Thousands swarm the island of Alameda's monthly flea market (officially called the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire) for the Bay Area's best vintage shopping. And a new series of talks for collectors adds to the momentum.
But few enthusiasts know there's more snacking and shopping to be had on Park Street, just a short drive from the market. It's a discovery akin to Bauerware in the $1 box: You can connect with the past in a delicious way at the state's oldest continuously operating bakery, Boniere, or head down the street for homemade ice cream.
There's also a super skin-care boutique, a new Italian restaurant, and a pretty little flower shop ― lots of good reasons to linger on the island.
Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire. WHAT: More than 800 booths offer a vast variety of antiques, from garden furniture, dishes, and lamps to whimsical objects, tools, and games. Everything is at least 20 years old. WHEN: First Sunday of the month (Aug 7, Sep 4, Oct 2). HOW MUCH: $15 6-7:30 a.m.; $10 7:30-9 a.m.; $5 after 9 a.m. WHERE: Alameda Point, Main St. and Atlantic Ave.; www.antiquesbybay.com or 510/522-7500.
Sumbody. WHAT: Handmade, eco-conscious, scented skin- care products, from lotions to bath bombs. WHEN: Open daily. WHERE: 1350 Park St.; 510/523-2639.
Mints. WHAT: Flowers, cards, and pots, in a tiny new shop. WHEN: Open daily. WHERE: 1336A Park St.; 510/749-0683.
ArtiFacts. WHAT: Talks on collecting specialties, from Craftsman furniture to Elvis memorabilia. WHEN: 3-5 p.m. first Sunday of the month. HOW MUCH: $7. WHERE: 2700 Saratoga St., in the old Alameda Naval Air Station's restored art deco movie house; 510/835-6187.
C'era Una Volta. WHAT: New eatery has classic Cal-Ital menu. WHEN: Lunch Tue-Fri, dinner Wed-Sat, brunch Sun. HOW MUCH: $$. WHERE: 1332 Park St., Ste. D; 510/769-4828.
Boniere Bakery. WHAT: Sumptuous cakes and tortes at a 127-year-old bakery. WHEN: Mon-Sat. WHERE: 1417 Park St.; 510/522-0110.
Tucker's Supercreamed Ice Cream. WHAT: Tasty creamy treats for hot afternoons in a historic building. WHEN: Open daily. WHERE: 1349 Park St.; 510/522-4960. ―Lisa Taggart
INFO: To reach Alameda Point, take Webster Tube and turn right at Atlantic Ave. For Park St. from Alameda Point, take Atlantic east; turn right at Webster St., left at Encinal Ave., and left at Park.