Montage Summer 2012 : Page 88

“It didn’t make sense that there wasn’t a big antique market. ... The Randolph Street Market put Chicago and the Midwest on the map for well-curated antiques and vintage offerings.” —Sally Schwartz May opener centers around a garden party theme, where everyone comes out of winter hibernation for great people watching, one-of-a-kind shopping, live music and delicious food,” Schwartz says. Envision bombshells in vintage bathing suits, hula hoop girls modeling the latest fashions, chic outdoor vignettes and landscaping designed by the market’s style guru, Ramsey Jay Prince, plus a sizzling barbeque fete from Chicago’s best chefs. “The dealers go wild playing up the theme with fresh flowers and unique items for throwing garden parties—backyard barbecues, games of croquet, lemonade sets, wicker bars, picnic baskets and beautiful vintage fashions to wear to the party,” she says. and thousands of rarities at this indoor and outdoor shopping mecca. But even the most seasoned market shopper needs a treasure map and two full days of exploration. The outdoor parking lot showcases a sea of home furnishings and décor items that run the gamut from the rarest, mid-century Eames Danish coffee table to a highly-coveted, collector-worthy, tangerine Schwinn bicycle. Smaller booths scattered throughout showcase everything imaginable in antiques, magnificent period gems by such visionaries as Van Cleef & Arpels, men’s cufflinks and fashions, vinyl and global goods. A center stage area plays a rotating mix of live country, jazz, 1970s disco or steam punk. Head inside and see the historic, 1920s Beaux-Arts, terrazzo-floored building with shopping on three levels. The grand dame of vintage fashion and jewelry is located in the ballroom, aptly named “Pickers Palace,” where according to Schwartz, “you can scope out the best finds.” Haggling is encouraged and part of the fun. Finish the day with a mimosa or frozen banana from the outdoor food court, which features a variety of gourmet treats including pizzas, cocktails, candied nuts, empanadas and much more from local food artisans. The Randolph Street Market also features on-site ATMs, free furniture delivery in Chicago, valet parking, a dog-friendly atmosphere and a free trolley from Water Tower Place, located in the heart of downtown Chicago for easy access. As soon as the market gates open, more than 15,000 attendees disperse to scour hundreds of stalls Matt Reeves The Great Exploration The market is as much about the dealers, as it is about its offerings. What sets the Randolph Street Market apart from other antique fairs and flea markets around the world is its quality and size. Quality Finds 88 montage | SUMMER 2012

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