Junking in Alameda
It’s been over a year since I shopped Alameda Antique Faire, and I wonder why I am not driving there each month to get inspired. Arriving at 7am, lines to enter were already forming and the excitement was building as vendors were displaying the coolest stuff.
Decided to walk back to aisle R and work back towards the front, with hopes of discovering what I came to find, as I dragged my old blue cart, coffee and pockets full of cash.
Leather is always an objective, so my first purchase of the day was three vintage men’s jackets. One a black leather biker, another a distressed brown and the last, and most coveted, was an aviator jacket complete with sheepskin collar, ala “Top Gun.” After much bartering, the seasoned vendor and I settled on a price.
This time I shopped from the aisles, eyeballing each booth from afar, trying to spot rare and special items, instead of the very time-consuming method of entering each space to scan the many small items on the inner tables. Some good advice to dealers is to have most of their merchandise towards the front of their spaces, as many shoppers do shop from the aisles, particularly if their selling area is small.
I only purchased items that talked to me, passing up anything that made me pause. Either because of price or that it was common, and tried not to shop emotionally.
These were some of the many great finds I added to my cart. A 3’ tall bronze lawn sprinkler with circular coil surrounding bronze flowers, allowing the water to spray upward in a circular motion. Something I have never seen before, as I have been collecting lawn sprinklers for over 12 years. Fabulous.
Heavy Moroccan iron panels with traces of their old paint got my heart beating faster. After much heavy negotiation with a dealer who claimed she bargained and schlepped these pieces while on her Moroccan buying trip, I caved and handed her what she was asking for. I believed her, as her space was filled with elaborate fabrics from that mid-eastern country. These iron panels are truly gorgeous.
Buying wasn’t smooth. Vendors stayed true to their prices and it was hard work to get them to barter. No fun. A large wood and paper airplane was soon on my cart, along with industrial iron tape dispensers, wooden distressed shutters, an industrial iron box that will be repurposed into a cool chandelier, green painted stone urns, canvas totes, an elaborate French gesso frame, gold gilt Italian floral chandelier, old ladders, farm tools, chippy windows, turquoise cowboy boots, Victorian boxed silver, and my most unusual purchase of the day, bleached-out longhorn jawbones complete with their gnarly teeth. A must-have!
Once shopping was completed, it was time for a trek to the many food trucks lining the show. The choices were many, but I opted for two tacos and pork skewers that just came off the outside grill. Standing up over a trashcan scarfing down these delectable tastes, seems to be my regular favorite place to dine. I am craving them today all over again.
The Alameda Antique Faire didn’t disappoint. As I drove away with my cargo van filled with treasures, the adrenalin of finding what I came for made the two hour drive worth every minute. My mind now drifting to how to wire the industrial pieces into lighting fixtures and “what was I thinking” when I bought the five jawbones!!!