A frequent vendor at Lower Moyamensing’s (LoMo) Flea Market and Community Fair has taken exception to my review of the biannual event. Below, in italics, is “Dee’s” full comment:
I just read the review of the LoMo Flea Market and having done this market maybe five times, I’ve done rather well and especially like the foot traffic in comparison to other flea markets, say in a school yard, etc., where you can doze off with the people who dribble in. Most of them are geared towards kids stuff. So I do think whoever wrote the review was being rather snobbish. Mentioning the “poor people” and making it appear like it’s hobo heaven. I think the tone of the review is uncalled for IF you DO LOVE all of South Philly. The only thing is that people do seem to want things for next to nothing but if you stand your ground you can make out very well. And, when weather is nice, the foot traffic is amazing. So don’t be so quick to put up such a downer, condescending review!
After reading Dee’s comment I went back and reread my LoMo review and, I have to admit, I can see her point to a certain extent. One thing I said that I’m not particularly comfortable with is “I’ve never sold there and most likely never will.” Even I was taken aback when I reread that sentence. I wrote it several months ago but now find it harsh, unfair, and, yes, condescending. When I get around to rewriting my reviews from last year I will definitely take that sentence out.
Another sentence that needs to be removed is the one about a friend of mine never selling at LoMo again after having sold there one time a few years ago. This is no longer true since she set up there this past fall and recently asked me about the LoMo Flea Market. My guess is that she plans to setup there this year as well.
I don’t, however, agree with some of Dee’s other points. First of all, she fails to mention that, more than once, I explain that LoMo is a new flea market that has the potential to improve. Also, she is offended when I describe some of LoMo’s shoppers as poor. Although, I’ve made this point several times in the past, I feel compelled to make it again, this a flea market information blog and nothing more. Part of its purpose is to inform vendors, who might be thinking of selling at a particular flea market, the makeup of the clientele they will be encountering. Comments like this are not meant to deter vendors but instead give them the opportunity to better decide: a) if a particular flea market is right for their type of merchandise and, b) if so, how to adjust prices accordingly. It’s certainly not a judgment either. The fact that I can have compassion for the poor and underprivileged doesn’t make their presence any less relevant from a business point of view. (In addition, not mentioning poor people isn’t going to make them rich.)
As for Dee’s “hobo heaven” comment, I will admit that, in my review, the sentence to which she refers is misplaced. Though the somewhat colorful description of “hobo heaven” is her term, not mine, I do mention in my review that Broad and Snyder attracts its fair share of “panhandlers and . . . outcasts.” I placed this sentence, in parenthesis, right after my description of the working class and poor shoppers. I now realize this was a mistake. In the previous paragraph I give a description of the Broad and Snyder area, describing certain stores and its public transportation layout. I was trying to convey the diversity and overall vibe of the popular intersection. Thus, the panhandlers sentence belongs in that paragraph and not where I placed it.
Dee also feels that my tone is “uncalled for IF [I] DO LOVE all of South Philly.” I could engage in a bit of sarcasm here by pointing out that she pretty clearly implies that if I do not love all of South Philly then my tone is absolutely appropriate. I could, since I do love sarcasm, but I won’t. In fact, if I remember, I will delete any mention of it. If I forget, then skip that sentence, or, if it’s too late, just pretend you never read it.
I’m pretty sure I have never stated on this blog that I necessarily love South Philly. For the record, I was born and raised in South Philadelphia and there are parts and aspects of the city subsection I like and other parts and aspects I am not so crazy about. Nonetheless, my opinion of South Philly has nothing to do with this blog. It is called Philadelphia Flea Market News for a reason. If I was interested in boostering the South Philly cause then this blog might be called The Society for Embracing and Uplifting the Spirits of All of South Philadelphia Including Its Panhandlers News. (By the way, if anyone wishes to do that, I’d be willing to bet more money than I have that the domain name is available.)
These things said, and our differences aside, I would like to sincerely thank Dee for, first and foremost, participating on this blog. Philadelphia Flea Market News lives on this type of engagement. Her comments add much to my view of the LoMo Flea Market since her perspective is so much better than mine. Her descriptions of traffic flow and the handling of customers are the types of relevant and useful information that help flea market vendors and shoppers make more intelligent decisions.
Finally, Dee, thank you for bringing to my attention that I was not such a responsible writer so early in my blogging career. Please continue to comment.