Shoes… Handbags…Sale… three words that get my adrenalin levels up. In a good way, that is. I am the type that doesn’t mind carefully sorting through a pile of garments for the perfect find during the sale season and I don’t get dizzy by looking at rows and rows of shoes; thousands of colors and thousands of styles, trying to decide which ones I like the most. One little shoe shop next to another one; and a whole alley of them! I could go for hours; not a sign of hunger, thirst or any other “nature calling” nonsense… I could look and search and try shoes on again and again… The objective, of course, is to bring a couple of pairs home and declare them “mine”.
Located downtown Los Angeles, running through the fashion district, you will find The Santee Alley. Ok, I’ll be honest; it is no Rodeo Drive. The “Gucci” handbags you’ll find here are not sitting on shelves in an air-conditioned room and only cost around $30. You do have to add extra care into their maintenance if you decide to purchase one (or two… or three). The shoes carry labels such as “Paprika”, “Sexy Diva” or “Spicy”. They are not your everyday, practical type of shoes and they probably don’t last very long. (Not that I have ever been attracted to practical shoes anyway). But these shoes are gorgeous! High heeled stilettos, sexy boots, closed toe or sandals, delicate straps, attractive designs in every color, style and material you can imagine. The same goes for handbags.
My shoe collection consists mostly of brand name shoes as they do tend to last longer. But from time to time, I love indulging in trying on and (of course) buying a pair of golden sandals, or pink stilettos by the name “The Blossom Collection”. The best part? In the Alley, you’ll always find a bargain! (I paid $20 for mine; they have a diamond buckle).
There are other items you can shop for in the Alley. Our friends bought a king size furry blanket for $15, running shoes for their kids for a price they negotiated… Besides shoes, clothes and inexpensive jewellery, you’ll find a variety of products, from car accessories through sunglasses to coloured contact lenses for $5. Crowds of shoppers are moving from one little store to another, from one pile of merchandise on the rack to another, with excitement and smell of hotdogs in the air.
My husband was amazing. Walking around in the Alley, looking at shoes and handbags and sexy tank tops with lace (four for $10) is not on top of his “Favourite Things To Do” list, but his patience was greatly appreciated. I had a hard time getting his opinion as I presented golden strappy sandals on my feet; but that was ok. He left it entirely up to me. I had a blast and he enjoyed seeing me happy.
After a few hours of walking around, we re-connected with our friends, had a little “Show and Tell”, showcasing our newly purchased items. The end of the day was approaching but the market was still lively. The hours are from 9 am — 6 pm, Mondays through Saturdays and 10 am — 4 pm on Sundays. If you don’t care about labels and don’t mind crowds too much, you’ll have fun in Santee Alley. Bring cash and be prepared to rummage through the goods.
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