Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mark Your Calendar: Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire

It's shaping up to be a busy weekend for art and antique lovers in the Bay Area ...

After you hit the Oakland Art Murmur on Friday night and the Art Deco & Modernism Sale on Saturday, treat yourself to a visit to the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire on Sunday, June 3.

I have to admit that I feel like the super-stylish and talented Victoria Smith (aka sfgirlbybay) sort of owns blogging about the Antiques Faire. (Read her tip-filled write-ups here).

Still, I've been haunting this giant flea market almost every month for years now, and I can't let the weekend pass by without encouraging anyone within reasonable driving distance to check it out.

Held the first Sunday of each month, the Faire boasts more than 800 vendors, many of whom travel hundreds of miles to man their booths. The wares on display range from fun and funky tchochkes for a couple bucks apiece to pristine, sought-after vintage and antique furniture for hundreds of dollars and up.

Among the booty I've snagged there: An antique carved wooden Asian screen ($15), vintage blown-glass wine jugs and green glass seltzer bottles ($10 each), French linens, lab beakers that I use as vases ($5 each), a vintage metal birdcage ($5), barkcloth yardage, silk brocade curtain panels from the 1940s ($50 for the set), McCoy pottery ($10 and up), a rewired French silver-and-glass chandelier ($85), a weathered circular mirror mosaic ($50), a pair of sunbleached deer antlers ($3) ... seriously, I could go on and on.

Most months, though, I don't actually buy much. I just like to wander around people-watching, collecting ideas, and enjoying a churro or a gyro from one of the many food booths while soaking up some sunshine by the water.

If you need any more incentive to go, consider this: Sunday is the very last time that the event is being held at the decommissioned Alameda Point Naval Air Station, which has absolutely breathtaking vistas of San Francisco and the Bay. On clear, sunny day -- which, fingers crossed, this Sunday will turn out to be -- you feel like you can literally reach out and touch the Bay Bridge and the skyscrapers of downtown San Francisco. (My favorite line about the East Bay, stolen from erstwhile Oakland mayor Jerry Brown, is that "It's closer to San Francisco than San Francisco." Take a stroll around Alameda Point and you'll see how true this is.) Next month, the Antiques Faire moves to a nearby spot along the Oakland Inner Harbor.

The gates open at 6 a.m. for serious treasure hunters willing to fork over the $15 "early entrance" fee. The price drops to $10 at 7:30 and to $5 at 9 a.m. I like to get there on the early side -- though I've rarely made it before 8 -- just so I can beat some of the crowds and feel confident that I haven't missed anything really great before someone else snapped it up. But you can arrive at just about any hour before the vendors start packing up at 3 and have a lovely time wandering around, looking for bargains, and gathering inspiration.

See you there!

(Photos from Antiques by the Bay, Inc.)

1 comment:

modmom said...

i was born + raised in alameda (4th generation) + grew up browsing the alameda flea market on sundays (held at the drive-in theatre, which is now new housing).

this is a much better location + probably selection, but not the wild variety.


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