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I really love estate sales, and sometimes I'm so enthusiastic about the goods I think I frighten the organizers. Perhaps it's unnerving to have a stranger call up out of the blue, say she's going to write a blog about your sale and then proceed to get all exercised about the wares. But people, I'm talking about a sale in an abandoned church featuring religious items and vintage designer clothes! Whose voice wouldn't raise a few octaves?
Sometimes, realtors and their clients like to be coy. Here's a house in Oakland that's not on the MLS, has no address, and the price is available only "on request."
The Basics: A 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath house in the Oakland Hills, built in 2008.
It seems like a lot of estate sales these days are staged by the living. Perhaps it's because of the economy, but it seems like people are paring down their possessions. Great news, because there's more for the rest of us. In a sale on Russian Hill this weekend, a couple is divesting themselves of an interesting art collection and more.
There's something to be said for minimalist design as an opportunity to get rid of everything. This condo almost requires it, and liberation can finally be yours for $609K.
The Basics: A one-bedroom, one-bath, one-parking space condo in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood.
Not So Basic: A serene, impeccably detailed space in an aluminum and glass building designed by Stanley Saitowitz, a San Francisco architect whose buildings are on the list of architectural tourists from all over the world.
It's going to be perfect road trip weather this weekend, so head north to check out the goods from two lifetimes in one Victorian house near downtown Napa. On sale are the collected households of two women in their nineties; one was a long-time piano teacher the other owned a pawn shop. Need I say more?
If a weekend without the Alameda or Candlestick antique shows gives you the sads, chin up. Tonight you can find all those MCM treasures you adore, and you don't even have to dig for them.
Just head over to Oakland, where the Modernist Pop-Up Shop will be, um, popping up from 6 to 9pm. Interior stylist Dee Adams, Our House Vintage and Mad 4 Retro are pooling their resources for a Mid-Century Modern- and retro-filled shopping bonanza. It's taking place at The Cotton Mill Studio, with directions here.
It's been a little while since I've sat down to a good ol' Flipping Out marathon. I've got so many questions — namely, is he still going all sorts of crazy on anyone and everyone? Is Jenni still in the picture, or is she finally fulfilling her destiny as a professional Julia Louis-Dreyfus impersonator? Is Zoila still giving Jeff the much-needed side eye on a regular basis?
On a cool and cloudy weekend it's not fun digging for treasure in a drafty, old house. When the weather is this way, I head to places like Harrington Galleries in the Mission. You can shop the goods of several estate sales in one sheltered spot. Fiona O'Connor Devereux, whose parents opened Harringtons 40 years ago, has brought a new attitude to the establishment. She liquidates small estates (condos and houses that are too small to host a traditional estate sale) and the households of families who aren't interested in a free-for-all in a private home
While it's true I like cooking, what I really love is cookware. Whereas a recipe (not to mention my kitchen skills) has been known to let me down, a weathered wooden spoon or vintage Dansk pot never does. And both look just as good today as they did when they were made — try saying that about a meal.
So when I heard of a spot in the Mission that carries a brilliant mix of vintage and new cooking items, I had to check it out.