Alameda Flea Market
The Alameda Flea Market is one of the best in California and every space is filled with great antiques, repurposed vintage and fabulous rare finds. It’s a 2 hour drive from Carmel, so I decide to rent a pickup truck and head on out. First of all, I did this little buying trek “solo.” That was my first red flag.
I arrive at 7am and start finding great stuff immediately. I had hoped to shop until noon and arrive back home by 2pm. Well, that didn’t happen.
Alameda, unlike the other flea markets, has available for it’s shoppers, these various sized steel push carts to be used for transporting your buys to your vehicle, which is very convenient. What they don’t tell you is they are virtually impossible to push.
After hours of strenuous shopping, it’s time to go gather up my goods. There is only one push cart left, which is this big, yellow, dinosaur-of-a-dolly, which I maneuver through the crowds, taking out most of the ankles of the elderly and the Chinese.
Now on my third cart, this super nice guy in space B-21 gets stuck with me and my stuff. He is now babysitting ALL my humongous carts of things I have bought, as I continue to gather up my treasures of old rusted shit, some caked with dirt, some spattered with chicken crap, others just plain falling apart.
I now convince the chubby Hispanic gate attendant to help me fill my truck, which he does, and off I go with a shaky load, wrapped in a shabby blue tarp and only 4 bungee cords, as I must now mentally reverse my mapquest directions backwards to guide me home.
Almost immediately once I get on the highway, I look back in the rear view mirror and feel that the industrial chest has shifted backwards, so I stop alongside the freeway, adjust the load & the blue tarp. Back on the highway, I now look back and see that the blue tarp has risen above the truck resembling a sailboat, as I almost feel the truck is being lifted upward, airborne. I get out, remove the tarp, now straddling the load with my ass in the air, trying to stretch a 3’ bungee cord across that won’t reach, as drivers whizz by whistling cat calls.
Back on the highway, I now stop “FIVE MORE TIMES,” straddling my load once again, re-securing my four crummy bungee cords to hold back 5 tons of industrial steel shit as cars continue to fly by, and I am covered in green paint, broken fingernails, a tear-stained dirty face, and have never needed a drink more.
In fear that my load will break free and hurt someone driving behind me, I finally give up and pull off the freeway into a gas station where this Asian guy knows NOTHING about rope! So, I corral the next guy who pulls into the gas station, who just wants a Gatorade and talk him into helping me tie down the load, as I hand him “clothesline string” I just bought (a recommendation from the station owner….naturally). As the clothesline string is breaking immediately as he starts tieing the load, he sends me back inside for stronger rope, which I find, and after four packages of this nylon cord, the load is finally secure. I find out he is a truck driver who does this all day long. I tell him “thank God! You could’ve been an accountant & I would’ve been so f—-d.”
I finally make it home and roll into Carmel after 7pm. My dogs aren’t talking to me.
Now showered, watching the French Open, hammered on a bottle of red wine I spent 4 hours wine-tasting in the Valley for which I was saving to give as a gift, as burglars are probably outside stealing my entire load of treasures.
ALAMEDA FLEA MARKET, 2900 Navy Way, Alameda, Ca.
1st Sunday of each month – Hours 6am-3pm – Early Bird $15