Treasure Island Flea Market
Looking for adventure, we ended up at the monthly flea market on Treasure Island. In one of those strange coincidences, I hadn’t been there in ages when we wandered over yesterday just to see the sights,, and then went back today for the market.
The Flea Market is the last full weekend of every month. Treasure Island (TI) was created in the bay as a site for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. It was originally planned to be the site for an airport, but the Navy took it over for WWII, and then they built SFO in Burlingame.
The entrance fee is a mere $3, and well worth the cost. Just inside the gate, we saw this man playing a barrel organ, sort of like a portable player piano–the music is coded into cardboard strips he loads into the instrument. He has an intriguing voice, and you can almost immediately feel like you are in old Paris.
Here’s his biggest fan:
You never know what you will find at a flea market. I was surprised to see this truck:
C&M is the company we rent tables and other party equipment from. It turned out that they sold this truck two years ago, and the people who bought it are named Carol and Marshall, so they didn’t repaint it. They sell clothes at flea markets.
There is a lot of naked capitalism here–the prices are what you can negotiate and there aren’t any guarantees. Let the Jolly Roger be a warning–shopping here is very much dog eat dog and you’re on your own.
Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun:
The people watching is spectacular. If you go up and talk to them, you meet some really interesting ones.
I saw Lisa working a booth, and asked to take her photo while she was walking Olive. She got the pup as a rescue dog who only weighed 2 pounds–now she’s up to a fighting weight of 3 pounds.
People are friendly. We got involved in urging this woman to buy this hat. Then we got involved in trying to get the price down–which is harder when you have been praising the item, and how it looks on the wearer, to the high heavens.
I’m pretty sure she bought the hat; I don’t know how good a deal she got.
Walking around, you have to keep your eyes open for all the interesting things–and not just the oddities for sale, either:
If you have a large group of people, you have to feed them. There was an area with food trucks set up, an array of cuisines from Indian to French to Thai to redneck. There were garlic noodles, there were burritos, there were hot mini-donuts. TI has 4 wineries (not that they grow the grapes there, they just make the wine) and there was wine tasting. Food trucks have become the new gourmet fad in San Francisco, the Treasure Island Flea Market is just reaping the benefits.
I use the screen name “Chairman” on Bridge Base, so this truck seemed particularly apt:
The weather was completely perfect, the crowds were friendly, parking was excellent. We had a great day and came home with a few putative bargains. I’ll do this again.