Guest blogger Marla Felcher sent this report about San Francisco’s Treasure Island flea market.
Treasure Island is an artificial island in the San Francisco Bay, built with landfill for the 1939 World’s Fair. Since then, it has been used as an airport for Pan Am Airlines for its flying boats, a departure point in WWII for Navy sailors in the Pacific, and as film sets for dozens of films, including Indiana Jones and The Caine Mutiny. Treasure Island has perhaps the most spectacular views in the Bay Area (an area with lots of competition!): From the island, you see the majestic Bay Bridge to the left, the San Francisco skyline straight ahead, and the Golden Gate Bridge to the right. Hundreds of sailboats glide across the water as far as the eye can see. It’s hard to imagine a more stunning setting for a flea market! This year, the Treasure Island flea market celebrates its first anniversary.
Sculptor Marco Cochrane made this magnificent lady for Burning Man. She greets and stands watch over all Flea Market activities.
The Treasure Island flea market is described by its creators as offering handmade goods of local entrepreneurs. While an occasional craftsperson can be spotted — one selling wooden neckties, another selling handmade jewelry — most of the flea market real estate is occupied by vendors selling what most would refer to as kitsch.
The market proudly advertises itself as “dog friendly,” a welcome policy for most San Franciscans. (Dogs are not allowed at farmers’ markets.) Well-outfitted dogs travel through the market like royalty in dog-sized strollers. No worries at this kind of flea market.
A dozen or so food trucks keep flea market shoppers (and their dogs) happy, serving up a wide range of the local, creative food that San Francisco is known for – everything from from fish tacos, blue cheese steaks, ajou pear salad, to masala noodles. No warmed over old hot dogs here!
No wonder Cochrane’s Bliss Dance sculpture presides over a market that many consider the coolest in all of San Francisco.