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[Photos] A Peek Back at Saigon's Enduring Street Vendors in 1950

Where else can you buy whatever you need without having to step inside a building?

The clang of a door closing behind you, the hum of an air-conditioner or a furnace depending on the season, parking spots, cash registers, and orderly queues: much of the world takes these aspects of shopping as a given. Yet, in Saigon, one doesn't have to fuss with formal shops to purchase many of their daily needs from produce to newspapers, noodles to nicotine. These photos taken by American Carl Mydans for LIFE magazine in 1950 present sidewalk vendors in much the way they are today. 

Bucolic paintings carefully displayed.

Virtually everything the photo collection shows being sold is still available on the city's boulevards 70 years later, with some differences in brands offered and fashions sported by customers. Take a look below:

The newspaper vendor will certainly wake up to make a sale.

Apples ready to eat.

Shoes on offer.

Student notebooks.

A teenager sells textbooks to another teenager.

French books and newspapers catering to an international and educated populace.

Vietnamese newspapers are available as well.

A woman carries meals ready to eat.

A lack of shoes won't stop these vendors from reaching their favorite spots.

A boy reads the paper while waiting for someone in need of home goods.

Imported cigarette brands.

Vendors in front of Bach Dang wharf.

A humble pharmacy.

Refreshments poured beside the Saigon River.

Boiled crabs, dried squids and sweet soda.

Bananas, young mangoes, chùm ruột and mận.

Fresh baguettes.

Precisely what this woman is selling is unknown.

New fabrics waiting for their final form.

[Photos via RedsVN]

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