Hundreds of people showed up to shop from over a hundred vendors at the Punk Rock Flea Market September 18th and 19th in White Center. (Photo: Susan Fried)

PHOTO ESSAY: Punk Rock Flea Market Returns After Pandemic Hiatus

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.

Hundreds of people showed up to shop from over a hundred vendors at the Punk Rock Flea Market Sept. 18–19 in White Center. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Capitol Hill Vaudeville Vintage was one of the dozens of vendors selling their wares at the Punk Rock Flea Market. (Photo: Susan Fried)
A dog waits patiently while its owner shops at the Punk Rock Flea Market. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Zack and Josh, owners of Goodbye Zack, sell their wares at the Punk Rock Flea Market on Sept. 18–19 in White Center. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Cassie Grier and Miguel Flores sit in her booth at the Punk Rock Flea Market. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Max Reinhart, proprietor of Skullclown, sells his merchandise at the Punk Rock Flea Market. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Hundreds of people shopped at the Punk Rock Flea Market in White Center over the weekend of Sept. 18–19. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Molly McCoy, owner of Therapy Bags, sells her purses and bags at the Punk Rock Flea Market. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Patrick Doran holds up the Austin Powers figurine he purchased at the Punk Rock Flea Market on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Capitol Hill Vaudeville Vintage displays some of the items they were selling during the Punk Rock Flea Market. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Artist Michael Koehler sells his prints at the Punk Rock Flea Market. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Bartenders Ian Garfield and Ben Larson serve drinks at the Bottoms Up Bar at the Punk Rock Flea Market, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in White Center. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Abby Dahl checks out a $5.00 dress at the Punk Rock Flea Market, Sunday, Sept. 19, in White Center. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Shawn Lawlor, Dianne Castillo, and David Serra enjoy drinks from the Bottoms Up Bar Sunday, Sept. 19, during the Punk Rock Flea Market in White Center. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Customers browse a booth at the Punk Rock Flea Market on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Jaye Zehring and Ansel Letourneau, owners of Crown of Bone, sell their products at the Punk Rock Flea Market. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Susan Fried is a 40-year veteran photographer. Her early career included weddings, portraits, commercial work — plus shes 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)

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