I love Alameda. It's a small island off of Oakland, accessible by a bridge, an underwater tunnel, and a ferry, which automatically makes it pretty charming, no? It feels like a town that was put into a time capsule in 1958; they could have filmed Back to the Future there. And like all time capsule island towns, it has a faint air of intriguing creepiness - what could its isolation have wrought? What evolved there, separated by water, independent of the cultural largesse of Oakland and San Francisco? I'll let you know when I make Matthew move there.
Until then, we visit our friends Kevin and Michelle and their toddler, affectionately named House Baby (by me). They are lucky enough to live on a main drag, blocks from all the stores and restaurants, the awesome old movie theater and decent bars. Yesterday I babysat House Baby at my house and returned her to the island after lunch. As we drove over the "tiny bridge" we sang a song about Alameda and how happy we were to be there. On our right, I noticed an antique store that looked as if its innards were throwing up all over the sidewalk; it was clearly owned by one of those collector/hoarder types who gave up on organization long ago and who now sits amidst piles of indiscernible objects and paper all day, every day. I resolved to check it out once House Baby was back at home.
To be honest, I've mostly given up on antique stores. I am well past my shabby chic phase, unwilling to pay $50 for a glass plate, and totally done with dark oak furniture. But the antique stores owned by collector/hoarders are occasionally worth perusing if you have the patience and time. Often, buried in the expensive rubble are cheap gems that would cost much more in thrift stores owned by people who are keeping track of what they have and know it's worth. Here are some things I found yesterday at Pauline's!