It's the land of the collectionist and the pick-pocketer, a place where you can find the neighbor buying the week's stock of groceries, the ocassional madman shouting, the street beggar begging, and the reseller looking for some undervalued item. A human zoo of sorts, a uruguayan gallery of sights, sounds and scents. It's in some way the negative of a shopping center.
The market is placed all along the tristan narvaja street, which is about one kilometer, and extends to every crossing and paralell street. While the backbone of the market takes place in tristan narvaja st, it is in the periphery where it is more likely to find hidden "treasures", laid on blankets on the street. It is also in the periphery where is less secure, and is a more fertile ground for street scams.
There is even one uruguayan urban myth that talks about one "torres garcia", a painting from one of the most famous uruguayan paintors was actually found and bought here for nothing. There is also another myth about an stradivarius being found here, but the latter I find harder to believe.