Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday in the South End - Boston

So, today was the day I have been waiting for, for quite some time! I had read about the antique market in the South End of Boston months ago when I began collecting information for our trip. The market occurs every Sunday, running from May to October. Actually, it is more than an antique market.

It is officially called SoWa Sundays and includes fresh produce and art, as well as antiques and vintage treasure. There are antique dealers set up in a wonderful old building that once housed trolley cars. The space is huge and very clean and organized. Admission is free.

There are nice men around making sure everyone is having a good time..........oh wait, that is my husband, being the good sport that he always is! He enjoyed a trip once around the building, but then waited patiently while I went back to look at every detail....... again! (He just told me he hates this picture of him - says his hair is standing straight up and he looks like a dork. I told him that he is precious and the point is that he is such a good companion on these sorts of outings!)

You can see how huge this space is and it would be fun to see more dealers. Maybe when the economy improves, more dealers will be back - I have seen a decline in the Texas shows, too, unfortunately.
Outside are more dealers and artisans, as well as people selling flowers and herbs and freshly baked bread!

If you click on the above photo, you will see the most wonderful baskets of fresh produce - I loved the beets in the round basket!

I thought this booth had especially great looking items and snapped a few photos. If you would like to see more, though, go to

I wish I had taken a closer shot of these paper weights and journals - they are a little reminiscent of John Derian's work, but unique in their own way, too.

Tons and tons of gorgeous flowers and plants - made me wish I was closer to home so I could take some with me!

It was a mild, sunny day and not crowded at all - perfect for browsing. After the market, we headed down the street to another place I have been anxiously wanting to visit for quite some time...........

................the wonderful home furnishings and design store, Hudson. I have read about it more than once in design magazines and have the website bookmarked on my computer, but there is nothing like getting to visit the real deal! I had such a nice visit with Lyndsay, the manager, and of course, had several favorite things I had to photograph while I was there. Hey, there's that sweet guy again. Glad he found a good spot to read!

These pillows are crafted by the talented duo of John Ross and Don Carney of Patch NYC. You should definitely click over to their website for a real treat. I think it is one of the most fun and interesting websites I have ever seen!

They also make jewelry out of vintage charms and chains and I had a hard time deciding which one to take home . Of course, the display styling at Hudson didn't hurt - these bracelets are layered atop vintage ephemera under a glass display cover - very, very charming.

Wonderful Swedish desk and an assortment of frames, candles, books, shells, and more great jewelry from Patch NYC.

More........and great rug samples from Dash and Albert.

I wanted to throw out all my furniture and start over with this coffee table and the wonderful spool arm chair - click for a close up!

I am crazy about the wall covered in old photographs and letters. I may just copy this idea somewhere at home. Love it. There is that case with the great bracelets and necklaces again!

What else can I say - I know it is redundant to just keep saying I love it, so I will let the photos speak for themselves.............

I think I will have to visit Hudson again before we leave. There is just a ton of personality packed into this small and charming space.

Too cute - "Aunt Sadie" was the aunt of one of the owners - yes, really. Isn't it a great name for a shop? When we happened upon Aunt Sadie's, I knew we had to take a peek inside. So much color and whimsey - so many sweet gifts and great, great display! Even my sweet man commented on the display here!

While they have all kinds of fun merchandise, apparently they are known for their candles. Check their website for more information. I, of course, was totally distracted by the lighthearted merchandise and the goodies tucked into every nook and cranny here.

My husband and I both were crazy for this old "Guests" sign. Wouldn't it be so fun to have at home?

Next along the way we visited the lovely shared space of Vessels and Michelle Willey. Vessels, owned by Robbie Tunnard, is a small gallery in the back of the shop. Visiting with Robbie, one can tell she truly loves the art she showcases.

The gallery exhibits very unusual and special pottery pieces. Above is the window display for Vessels.................

and here the display window for Michelle Willey.

I particularly liked these wonderful pillows - some blue and white ticking , some made from old grain sacks (very in these days!) and iron day bed. A collection of archival quality images of mazes and labyrinths from the Middle Ages hangs above, giving ancient designs a modern look.

LOVE this big steel table - wouldn't it be so great in a kitchen! Michele carries a variety of beautiful home goods and you can read more detail on her website here.

Vessels exhibits pottery by artists from the United States, Europe and Asia, showing both new and established ceramicists.

These were my favorite pieces, hand made by Joan Walton.

For more information and a view of many more beautiful works of art, visit Vessels Gallery here.

I love how the galleries and shops in the South End have taken the old buildings and adapted them to fit their needs in such a classic and yet, such a fresh, contemporary way. The neighborhood was a true delight to discover today.

More great window displays - I think I need to go back to the South End again before heading back to Texas!
Sorry for the reflection - I got a little camera happy, and wanted to share these even though they are not very good photos. I was just having so much fun!

We had a great lunch at the South End Buttery and wandered on down the street to admire the beautiful old architecture.
Wandering down Union Park we admired the rows of beautiful old brick houses and lovely landscaping.

So, I mentioned a few days ago that we are in Boston for my husband to study. I plan to hit all of the museums, as well as design and art related sites for my study, but if I have some extra time, I was thinking of taking a class.......hhmmmm..........this one sounds interesting! This was actually not in the South End, but further on into another part of town..........we walked a lot today, a whole lot, so........... on second thought, I think my legs are too tired from walking today for this particular class! Oh well, maybe next time!

We ended the day with a walk through the Boston Common and a look at the famous Swan boats.

What an amazing day, and probably the longest post I have ever done. If you are still with me, thanks for reading and I hope you got some vicarious pleasure from my wonderful day!


  1. Wonderful post Ann! I loved every bit of it!
    Cute & sweet hubbie!! You're a lucky gal!
    Thanks so much for all the Bastn' info! I will definitely check out these shops. Thanks for doing all the leg work for me.... literally! Continue to enjoy your stay and this gorgeous weather we are having! Can't wait to hear about your next adventure! j.

  2. I am loving the Boston posts. The more I read them the more certain I am that that is where I want to go. The antique show especially peeked my interest.

  3. if hill country house took to-go orders, i would put in my vote for the pink velvet chair in your fourth picture, the wall of photos and letters at Hudson and whatever was collapsed like dominos in the Vessels' window..!
    so nice!

  4. well, Ann, don't fall over in a really is your non-computer friend posting a comment to you on your blog.....i love all the photos andcomments on your Boston adventure....wish i was there to get into some trouble with you....
    love ya.....

  5. So many fabulous things to buy!!! Thank you for stopping by Ada and Darcy :)

  6. What a wonderful surprise to see my work featured in your blog! Bobbie Tunnard sent me the link. Thank you so much!

  7. Oh Joan - thank you for your comment. I love your work!!

  8. Hi! Thank you so much for your blog about the South End and the wonderful SOWA Market and the shops neighbor. I'm one of the owners of Aunt Sadie's and a special thanks for mentioning our shop and taking photos. I'm so jealous you get to shop the antique markets in Texas...always been a dream of mine, but we have Brimfield so I'm very lucky! Glad you enjoyed your time in the S. End and please come visit us again soon! Gary

  9. Such a flattering insight of our little slice of heaven in the South End, thank you for writing and sharing it. The SOWA market and all of the businesses in our neighborhood are fueled by the talents and passions of people just like yourself. It's gratifying to read such a heartfelt blog.
    Happy and safe travels,
    Brian and Gary



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