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Places We Go : San Pablo Avenue

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San Pablo Avenue might not be the go-to shopping mecca for some but I get a kick out of it.  From high-end outlets to a flea market filled with rust and disrepair, could a treasure hunt for your rooms be any better?  Only 7 miles long, from Oakland, CA thru Berkeley and points north, it's scattered with stores that are well worth visiting.  Let's take a look at three of my favorites.  

Serena & Lily Outlet, 2236 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, CA 94702, 510.280.5630,

The newest addition to the street is the Serena & Lily outlet.  I love this Sausalito-based company and their outlet is a treasure hunt.

You never know what you'll find and items don't last long.

French bistro chairs - Oh là là!

Discount Fabrics, 3006 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, 510) 548-298,

Chock full of everything fabric.  There are two prices - one for the entire roll and one slightly higher for a cut piece.  Here's some upholstery fabrics.

Rows and rows of trim.

And then there is everything else, all neatly organized.

Buttons for a nickel each.

San Pablo Flea Market, 6100 San Pablo Avenue, Emeryville, CA 94608
This place requires a certain sense of adventure.  The owner is helpful and knows where everything is which is good because treasures are scattered through out.
Some areas are well organized.
Some areas not so much.  Everywhere you look, there is something interesting.  Much is open to the elements so the patina is au naturel.
San Pablo Avenue is filled with treasures and as the sign says, "Deals, deals, deals."  Here's to finding such a street in your neighborhood.
top photo : Serena & Lily Outlet
Here's more information about San Pablo Avenue.  Who knew this road had so much history?
San Pablo Avenue is just across the Bay from San Francisco.  Here's a picture of a typical block. 
San Pablo Avenue (California State Route 13) is one of the oldest roads in the East Bay, originated in the Spanish Colonial era as the "Camino de la Contra Costa" (meaning the road of the opposite shore from the settlement around the Mission in San Francisco).  
It was legally a "Camino Real" (royal road and property of the Spanish crown) until Mexico won its independence in 1821.  It ran from the Encinal ("Oakland") landings to Rancho San Antonio northward along the bayshore, and continued north.  It was the principal thoroughfare for the scattered ranches throughout this part of the East Bay.  (Thanks to Wikipedia)

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  • Exactly! But I would love to go to the fabric shops in your neck of the woods – downtown LA’s Fashion District. As I recall, there’s a few blocks – nothing but fabric stores.

    Kathleen on
  • Looks like a fantastic way to spend a morning!

    Fee on
  • I bet there are some great ones in those towns around Chicago! Let us know what you find.

    Kathleen on
  • OMG – I have not been to a Flea Market in forever. You rekindled my spirit for rummaging around on a Saturday afternoon. Thank you!

    R. Rebecca on

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