Labeling “San Jordi” as one of the island’s markets is an understatement. It means stopping at its primary function without understanding its nuances, which are, in the end, what make the difference in life.
Just outside the town from which it takes its name, the white walls surround what was once the old hippodrome. Of the old rides the stables remain, many converted into warehouses, a few horses echoing their neighs and hoof prints in the sand when you arrive early on a Saturday morning.
This is the day dedicated to the market, “rastrillo“, a word that means rake but which in these case indicates a market where you can find everything from new to used, from precious to scrap, without distinction.
In an open space, under a sky dotted with planes that rumble every 10 minutes (in summer, in winter even every hour, fortunately), lying on sandy ground (when the wind blows it seems to be in the desert), cars , vans and more or less vintage campers, compose circles of “shops” whose doors are often the car-doors and whose windows are the windows of the cars they lean against. Everything comes out of the trunks: second-hand clothes, vintage pieces, books, small objects escaped from grandma’s house, dishes, appliances, contents of private wardrobes put up for sale for a few euros, shop warehouses but also original creations made by designers who have chose Ibiza to give shape to their creative flair. From magic stones to dream catchers, from design pieces made with recycled material to ceramic kittens so ugly they become beautiful, getting lost in the products of this bizarre and cosmopolitan place is a snap. Also a moment to reflect that we are full of things and that we could go on with what is around, without having to buy anything new, for a long time…
A visit to San Jordi deserves not only for the objects, but above all for the people. Active all year round (the only market in Ibiza, at the moment, which is open 365 days, except when it pours, which turns into an oasis of mud), it brings together an authentic and varied humanity, at least as much as the products on sale . Old Ibizan ladies converse amiably with their Moroccan neighbors, young Italian designers team up with the French merchant who has lived on the island for 30 years, friendly hippies sitting next to underwear sellers, artists, creatives, visionaries, crazy, curious, barely adults who get rid of past lives and bicycle upcyclers who illustrate the merits of two-wheeled vehicles over 40 refurbished. People to talk to, exchange experiences and silly jokes. There is everything and more in Ibiza’s good living room. Even a small little yellow bird that sing in the bar while you’re waiting for the coffee. A place that, unlike other famous local markets, has kept that pinch of authenticity that is difficult to find elsewhere.
Then there is the music, the inevitable messy background sound that spreads in an anarchic way from the bluetooth speaker of the neighbor at the counter or directly from the crackling stereo of the neighbor’s car two seats further on. Cumbia and rock’n’roll; italian lyrics and hip hop; dancehall and house music. Yes, a mess!!! Once upon a time, bongo players would appear on the stairs; now the organization has introduced DJs and musicians who, from 12 onwards, perform directly under the bar. And that’s where you “living room”, between a coffee and a beer, perched on the wall to consume chat and time on a typical island Saturday.
The Mercadillo of San Jordi is not a simple market: it is an experience made of dust, memories, smiles, characters and people who share their past, present and future in the form of objects, new or inherited, to which they want to give a second life. It is a romantic and absurd circus/circle of humanity which collects, in my opinion, that pinch of authenticity left on the island.
Every Saturday, all year round, from 9 to 15 (mas or menos)
To sell, in a very democratic way, just book by consulting the site www.mercadillosanjordi.com