Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

One woman’s junk is another’s treasure. In the case of the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire, I found mostly the latter.

I have long wanted to check out the Faire – touted as Northern California’s largest antiques and collectibles show. More than 800 outdoor dealers sell their collections on the first Sunday of every month at the site of the former Alameda Point Naval Air Station. A recent count had 10,000 people pass through during the course of the day.

A flea market or swap meet this is not. It truly is an antiques and collectible fair and the prices and vendor knowledge reflect this. But as a result, it is a more “curated” experience. Everything sold must be at least twenty years old and no reproductions are allowed. That said, I am not sure how they verify or police adherence. I spied a few items that looked “younger” than 20 years of age. I was delightfully surprised by the creativity of what I found: bracelets made from vintage typewriter keys; re-purposed leather gloves treated and formed into sculpture; vintage lamp bases converted into necklace T-bar stands; crowns and tiaras pieced together with aged metals, grandma’s jewels and trinkets. These joined a vast variety of furnishings, art, collectibles, kitchenware, costume jewelry, clothing and more. If you have the time to hunt, it is most likely going to be found.

I was warned the APACF was large. I would say for the novice it could be overwhelming. There’s a tremendous amount of territory to cover, visual stimulation and as the day yawns on, the elements take their toll (heat, unobstructed sun … or rain … unforgiving concrete surfaces). If you plan to persevere, heed the advice of dressing in layers, donning a hat and comfortable shoes. Sunscreen, check. I saw several people with umbrellas for sun protection and wheeled baskets for toting of found items. We arrived at 10 a.m. and encountered bumper-to-bumper traffic that added at least an additional 30 minutes to our travel time (same when we departed).
NO PETS ARE ALLOWED EXCEPT SERVICE OR GUIDE DOGS.

My discovery of the day – actually a RE-discovery – was Danski Blue Beautiful Clothes. I first encountered Danski Blue several years ago at the Fillmore Street Fair – and picked up a skirt that has since been in heavy rotation in my city wardrobe.

Danski must have been a creative Thumbelina: she tells me she was collecting fabrics at the young age of 13. Her outfit on this day consisted of black and white tie-dyed pants, a patchwork coat in earth colors and Carly Simon-esque floppy hat. Her creations evoke fantasy and whimsy – many of the skirts and wraps reminiscent of something imagined for a fairytale wood nymph.

The line is characterized by slightly unusual shapes, unexpected combination of color and textiles and well-placed embellishments: no two pieces are exactly alike. Designs utilize vintage fabrics, trims and beads, and include the reworking of existing styles as well as entirely new design construction. Prices range from $90 – $400.

Find Danski Blue near the entrance gate of the monthly Faire as well as at the Roy Helms Contemporary Crafts Market at Fort Mason, San Francisco. She also has a 1,500 square foot warehouse and is available by appointment: Phone 323/533-6504.

Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire

Runway 7/25 Alameda Point
Enter at the end of Main Street
thru the gate extending 2 miles west
For G.P.S. directions use:
2900 Navy Way, Alameda, CA 94501


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