Street sales are a common sight in San Francisco. Every weekend piles of mostly cut rate glassware, old magazines, shoes, furniture piled up outside of garages.
street sales (7/29/95)
Part of the urban ecology, recycling goods, you never know where you're going to pick up your next backscratcher. Some of the best jazz I've yet owned I purchased tapes unexpectedly en masse for 50 cents apiece climbing up a sidewalk hill. I bought an Apple II+ for $44 outside of Safeway on Market.
Many in the Mission are out there daily, selling no more than a shopping cart can hold. They move their stuff fast. That shirt? Two bucks. Books for a quarter.
You can see their goods hanging from parking meters, and the steel mesh the daylight shopkeepers pull in front of their stores at closing time.The other day I was walking through Cole Valley. Just up the hill from the Haight, centered around Carl and Cole.
I spy a copious spread, manned by a short fat middle aged woman in blue velour. Her garage was packed from floor to ceiling with Elvis tape-umentaries, little mermaid salt and pepper shakers, racks of old flip flops.
Looking for something?
I thought I might find something for my friend Jennifer, whose art show opens today.
What is your price range?
I'm hoping something will leap out at me. I'm working on inspiration theory.
Something I'm sure she'll enjoy is these gourds, seven oblong dried vegatables hang from the ceiling.
unloading flashes through my head.
You can use them for flower arangements, decoration.
This is quite a setup.
I do this every weekend, during the summer.
This is exquisite, displaying a heart shaped porcelain container adorned with flowers.
A little too delicate for my sensibilities.
This is organic, from the earth - holding a rock paperweight.
Sea shells are always in good taste.
You could put them in a basket.
Yeah, but they're pretty much useless in a week. Heck, if I wanted to give her seashells, I'd go collect some on a beach. I'm not gonna pay you for 'em.
Finally I spy something remotely interesting, for me. A paperback on Fasting, barely a quarter inch think. How much for this? A dollar. That's some book. How much would you give me for it? Fifty cents. Begrudging fine.
Holding up plastic and straw - How about a basket with a mermaid?
How about I buy this book?
That will be a dollar.
Here's your book back.
I only made it less than a dollar cause I thought you were going to buy something.
So did I.