After missing last weekend’s sales I was excited about heading out last Saturday. There were a bunch of listings that looked great, including one that our friend and occasional guest-star Leslie was going to be selling at. Karl joined us again and we all met up at 8:00, heading straight to the one sale crazy enough to start at 7:30. Unfortunately, it sucked. As we left, Meghan noted that Old Navy does not qualify as “designer clothes” (as their ad had stated).
It was about 8:15 and there was nothing else starting til 9, so we made an early coffee and danish stop, then headed to Leslie and friends’ sale … we figured they might let us look through early, but they were barely even starting to set up. So we headed to one of the more interesting sales, listed as “Vintage/Ethnic/Collectibles.” When we got there we realized it was a building where we’ve been to sales before … which were more along the lines of antique mall stuff than funky yard sale junk. I didn’t have high hopes, but their prices were actually pretty decent this time; it seemed like they were more interested in making things go away than raking in the dough. Items were laid out on all-one-price tables, ranging from 50 cents up to a whopping $10.
Each of us bought one item — I got a very ancient little book of plays especially written for home performances. Ah, the good old days before TV!
I decided we should go out of our way a little to hit the next sale since it sounded really good: artists/collectors getting rid of a ton of cool vintage crap. All I had to say was “they have records,” and Karl was on board. We headed up north, right through the area with the awful “neighborhood sale” that Meghan suffered through last week. “I have a bad feeling about this,” she said. Our hopes were perked up a bit by their “Big Ass Yard Sale” sign, but when we pulled up they were still setting up … at 8:55. Should we wait around? The guy setting up (who was wearing a homemade-looking t-shirt of a Doors record with flames shooting off of it) didn’t look that close to being done, and the garage was tied off with rope. We decided to ask if he’d really be ready at 9:00, and he informed us that his sale started at 10:00. Whoops! Score zero for my listing-reading skills.
We headed back into our regular stomping grounds, making a stop along the way at a pathetic block sale. Two of the sales we just drove by. One had a section with some clothes hanging up, and while Meghan and Karl perused them I checked out the other area. Horrible! I told them not to even bother looking. So far, the morning was off to a pretty uninspiring start.
Back to our friends’ sale, which was billed as the “12th Annual Green 55 Memorial Sale.” Leslie once explained to me what the hell Green 55 was, but I have long since forgotten. But in any case, the sale was great, with all kinds of crazy cool crap. The first thing I fixated on was this extremely strange-looking tea set.
The seashell motif is kind of cute, but why does it look like it’s covered in algae? Also, that stuffed animal really has a lot going on. It was definitely not the only weird toy in sight.
There was one table that was almost completely covered with dolls, in various states of undress and disarray.
Karl grabbed an insane M.C. Hammer doll (in its box!), then began digging through the records. He pulled this beauty out of the crates.
They also had these lovely Paint-By-Numbers, which I presume are illustrating some great historical/biblical moments.
Basically, if it was fun, bizarre, kitschy, or schlocky, they probably had it for sale.
We paid for our purchases and while we were loading up the trunk, I noticed that several of the records Karl had bought had Meghan’s distinctive yard-sale price stickers on them. Everyone selling there had been to our last sale, so that wasn’t too weird … but it was still funny to see them making the rounds.
Next, we saw signs for an alley sale. As we’ve mentioned before, these can be a bit treacherous to get in and out of, and/or overly isolated and creepy. This one was fine though, and the only creepy stuff was creepy in kind of a cute way.
Karl bought more records here and Meghan pulled some old jars out of their free pile. We made a few uneventful stops nearby, and Karl kept asking if we could go back to the “Flaming Doors Record” guy’s sale. I felt like we might have jinxed it by showing up early, but I was still curious. It was well after 10:00 by the time we made it back there and of course there was a small throng around the records. Karl dived in but it turned out they were $3 each or “as marked” — not cheap enough to go nuts over. I looked through the nice but pricey collection of vintage tablecloths (I heard the woman seller telling someone that she loved them, but married someone who can’t stand cloth covering up his wood tables). Meghan scored an amazing deep pink velvet coat, but overall the sale was a bust. Although on the plus side, they did have this lovely piece of artwork (labeled “Psycho And Elvis”).
This day really wasn’t panning out the way we’d hoped, so we decided to go to a new area. Karl had heard that there was a neighborhood sale in Maple Leaf so we headed out that way. We found a couple of so-so sales, then made another snack stop at Cloud City Coffee. Meghan was bummed that they were out of their amazing plain croissants, but then we saw a tray coming right out of the oven! They were almost too hot to eat, but dang were they good. Karl and I also had some refreshing chicken salad, and he topped it off with a slice of their indescribably delectable coconut bread. Yum!
Okay, enough about the chow … back to the sales. We found a couple of signs for sales, but nothing amazing. Finally we hit three sales on one block, where they actually had maps for the neighborhood sale … which consisted of SEVEN sales. Wha–? And here Meghan was bitching about 16 sales at the Broadview sale last weekend. This pitiful excuse for a neighborhood sale made that one look massive!
It was getting hot, and the lack of good scores was making us a little cranky. We took a little bit of a winding route home in order to hit a few more sales from my list. One of them had listed “tons of shoes,” and they were not lying.
Meghan asked what size they were and how much. The woman said they ranged from about 8 to 9, and these ones were $5, and the ones on this side were more, and some of them were Brazilian, and some were Italian, and she had sold some online already, and she just loved shoes, and now she was moving so she had to get rid of some, and … we wanted to smack her. We left without buying a thing.
Next we found a sign for the “Three Amigas” yard sale. This sale was just okay, but the great thing was that they were giving out free cookies. And not just any cookies: amazing cookies. They had big chocolate chunks and pieces of dried apricots and for some reason they were just mindblowingly good. Each of us took seconds and while we didn’t buy much, I think the sellers at least appreciated the lavish praise we bestowed on their baking prowess. They said there were brownies coming out next and we were tempted to stick around, but we dragged ourselves onward … where we found this crazy display of sale stuff in a traffic circle.
The stuff at this sale was mostly bad, but Karl did find his second pointy-atomic clock of the day here (while irritating the seller with his intentionally inane comments about why they call it “midcentury modern” … she was not amused).
Around the corner was another sale. This one wasn’t that great either, but at least it had a lovely view of Green Lake.
After waiting around for slow-poke Karl to finish digging through the crap, we were really ready to call it a day. We were all getting a little cranky and tired out. We kept giving each other shit, then making fun of each other for being overly sensitive, and on and on in some kind of demented vicious (but harmless) circle. Karl made a comment about how he was in a state of carb overload from all the baked goods and we realized that we weren’t just crabby … we were carby.
So we were determined to just go home, but yet when we saw a tempting sign … the car just sort of involuntarily turned in that direction. It turned out to be a sale at a house where years ago Meghan and I had been to a great estate sale (or series of sales, since it had spanned several weeks). The new residents told us how the man who’d lived there had left the house to the next door neighbors, who’d been looking in on him and bringing him meals after his wife had passed on. We didn’t buy anything, but we each took magazines out of their free pile. We didn’t take these, though.
I can’t get over the wide range of incredibly bad looks those guys are working. I mean, why would you want to learn guitar tunings from someone who is obviously way too into his giant poncho? Or chord vocabulary (whatever that actually means) from Mr. Sideswept Long Hair and Too-Tight Pants? I won’t even get into Frank Gambale and his “technique.”
Finally we made it back to Meghan’s and snapped the obligatory trunk photo before dispersing all the goods.
For a not-great day, we all ended up with some decent stuff. I think it was just that a lot of the sales that had sounded really great turned out to be duds. With the unlimited space for write-ups on Craigslist, it’s all too easy for people to make bad sales sound amazing. (Sadly, even with all that space, some of them forget to list their address. I noted three sales which I would have loved to hit if I had known where the hell they were! I mean, one of them said they had “fiesta ware and heavy metal.” I don’t usually buy either of those, but the combination sounded promising. Alas.)
At least we had some yummy baked goods … even if they did make us feel all carby.