The Texas "Round Top" Antiques Fair
When I started writing the New Orleans’ blogs in April 2018 (I’m up to #40 now) I decided that I would also include other spots in the South from time-to-time. Why? A very basic reason: I’m fascinated with the diversity and character of this part of the United States.
Later on, I decided to get a subscription to Southern Living magazine so I could get a closer look at various towns or cities down South. And yes, I still read hard copies of newspapers, magazines and books – I spend enough time looking at a screen while writing. Besides, there’s something restful about curling up with a magazine (I have 20 subscriptions) or a book that one has been dying to read. Southern Living also carries Rick Bragg’s column titled, Southern Journal on the back page of every issue.
In Southern Living I always make a point of reading the recipes because they all look so delicious. However, in the September 2018 issue the article that stopped me in my tracks was by Zoe Gowen, the Home Editor of the magazine who spent an entire week at the storied Round Top, Texas antiques fair.
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS ROUND TOP, TEXAS?
Yes, “Round Top” is really the name of this town. It is located 64 miles from Austin or 188 miles from Dallas and has State Highway #237 going right through the center of it. In 2010, it reportedly had 90 people living there BUT that changes each spring and fall when the whole place goes into overdrive – hundreds of folks turn up to look and shop at the fair.
A 50-YEAR-OLD FLEA MARKET EXTRAVAGANZA
This event takes place in the farm fields lining a 20-mile stretch of #237. Gowen advises, “On the first day of your trip, put your energy into browsing these fields. You will need patience and stamina, but this is where you’ll find the best bargains.
On your second day, she says to “Go indoors or eat outdoors.” For example, check out The Compound, which looks like a handsome stable from the outside but has the air conditioning going full blast inside (it also has the best restrooms in Round Top).
The biggest deal is The Marburger Farm Antique Show that features over 350 world-class dealers arranged in nine large tents and 11 buildings. Tickets ($25) can be purchased in advance and one should arrive at least 30 minutes before the gate opens at 10 am. Once the tape is cut, shoppers start running (a great people-watching moment).
WHY NOT STAY AT THE “FLOPHOUZE HOTEL?”
I did a double take when I read this: can you imagine calling any hotel on the planet The Flophouze? Six shipping containers have been converted into luxurious (?) little hotel rooms that can accommodate three to six guests. Each one provides a bathroom, kitchenette and private deck that will give you a ringside seat of cow pastures. Can’t wait. Sign me up.
OKAY, IT’S TIME TO MOVE FROM TEXAS TO NOLA
Why? Mardi Gras, of course! It’s time to think about where you plan to stay so why not check out Rathbone Mansions? As we all know, one of the most important features for a hotel is location, location, location. These antebellum mansions are on Esplanade Avenue, two blocks north of the French Quarter or a 10-minute stroll to Frenchmen Street. CLICK HERE to learn more about this lively street.