“STOP, Poppa, and look!” Our four-year old daughter yelled from the backseat of our SUV. Saturdays are usually a family day, when we take our daughter for a cruise to the park or beach and cap the day off with an ice cream.
Last Saturday, August 16, as we passed the Normal Heights sign, we all saw something that was not so normal. I rubbernecked so hard, I almost hit the Vespa parked on the north side of Adams. As we flipped a U-turn, we saw up close a group of trailers that surrounded a 1962 Flying Cloud Airstream in front of the Masonic Lodge on 34th and Adams.
I parked the car, looked at my wife and backseat driver, and said, “How about some ice cream?!”
The vintage trailer on the left was Calexico Creamery. We bought some carrot ice cream and a watermelon popsicle.
The owner of the 22-foot chrome Airstream trailer’s name is Charlotte Lantz.
“Approximately 100 people showed up since 11a.m. this morning,” said Lantz before turning to her customer. “That will be $18 for that piece, and it’s handmade.” After she was done, she agreed to let me see the interior of her rolling shop while my wife and daughter went next door.
A breakfast nook set up toward the rear doubles as a display for her handmade textile pieces and a spot for her and her potential clients.
My wife texted me: “Do you have any cash on you?” I walked out to see my wife and daughter playing dress-up at the Stop Shop & Roll truck, which even had a PVC-framed changing room set up outside.
This marketplace was set up by Lantz and friends to promote their businesses; Charlotte’s mobile textile studio, called Julius & Co.; Tote Shoppe; Jaimee Pratt; Elizabeth Hales Studio; Stop Shop and Roll; Liquid Eden Water Supply; and Calexico Creamery.
Lantz also mentioned that she and her husband rent out the 1966 Northwest Coach they had on the lot.
While thumbing through the Vintage Camper Trailers magazine that Lantz had, I noticed that this type of gathering is happening all around the U.S., and judging by the amount of advertisers, it looks like a booming niche business.
“I do think they are here to stay, especially if city government does not overregulate them,” said Mark Kunce, a local realtor and founder of I Heart 92116, a Facebook page providing real estate listings and information on community happenings in Normal Heights, University Heights, and Kensington.
Author: Mike Madriaga
Photography: Gabby Madriaga (4-Year Old) and Mike Madriaga
Featured in the San Diego Reader Magazine (9/2014)