Jaithan and I are off to Chicago tomorrow, where on Saturday we'll be meeting up with readers and fellow flea market fanatics at Kane County in St. Charles, Illinois. Attendee Debra Phillips is even hosting a cocktail reception for Jaithan and me at her enchanting store Scentimental Gardens in nearby Geneva! How generous is that? Virtual friendships are amazing, but we're always thrilled at the chance to meet folks in person even more. This year, after brunch with Seleta, cocktails with the Vamp, and the house tour in Rye, virtual is becoming all the more real everyday. Speaking of, here's a quick recap of the fantastic time we had shopping in May with new friends from the city. Skies were overcast that day but the air warm and pleasant, perfect for a spin through the market. First up, reader Lindsey and her mother, caught in a picture perfect moment.   


A recent graduate of Pratt, Lindsey works with the talented Celerie Kimble, whom I've known for years, ever since my days at House Beautiful. Lindsey's fun, stylish, and full of energy, just like Celerie! And when it comes to a day of power shopping, there's nothing like a mother-daughter duo, now is there? Our flea market trips are popular with them, especially down south, and we love it! Love, too, this retro studded brass fruit Lindsey picked up! I can see them as decorative objects on a desk or, better yet, atop a pile of books on a coffee table or bookshelf. I also imagine similar versions offered en masse here.


Cristy, another with our group, came to us on a mission: the next day, she was to host a brunch for twelve at her West Village apartment and needed several things for table. With a list full of china, silver, linens, and glass, it was certainly a tall order to fill, but leave it to our friend and favorite dealer RIch to have the goods. Here's Cristy with a gorgeous set of vintage glasses, perfect for wine, water, and, as I suggested, a Prosecco cocktail like this. Oh, and if her flair for the dramatic looks at all familiar…


here's why…


Cristy plays Nessarose in the magnificent "Wicked" on Broadway. Of course, Jaithan and I were beyond starstruck because we love the show so much. And get this: we might even be getting a behind-the-scenes tour soon, so stay tuned! Now, back to the flea market, this time to Heather—a.k.a. the bold, bawdy Countess of Nassau County. This Long Island Mom came ready to spend with a great eye for shopping vintage. Check out this super chic alabaster lamp! She bought it for the top of a baby grand piano, so for even more drama, I suggested a custom pagoda shade in all black silk from here.


Kristen, a frequent shopper of ours on Etsy, came looking for furnishings and accessories for a vacation house in Narragansett. At the Antiques Garage on 26th, from one of my favorite dealers of good, old silver, here's what she found.


It’s a beautiful samovar with a Bakelite handle, and while I’m not quite sure which of the two won it—Kristen or the dealer—what I do know is how perfect it’s going to be in her new house, especially around the holidays. I'd use it on a sideboard for hot mulled cider served in vintage glass mugs, each with a single stick of cinnamon. Next up, we have Sarah, a razor sharp banker with more willpower than I
could ever dream of, denying herself a single purchase until she'd seen
everything. But what she found really is stunning.


It's a set of four Chinoisserie plates in colors that are fresh, graphic, and beautiful. I'd group them on the wall, I told her, or use them for serving an elegant, like raspberry lemon tart with crème anglaise. And finally, for the last highlight of the day, a quick video on decorating with decoupage. In my experience, it's something that can go bad really fast, but if you stick to things that are similar like botanicals, Audubon prints, or in this case, beautiful vintage maps, you just might surprise yourself. Check it out!

For the full album of everyone's finds, click here. We're off to Chicago, everyone! Oh, and while we're there, does anyone have any favorite shops or restaurants we should know about?