When I was a child my parents took me to see a lot of vineyards in France. Although this does not sound like the worst of fortunes, I developed some kind of trauma towards all those vineyard parking lots. It's possible that my children will develop a similar relationship to fleamarkets.
It can be difficult to make a really great find in Helsinki fleamarkets. For the best in second hand treasures, one should head for the small towns. Salo is a small town roughly half way between Helsinki and Turku. On a street called Raitalankatu in an industrial area you'll find three big fleamarkets in a neat row. The first is called Salon seudun suurkirppis (aptly translates as The Great Fleamarket of Salo). It's so big that you can go in thinking you need size 34 rubber boots and a bread knife and probably come out with both.
I have a soft spot for anti-design. When something is really wrong it magically becomes more than right. See exhibit "A" above: the cafe of Salon suurkirppis. In the summer this is a kind of terrace. The inside part also serves pulla and ice cream in winter.
Next to Suurkirppis is Kirppis Basaari which sells furniture in addition to smaller things. These lappish boots were quite nice (size 43, they might still be there). Last time we went to Salo we happened to be there with a van so we didn't have transportation worries to get in the way of our shopping spree. My husband bought two record players (he had asked our six year old son how many record players a person should own and he had said 24 so now we have 8).
In addition to a cupboard, a training bike and some children's spring gear we found two Pippi Longstocking story cassettes (our car is from the 90ies) and this plastic head for 1 euro! (the fencing helmet is model's own). My husband also fell in love with an old piano but even the salesperson thought we would never be able to carry it anywhere by ourselves. But after three days of long distance yearning, he called Kirppis Basaari today and arranged to have it transported. He is also slightly opposed to this post saying that you "shouldn't give away your best mushrooming places".