Wanderlust: Panjiayuan Market

Panjiayuan Market is a large open market where people come from all over to sell a range of goods. Some bring beads, some bring antiques, others bring paintings, and there's an entire stone statue area which I imagine is permanently there. All these venders set up little booths under this open roof, while along the perimeter are small permanent shops selling similar things, although the border shops are much more expensive. Since we went during the week, and not on a weekend, the market was almost entirely beads and jade. I have actually never seen so many beads in my life. Beads everywhere you turned. I was on the hunt for a few things in particular, mostly notably the painted wooden boxes in the third image down. But, those four wooden boxes you see in that photo were the only ones in the whole market, which used to have nothing but boxes! Even though we had a bit of a let down over that, we did manage to find a few neat things. The most exciting thing was actually oggling the vintage cameras and typewriters in one of the shops. I didn't even take any pictures I was so fascinated by what they had, including one of the original wooden cameras on tripods where the photographer has to go under the black cloth to compose and take the photo. 

Later in the day, Cara revealed there was a flower market and I was all in. On our way there (much to Will's disapproval) we snuck in some street food, which I would liken to the Chinese version of a quesadilla maybe? When in Beijing! And it was delicious! The flower market is huge and amazing and everything I imagined. You will notice, again, a lack of photos because I was too overcome by the ROOMS of succulents and flowers. That's right, succulents and flowers for days. Let's just say it's a good thing I don't live in Beijing or my house would resemble a nursery. I'm in desperate need of a citrus tree (basically giving them away there!) and it was incredibly hard not to buy one and find a way to ship it home. Unreasonable? Maybe. But having fresh limes in your house? Incredible, of course. If Boston had a flower market open to the public like this - I'd be there every weekend! 

Kendra Engel

K. Engel Photography, 527 Plain Street, Stoughton, MA, 02072