Our early memories of Bay Area flea markets tend to be dusty: yeah, that $0.15 purple sweat shirt perfectly completed our non-ironic Flashdance look, but getting the goods was usually a hot, crowded and super grimy experience. Enter the Treasure Island Flea Market on the west side of the island --which is celebrating its second birthday on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Pay $3 to enter and fawn all over that 80s gear. Take in chillaxing views of the Bay, island foliage and San Francisco (pretty with fog. Pretty without fog).
Old school friends scoffed to us about the gourmet food trucks (Chairman Bao, Sam's Chowder Truck) and wine are a part of this flea market set up. Guess that means more melted cheese and giant sugar doughnut smells for us! Organizer Charlie Ansanelli says, "We'll be hosting over 15 local food trucks plus a whole section of prepackaged food vendors." If you are up for "chefs choice" on said food trucks, TI Flea has a $20 VIP deal on sale for two people that includes wine tasting and is possibly worth it since it also includes a fast lane entrance.
In keeping with flea market unwritten laws, there is a little bit of everything here: scent your own goat milk lotion--see real live goats, too (Editors note: there was originally notice of a DIY goat soap making but that is not happening). Nab the last Teenage Ninja turtle, jar of raw honey, neato vintage dishtowel or succulent plant already in a pot. New and vintage threads and hats are thankfully in all sizes, and there's an array of signs and pictures, perfumes, books, music (go crazy with that record collection) and rusty stuff that we're guessing is for an artsy outdoor garden. Prices seemed fair minus one brown chair that was in the steep hundreds--no takers. Parking is free and ample but stick to comfortable yet stylish trekking shoes since there are 200+ booths from local vendors.