Flea market fail

In my book, almost every new experience has value.  That’s especially true when you are in official “exploration mode” living in a new city.

This weekend, Dave and I ventured to the Treasure Island Flea Market on Treasure Island.  While we didn’t walk away with any treasures, we did see some new sights and learn an important, urban life lesson.

Treasure Island is a little artificial island between San Francisco and Oakland in the San Francisco Bay.  There aren’t many reasons to go to there, other than concerts, or the one-weekend-a-month flea market.

I bought our tickets to the flea market ahead of time (there is a $3 per person entrance fee), as well as an added deal, which included a complimentary glass of wine and a chef’s choice food item from one of the food trucks for each of us.

Throughout the week I was getting more and more excited about the flea market, because I continued to hear great things.  Not to mention, since selling nearly all of our belongings and filling a new apartment in San Francisco, I’ve wanted to get some great local artwork to adorn the walls, which we can keep forever.  For some reason, I was sure the Treasure Island Flea Market would be the place to see all the great artwork homegrown in the City.  Not so much.

Overall, it was a good San Francisco experience and a good way to spend a Saturday.  However, I don’t think we will ever go back.  There were certainly some small treasures, but the vendors mostly offered collectibles, little crafts or strange antiques.  Some of the vendors leaned more toward the “yard sale” vibe, while some were there selling something special they made themselves that they hoped shoppers would see the need for.  I’m not really into crafts, and I’m not really into yard sale items.  And sadly, there were only three artists showcasing paintings, and they just weren’t our style.

Other than the vendors, the flea market also features a food truck area, live music and open access to The Winery SF and a few other wineries on Treasure Island.

Halfway through the failed shopping, Dave and I encountered a major food truck fail, which is probably what is coloring much of our entire Treasure Island Flea Market experience.

Revelation: Food trucks run out of hot items.

True statement: I stood in line at FOUR food trucks, only to have the item I wanted to order run out just before I reached the counter.

How do you know when a food truck runs out of something?  Someone emerges from the food truck and takes a big red pen to the item on the menu on the side of the truck.  Then you know it’s not there.  This would have been less annoying had I not been holding a prepaid voucher, which came with our package and was only good for one specific food item per truck, so it’s not like I could switch my order at the last minute.  Dave enjoyed a fairly decent Korean BBQ dish, while I ended up in my fifth line only to order a bad BBQ pulled-pork salad that didn’t have any dressing, since the truck had run out of that too.

That’s where the urban life lesson came in.  When food truck dining, go early; make a quick decision on which truck you like; get in line immediately; and of course, bring cash.

After the food debacle, we were able to close out the Treasure Island Flea Market day with a positive experience.  With plans to utilize as much of the ticket deal package as possible, Dave and I popped into The Winery SF for a BOGO (buy-one, get-one free) wine tasting.  We shared a red flight and a white flight and quite enjoyed the local wine.  Although the grapes are grown in wine country nearly an hour away, the production takes place right in the City, which is pretty cool.

Now we can say we’ve been to Treasure Island, tried the local wine and perused the local treasures.  Valuable time spent?  I’d say so.

Treasure Island Flea
The “yard-sale” portion of the Treasure Island Flea Market.
Treasure Island Flea Market
Excited for my first food truck delicacy, only to be let down.
Treasure Island Flea Market
That’s the face of a hungry flea market shopper.
Treasure Island Flea Market
Dave taking a panoramic shot of our city from the coast of Treasure Island.
Treasure Island Flea Market
The Winery SF on Treasure Island.
Treasure Island Flea Market
Here’s the product line-up at The Winery SF.
Treasure Island Flea Market
Ending the adventure on a wine note.
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