The Alameda Point Antiques Faire (a.k.a the Alameda flea market) is vast – several hundred vendors gather the first Sunday of every month in this huge parking lot. If you look closely at the left side of the photo where the person with red sneakers is walking, you can see the canopies way in the background. There are booths as far as the eye can see. It’s pretty overwhelming. Note: “Antique” is used rather broadly here – apparently anything 20 years or older qualifies to sell here.
There is an entrance fee and the fee varies according to the time you arrive. The earlier you arrive, the higher the fee – presumably because you’ll have the best selection if you’re a super early bird. From 6 am to 7:30 am you pay $15, 7:30 am to 9 am, $10 and 9 am to 3 pm, $5. (Parking is free.)
I met up with a few Bay Area Sewists at 10 am for our Dec. meetup here. We had beautiful weather, quite a surprise after having rare days of rain. We met by the kettle corn booth – yes, many people are selling food here. You’ll find a pink truck selling cupcakes, vendors selling eggs Benedict, crepes, chicken teriyaki wraps, espresso, you name it. You could spend all day there. I only lasted a couple of hours. This was my second time here. I didn’t have the time to wander around the whole thing, plus I didn’t want to spend too much money. On my first visit, I followed some advice a junk shop owner gave me – start in the back where you’ll find vendors who don’t sell there regularly. He told me you can find better prices there and oftentimes they’ll be selling the same stuff as the folks up front, which get the most foot traffic.
Loran, a Bay Area Sewists member, expert seamstress/costumer who blogs at Loran’s World, comes here all the time and usually gets there really early. She scouted out vendors for us and told us where the two Bakelite vendors were located and where to find some cool vintage Christmas ornaments. Here are a few of the things that caught my eye.
A rather pricey vintage Singer sewing cabinet (nice but out of my price range).
A beautiful vintage dress with rows and rows of pin tucks.
I took more photos but I neglected to shoot the back – it had a zipper in the center back – in case you’re wondering…
And check out those pin tucks!
If you’re into bakelite, you would be swooning. The Bakelite Lady sells here regularly. Her prices are quite steep – so steep that she lets you pay in installments – as in four $250 payments.
She was also selling some lower-priced items – cute barettes and hair clips (5 for $20) that were from France. I got a couple barettes for my nieces. One used to have a pet duck so I thought she’d like the purple one and my other niece just likes animals. Actually she likes animals so much she became a vegetarian last year – at eight years old (!) and she’s still committed to it.
I got these clips for myself. The white ones are hand carved.
A Bay Area Sewists member was selling fabric and sewing things, such as this pants sloper.
There was a vendor selling vintage buttons – one full card (24 buttons) for $8. I got these small black ones and then this pack of 8 buttons for $6 and this cute floral pin for $3.
Another vendor was selling a wide range of things, tons of vintage jewelry, odds and ends and a few vintage sewing patterns. I saw this one and got it for $4. I like the pockets and the fact that you can make one for the winter if you wear it with a turtleneck – and a hat, of course!
Lovely place settings here by this vendor.
I had a great time and I’m sure I’ll be back next year to browse the many wares. Do you like shopping at flea markets or antique fairs? Do you have any shopping strategies?
Oh, I nearly forgot to mention – my spam blocker failed me for some reason – right around Thanksgiving week. Unfortunately, I was not paying attention and didn’t realize that many posts were being flooded with spam comments. It was awful – lots of insurance companies and certain pharmaceuticals for male impotence. So sorry if you got all those comments too. I spent a couple of hours deleting them all. But it’s stopped now. Whew.