by Susan Fried
A huge mural with the words “Punk Rock Flea Market” — painted in vibrant colors on the exterior wall of the future location of the Unicorn Bar in White Center — greeted the hundreds of people who came to shop at the flea market over the weekend of Sept. 18–19. The event, which has been held twice yearly since its inception 16 years ago, was forced to cancel in 2020 because of COVID-19. This year’s event was held outside in a parking lot, and attendees were required to wear masks.
That didn’t stop hundreds of people from enjoying a weekend wandering through stalls containing original art, vintage clothing, fun tchotchkes, collectables, records, and handmade goods. The event also featured the Bottoms Up Bar and rotating DJs spinning records throughout the weekend.
A brief rain storm on Saturday dampened the enthusiasm a little, but a beautiful sunny Sunday brought out the shoppers. Artist Mason Heckett said the rain on Saturday had been a little disruptive but that overall business had been good. This was his first time participating in the Punk Rock Flea Market, but he said he participates regularly in the South Park Swap Meet (aka SPASM), which happens the second Saturday of every month in South Park and is also run by Punk Rock Flea Market Seattle. He said he was grateful to the organization for giving artists like himself an opportunity to sell their creations.
Punk Rock Flea Market Seattle started in 2005 as a fundraiser for the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), and they continue to contribute to LIHI after every market.
Susan Fried is a 40-year veteran photographer. Her early career included weddings, portraits, commercial work — plus she’s been The Skanner’s Seattle photographer for 25 years. Her images have appeared in the University of Washington Daily, the Seattle Globalist, Crosscut, and many more. She’s been an Emerald contributor since 2015. Follow her on Instagram @fried.susan.
📸 Featured Image: Hundreds of people showed up to shop from over a hundred vendors at the Punk Rock Flea Market September 18 and 19 in White Center. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Before you move on to the next story … Please consider that the article you just read was made possible by the generous financial support of donors and sponsors. The Emerald is a BIPOC-led nonprofit news outlet with the mission of offering a wider lens of our region’s most diverse, least affluent, and woefully under-reported communities. Please consider making a one-time gift or, better yet, joining our Rainmaker Family by becoming a monthly donor. Your support will help provide fair pay for our journalists and enable them to continue writing the important stories that offer relevant news, information, and analysis. Support the Emerald!