Justine de Jonge is a Melbourne freelance travel writer and blogger who loves travelling the vegan road. She also loves blogging about her vegan travels at www.fireandtea.com .
Published January 16th 2013
All that is good about a market
The People's Market has now relocated to Stanley Street in Collingwood this summer and holds all that is good about an open-air market. The market is attracting Melbourne's inner-city crowd and outer-fringe dwellers with pop-up retailers, food and drink stalls, music, and friendly areas for sitting or stretching out.
The People's Market is run for the people and by the people, in particular siblings Stephen and Niki Filipovic. There's a suburban feel to it all, as if someone has opened up the gates to their backyard, put on kegs in their shed and invited all their creative friends to sell their wares. There's nothing pretentious about this summer-time market, and the casual, welcoming vibe is addictive.
At street level, The People's Market is inviting as it is homely. A black-washed wall coos to passers-by: "Hello Friends". There are no turn-styles, no fee collectors and no attitude. There's simply a lass at the entrance collecting donations in a bucket for The Social Studio – fashion school, designer clothing label, café and community space for Melbourne's young refugee community. It's a fabulous way to offload spare change, if I dare say.
Once the threshold is crossed, shipping containers sitting on top of one another like toy blocks are found. Each container and trestle table is decked out by a vendor selling recycled fashion, handmade jewellery, kitsch tea-towels, local art or independent music and culture magazines. More trestle tables are spotted within the space, giving visitors ample opportunity to browse through unique pieces and bag a one-off bargain.
Street art gets its attention as well, with a mural emblazoned across a brick wall. A back wall has a postcard ring to it: "Greetings from Collingwood: Where everything goes". And so it does. It's here where visitors partake in a game of table tennis or croquet. A friendly hit with a buddy while sipping lazy afternoon ale is one way to spend your time at The People's Market. A DJ sets up some turntables to drop beats for this Saturday outdoor session too. The kids are also catered for; a box of toys and blocks gets attention from one toddler.
The bar serves beverages from Brunswick micro-brewery Thunder Road Brewing Company. The range of ales on tap partners well with American-inspired soul food from vegan outlet South. Vendors spruiking meatballs, crepes, and Vietnamese-inspired bowls of vermicelli salads satisfy the crowd too. South also provides some sweet indulgence, like fluffy cupcakes topped with lashings of icing. They go down nicely with a freshly brewed coffee.
The People's Market is a fun way to spend a lazy weekend afternoon. Yet, it's also a hub for community-spirited citizens who give back to their community and are committed to keeping markets independent, edgy and…real!
As per the liner notes, the market is open Thursdays through to Sundays until April but the hours vary greatly depending on whether you want food, drinks, shopping, etc. I also didn't have enough space to list all times.
There is a comprehensive list of times on The People's Market's site. It's best to check for times there. My liner notes also include a link.