By Ashley Robinson
But there are some things I just can’t bring myself to blindly enjoy just for the sheer novelty of a local endeavor.
And one of those things is the Midtown Antique Faire (http://www.sacantiquefaire.com/).
It occurs every second Sunday of the month, and it happens under the freeway. And it is three dollars to get in. And I think it is overrated.
I have gone twice. The first time, when the weather was warmer and I was helping a fellow Girl on the Grid decorate her new apartment, I kind of enjoyed it. We found a few chochkies for her new shelves and some lovely frames with items to put in them. So, it was nice – not perfect, but acceptable.
But, I went last weekend, and I was miserable. Not only was it freezing, but when you aren’t looking for more clutter for your already cluttered abode, it serves no purpose. I was fishing for furniture and artwork – nothing too specific!
I was looking for bookshelves, a little stand for our bathroom, possibly a cool funky chair or some picture frames to add to my small antique picture frame collection.
Mind you, I am not a collector. I don’t collect things. I freak out when I go to houses where there are mass collections of Elvis Presley posters or old gas station tins on top of the cabinets. The only reason why I have a small (and I mean small) collection of frames is because my future mother-in-law likes to do two things on family trips: gamble and antiquing. So, instead of pounding my head against a wall in boredom, I look for frames and old postcards to decorate my house.
But if you are collector, and you are looking for old posters, Depression-era glasses or old toys, the Midtown Antique Fair, between 6:30am and 3:30pm is the place for you. The place is brimming with old junk, um, er, I mean, vintage memorabilia. (I was sad when I saw toys I used to play with there, and come on! I just turned 26!) There are a lot of plates, gold framed landscape paintings of countryside, toys, old radios, decorative boxes, jewelry, creepy dismembered dolls, broken things that need TLC and napkin holders.
In warmer weather, I think they are more diverse with plant sales, patio furniture and food vendors.
I ran into a friend who actually scored a beautiful rocking chair for $40, but frankly, I thought that was the steal of the day.
There were a few other booths that really caught my attention. One man had a few loved but worn tables, but nothing I wanted to throw down thirty-five bones for. A woman and a partner fix up brass Victorian bridge lamps that were quite stunning. Another was a Russian man’s booth that sold Orthodox wooden icons from the 1860s and rare Russian stone jewelry.
However, dude needs to lower his price point for an antique fair under a freeway.
And it’s actually the location of it that kills me. I don’t even like to be stuck in traffic under an overpass. Maybe I died in an engineering collapse in a past life, because I get so anxious hearing cars and trucks zooming over my head. But shopping to the deafening sound of traffic overhead is, as I alluded to, anxiety-ridden. I think it stops being noticeable after a while, but just the concept of being under the freeway rubs me the wrong way.
And I like antiques. My living room hotel lobby-esque armchair was purchased in a basement store in Brooklyn for $25. And the mid-century bar my fiancé bought during his bachelorhood is a centerpiece item in our “middle room” (and almost a virtual shrine …but I won’t go there).
So, my friends, if you want to know where to get the best antiques in town, a place not littered with junk, but with actual items you will love and cherish and want to pass down to your children’s children, do not go to the Midtown Antique Fair.
Go to the Antique Company on X and 21st. They have amazing furniture, lamps, stained glass window decorations, etc. They have so much to enjoy and explore, and I mean exploring. It’s like an onion, enjoy the layers – don’t be deterred. http://www.theantiqueco.com/
Go to Three Women and an Armoire for fabulously restored furniture at 11th and F. I could spend all day there without being bombarded by junk. Just don’t go on a hot day. It’s an old warehouse with not a lot of cool air floating around. http://www.3-women.com/
For cute clothing and jewelry, the Indie Craft Fair in Sacramento is amazing. I’m wearing a gold locket necklace I bought there as I write this. http://www.indiesacramento.com/.
But it comes down to this, I will go back to the Antique Faire when they promise two things: a place that serves quality coffee and they put the kabash on toys from the 80s. I’m too young to feel vintage.
Editor’s Note: Do you feel differently about the Antique Faire? Where do you shop (locally) to find unique items for your home? Let us know by leaving a comment or email girlsonthegrid AT gmail DOT com.