One of the many perks of living in San Francisco are the vintage stores/flea markets. I love anything vintage. I like that vintage items have stories and history behind them – who knows how many lives it has lived before it made its way to you. I especially have a love of vintage jewelry. My wedding band is vintage – from 1906 and we got it from this great store in SF called Diane’s. I am not much of a shopper, but this is definitely one of those places that I could get lost in. Make sure to check it out if you ever find yourself in SF and looking for some eye candy.
Another treasure trove of vintage goodness is the Alameda flea market – officially called the Alameda Point Antiques Faire (but that is a mouth full). Once a month vintage vendors from all over the Northwest converge on an abandoned naval air base that overlooks the SF skyline. Here is more information on it – but it is basically the largest antiques fair in Northern California. The fair has over 800 vendors and all items must be over 20 years old – so it is a great resource for all things vintage. I try to go as often as I can – mainly to wander and see what is out there. But you have to be in the right mood for this flea market – it is intense – physically and mentally. It is literally thousands of people strolling, shopping, shoving, and eating their way through hundreds of vendors.
The flea market has anything and everything that you could wish for. A lot of it is bizarre – like these crazy dolls or vintage mannequins – but one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure – right? (For the record, both of these things scared me – those dolls are the stuff nightmares are made of)
But I did find some great items – there were a couple of themes from the day – Native American inspiration and vintage maps. Take a look at the pics below.
Native American Inspiration
** The picture is not very good, but these prints were stunning. They would look great with a new, more vibrant frame.
**Vintage skull – yes a little morbid but would look great above a fireplace
**Not sure what this was (some sort of bag/wall covering), but loved the print
**Vintage pull down school maps from Germany (this was actually my only purchase of the day – I got a map of Europe from WWI – not sure what I am going to do with it, but it seemed cool at the time….)
**Love the texture on this map. Needs to be cleaned up but could be great above a desk or in a little boys room.
If you are loving all things maps or find inspiration in Native American motifs – here are some good options you can get online:
I love this image from the great website, Society6:
Also, Etsy is always a great resource for art, so if you are looking for some vintage maps, check out Knick of Time. This is my favorite from their store (biased because I grew up in Florida):
Below are some more highlights from Alameda – check out the full round-up in my Flickr account
**Great way to upcycle old skateboards. I can see these in a kids room or in a beach house
** 1960’s barbecue grill. I loved this – if I had a house, I would have sprung the $400 for it. It still works – all it needs is some charcoal. How chic would I be grilling on this thing?
**Bakelite!! If you don’t know, Bakelite is my new obsession – I blame Palm Springs
**Loved these vintage pendants for $300. This is one of a pair. They would look great over a large kitchen island. Sadly I don’t have a large island and don’t envision a large one for many many years, but maybe one day I will find these again…
Like I mentioned before, this flea market takes place on an abandoned naval air base that is huge – over 1,500 acres. The fair only uses a tiny portion of it. The city of Alameda is trying to revive it but sadly most of it is still empty and abandoned. The buildings left on the base are beautiful, sad and almost haunting. The base had its heyday during the middle of the twentieth century and officially closed in 1997. Even though it is abandoned – it still has an incredible view.