Mary Jo Bowling
Here's the scoop on Stuff: It's an 8,200 square-foot collective with over 25 dealers peddling very cool items. These are professionals who comb estate sales, flea markets and who-knows-where for real finds. The dealers (the famed Ron Morgan and Christopher Albanese among them) know treasure from trash, and they are selling the good stuff here.
There’s a new wedding vendor in town and all she has is old stuff—but make no mistake, it’s not the same old stuff. Amanda Reapsummer has just launched One True Love Vintage Rentals, specializing in one-of-a-kind props that lend character to a ceremony or reception.
It all started with Reapsummer’s own nuptials, which are coming up this fall. She wanted to create a handcrafted, patinaed-feeling wedding and started scouring flea markets and antique shops for unique accessories. “Before I knew it, I had built a large collection of items,” she says. “I realized that it was costing a lot of money—and I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great if you could rent this stuff?’”
When the large aluminum doors of Mountain View’s Computer History Museum reopened in January, senior curator Dag Spicer was easily able to guess the age of all who entered the “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing” exhibition. If visitors headed straight to the Apple II on display, they were likely 34; if the IBM personal computer caught a person’s eye, he could be 30; someone who went over to the Super Nintendo was probably around 25. “People unconsciously date themselves by gravitating to their first computer,” Spicer says.
For several years I've been ducking down Fern Alley off Van Ness Street to visit a little store whose name I never knew. The small space was packed to the rafters with estate goods and shopping there was like combing through 1,000 attics stuffed into a four-room flat. For the next several months, that business has a new name (Tenenbaum's Emporium) and a new Van Ness Street location (the old American Rag store between Bush and Sutter Sts.). Best of all, all the goods are 50 percent off. Read more.....
For months, Nathan Barefield, a quality assurance engineer for iPhones and iPads at Apple, had been checking out an attractive woman on the company’s commuter shuttle from San Francisco to Cupertino. Not only did he like the way she looked, he noticed she wore Tiger sneakers—beloved by cyclists everywhere—and wondered if she shared his passion for bikes. The dark haired woman, who kept her ear buds in and her face pointed towards her laptop, never noticed him.
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?
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.
This year, Gump’s is getting real with their wedding event. In the past, the organizers have staged the happening on Sunday mornings, making it more of a mom-and-daughter kind of thing. This year, they are having an open house on the evening of Thursday, February 10. The fact that it’s after work means you and your betrothed will likely be near the Financial District (and NFL games won’t be on), so you can easily attend as a couple.
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?
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