadium are also widely available, and largely emphasize neon green, making for one of a kind, homebrewed gear. Cactus is one of the more unique items for sale. Electronics In the mix is a good number of electronics vendors, from colorful cell phone case hawkers to a wall-to-wall DVD shop. Outside, one tent houses nothing but speakers of all sizes, which boom out a medley of tunes to the passersby.

Perhaps getting the most visits are those who entice with old school games and consoles. The game booths have aficionados rummaging through bins, seeking out the classics. Sure, prices for popular titles like Super Mario may run a bit higher than what one could find for sale online, but there are the rare treasures, and that possibility makes it all the more fun.

Religious paintings and heavily gilded Jesus and Virgin Mary figurines are also given quite a bit of space, bringing a dose of spirituality to that which is being offered. Fresh cut flowers dot a few of the booths outside, inviting the browser to take in, and, perhaps, even buy up a bit of nature for oneself.

The bouquets appear to be a bit on the pricier side, but arrangements are what one would expect of any florist. The otherwise empty theatre lot simultaneously began operating as a daytime outdoor swap meet shortly after its opening.

Over time, the swap meet proved to be more successful than the space's cinematic use; despite the eventual demise of the theatre in the mids, the swap meet continues to thrive in the shadow of the Art Moderne-like marquee that once marked the theatre's main entrance, and now welcomes swap meet visitors.

Aside from the marquee, its only notable infrastructure is the fence that denotes its boundaries in relation to its light manufacturing and residential neighbors, and two relatively modest buildings located at the center of the swap meet, where a cafeteria, administrative office, and restrooms are located.

Sold at the swap meet are toiletries, herbal medicines, pet clothing, and seemingly everything in between. The swap meet's demographic and cultural components are largely defined by its majority Hispanic, immigrant, and low-income community. As such, the swap meet's landscape is altered by the region's varied cultural influences and can be seen as one walks through the swap meet and learns of the interactions among vendors, and between vendors and customers.

Hot Wheels Swap Meet SUPER HAUL!

It would be negligent, though, to say that the influences are obvious, beside the language barriers that exist between the groups, broken English often being the only language that ties the communities. The entrepreneurial spirit certainly thrives throughout the entire swap meet; however, unlike their Hispanic counterparts, Asian vendors appear to actually prescribe to the idea of remaining inside the spaces for which they have paid.

Hispanic participants subscribe to a more anarchistic approach, more fluidly taking on the varied roles defined in the 'Primary Swap Meet Entities' diagram.

On any given weekend day -- rain or shine -- vendors begin arriving at the break of dawn, driving their packed vehicles through the swap meet's west entrance. As urban theorist James Rojas might say, vendors enact, or begin enacting, the environment with their presence, their arrival marking the birth of a new swap meet day 2. By mid-morning, vehicles are unloaded and stands set-up in time to welcome early customers.

Vehicles, particularly those containing the components of a larger stand, are often modified and outfitted with shelves, metal crossbars, and netting to better store merchandise.

The stands are themselves props, or "movable items, easily manipulated by the user who provides instant modification" Rojas. They serve to connect the user to the space in the enacted environment created by the vendors occupying the property's void. The structures are, for the most part, modest in size and design, but will occasionally reach heights equivalent to a two-story building and may sinuously weave around the many trucks, equal extensions of these entrepreneurial enterprises, parked in between the stands.

Several hours are often spent building the structures, which are typically composed of metal poles, tarps, and the joints and cables that hold them together.

Starlite Marketplace

Working a stand can be rigorous, and requires a certain kind of physical stamina that can endure seasonal weather changes and heavy lifting. Remaining relatively intact for only a few hours of the swap meet's hour-long days, the stands usually begin to see their end at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. The ritual of erecting and dismantling the stand is largely determined by natural time in that the swap meet is solely lit by sunlight, yet sometimes still remains despite evening's darkness; some vendors are stubborn enough to work according to abstract time in order to make an extra buck.

The swap meet, although legal, has often been a source of concern to local officials, who have regularly identified health and safety violations. As a result, property owners have often felt pressured to close the swap meet - or at least pressured enough to alarm vendors of the possibility of closure if they continue to violate regulations.