Alamo Flea Market

Since I have been talking so much about it, and I frequent it so often, I have decided to post about my local pickin’ spot, the Alamo Flea Market.

The sign above is what you would see from the front entrance by Expressway 83.  I usually go through the back which is closer to my house and has more of the vendors that I frequent.

Here is the back gate which leads into the market and the first site upon entering is this.

From here you have the option to go down one of the numerous isles that make up the market.  There is no particular scheme for what makes up the flea market.  You could go down any of the isles and find something that you could find in any other the other ones.  What does occur here in the rear entrance is one of two  “food court” style areas of the market.  The rear being the larger of the two.

Food vendors have small stalls or snack trucks that provide food for the patrons of the market.  Tacos, Hot Dogs, Burgers other “carnival” type foods are the usual fair.  The “Spyro Papa” is a local treat which is popular here.  Its a spiral cut potato which is deep friend on a skewer and served with condiments.

Another thing that is located here is a stage area where local performers will play music and sing for the people who stop here to eat.  It’s all in Spanish and they play way too loud for my tastes but the locals seem to like it.

A great thing about his place is the availability of fresh produce.  There are all kinds of fruit and vegetables for sale here at the pulga.  It used to be a Farmer’s Market back in the day and I guess it still is for all intents and purposes.  The items are cheap and usually of good quality.  It’s better to go early to get the best choice of food if that’s what you’re looking for.

On top of fruits and vegetables at this market you can also get your hands on all manners of animals.  From barnyard to domestic, all kinds of animals are to be had.  I’ve seen chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and even the occasional pig.  A lot of vendors sell litters of puppies and kittens that they have from their own pets so you can get a pet cheaper than what you would find at a pet store.  There are also more exotic pets like parrots, snakes, spiders, scorpions, turtles, etc.  Most are healthy and clean but there will be the occasional wretch for sale in the market.  It’s an old trick to have a poor animal for sale to tug on the heartstrings of the patrons and get them to buy the poor animal to keep it from suffering.

Upon reaching the back corner of the lot you will find an anachronism.  An old-fashioned “Freak Show” of the kind you would see in Circus’ back in the day.  I don’t know how long it has been here but it has been located at the flea market for as long as I remember.  It’s only a dollar to see but the quality if obviously sub-par.  I’ve never been in myself but a lot of people go in for a cheap thrill and to freak out their kids.

On the flip side of the coin is a little carnival area that has rides for the kids.  Its located closer towards the front area of the market next to a music vendor and “restaurant”.

As far as the rest of the market goes there’s a little bit of everything.  It’s definitely worth checking out.  Be prepared to walk and don’t be afraid to haggle.  Some merchants will even be good enough to let you try out some of their wares before buying or allow you to return it if it doesn’t work.

Happy hunting!

Saturday 10/20/12

So today I went to the Alamo Flea Market instead of alternating to one of the other markets like 23rd, Wesmer or Donna.  Normally, I would have done so but I was on a mission this weekend.  The wife and I recently upgraded our phones so we needed accessories for them.  Alamo has several phone vendors so I decided to go there this weekend.  Plus it was another opportunity to find awesome stuff.

1.  Phone Cases

Found these phone cases which are basic and in the same colors as our phones (black for me and white for her).  We plan on getting better ones that suit us but I figured we needed something in the meantime to better care for our phones and keep them clean and undamaged.  The white case is plastic and the black one is rubber but they both were $6.

2.  Phone Stylus

I already have a small stylus for my phone but I thought that the Wife needed one since this is her first smart phone and she loves playing games and texting. They didn’t have the same stylus that I had and most of the ones I found were for Game Boys and they were unsuitable for phones.  I did manage to find this iPhone styles which works pretty well with the Galaxy II.  Got it for $2.

3.  Vader Car

Found this awesome little Darth Vader car at the table from one of the Toy vendors.  It’s going to being a great addition to my Darth Vader collection.  Got it for $2.

4.  Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard Outfit)

I got this sweet Lando figure from the same guy that I got the Vader Car from.  He comes with his helmet, staff and even a pistol in his holster so he’s pretty complete.  Got him for $2 as well.

5.  Headless Troopers

I don’t know how or why I ran into this assortment of headless Star Wars troopers.  Maybe it has something to do with Halloween.  Anyways I found these guys to use as spare parts for my other Troops.    I did consider having them around as some sort of  cadre of Undead Troops sent in for special missions or cannon fodder.  Ha!  Anyways, I got them for $.50 each.

6.  Luke Skywalker (Stormtrooper Outfit)

Found this Luke figure in his Stormtrooper outfit from A New Hope.  He’s missing his helmet but otherwise in good condition.  I got him for $1.

7.  Star Wars Lunchbox Tin

Got this box for $4.  I have a similar box with a different design that I use to hold my Magic the Gathering cards.  Its in good condition with only a few dents in it.

8.  Assortment of Books

I browsed through a book vendor looking for a gift for a friend but couldn’t find anything appropriate.  I did find these books there that would be great for my library.

Dr. No by Ian Fleming – I love James Bond and always wanted to build up a collection of the original novels that made up the film franchise.  Cost… $.50.

Watership Down by Richard Adams – I never got to read this book but watched the animated film many times.  I did have a copy before but I gave away as a gift before I could read it.  Now I can!  Cost…$.50.

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman – I’m a fan of Neil’s work and already have several of his books.  Its been awhile since I got a new book of his and this book of short stories is just perfect for getting back into his work.  Cost…$.50.

Writing Movies – Gotham Writers’ Workshop – I’m an aspiring writer and have several books on how to write in different styles and different mediums.  This would be my first book on writing for movies.  I learned how to write screenplays in school but it has been many years since then and I have not had the need to write them in recent years.  With today’s media being very Hollywood focused it would behoove me to brush up on screenwriting and maybe turn some of my stories into scripts for marketability.  The book cost me $1.

Sunday 10/14/12

This past Sunday was another expedition to the Alamo Flea Market.  It was fair out and the crowd was decent.  There was much to see and there were some good finds.  If I had more time and money I could have gotten more but today I walked away with these finds…

1.  Darth Vader Pillow

Found this great pillow with Darth Vader designs on it as I was leaving the market.  It is most likely homemade but it is of good quality.  This would make the third Star Wars bedding item I have found at the Pulga.  Now I just needs a few blankets and I’ll have a whole bedroom set.  This pillow cost me $4

2.  Momo Plush

I have been collecting these plush Momo dolls for a while now and have started quite the little collection.  They are from the Happy Meal set of toys for The Last Airbender movie by M. Night Shyamalan.  The movie was a horrid abomination which was an insult to the fans of the original cartoon (myself included) and it ended up ruining M. Night’s reputation as a director.  Take that you Hack!  The only good thing to come out of that movie were these little toys which are so cute!  When I have enough I’ll probably give them away to Avatar fans on Reddit.

3.  Jack Ball

This Jack-in-the-Box antenna ball cost me $.50.  Cheaper than the one you could get from the restaurant.  They used to come in different assortments during the holidays but this the basic one they sell year round.

4.  Padme Amidala Legacy Collection Action Figure

This was a very lucky find.  It was in the same pile of toys that I found the Jack Ball in which was mostly just a pile of old kiddie toys and broken plastic junk.  Dumpster diving pays off!  She was fairly clean and had her mask and gun which is rare in second-hand figures.  I got her for $.50.

5.  Sphinx Baseball Cap

This baseball cap jumped out at me on my last isle and only cost $1.  I noticed the skull and Egyptian style headdress right away.  I have a fondness for Egyptian decor so I snatched it up.  It’s in good condition but not of the best quality so I don’t think it was something premium like a souvenir from the Luxor or anything like that. I can’t identify its origin but in my mind it’s part of the Venture Brother’s mythos.  SPHINX!

6.  Wounded Star Wars Troopers

These two figures were in a bin full of junk that was going for $.25 a piece.  Normally I don’t give a second thought to broken figures but troopers make an exception.  Since they are soldiers they are prone to being damaged so having a few “wounded” troops around makes a certain amount of sense.  Besides, you never know when you might be able to swap out a few parts to make a complete figure.

7.  Men in Black Figures

It’s rare to find MIB figures, especially from the cartoon show.  I believe these came from a kid’s meal and have no special properties other than being figures of Agent J &K.  Still, I am a fan of the cartoon which was very good and I’m happy to have these in my collection.

8.  IG-88 Action Figure

This figure is from the 90’s but he is a good place holder for my Bounty Hunter collection.  IG-88 hasn’t changed much since the 80’s so it’s a good fit plus he came with his weapon, which as I said before, is rare and adds to the value.  I got him for a $1.

Sunday 10/08/12

Sunday was a pretty lousy day for Pulga pickin’.  It’s ironic because it was the perfect weather to be outside.  Our first bit of Fall weather seemed to herald a new season of Flea Market finds but alas there was not much to be had.

I went to the South 23rd Flea Market and did my walkabout.  There was the usual amount of things there but nothing new that really interested me.  The only thing that I came back with was this Royal Guard Action Figure.

I had seen the figure before and bought a similar Darth Vader figure from him before.  Its from an older set that had “action poses” you could set the figure in.  It cost me $3.

I went home afterwards despondent that my day would be lousy.  That’s when I remembered that the All City Indoor Market was going on that day!  It only happens on the first Sunday of the Month so it was lucky that I remembered.

It was open from 9am to 4pm so I had lost time.  I hurried there to catch the last two hours of the show.  It wasn’t too bad.  Mostly antiques and crafts but there were several vendors who sold toys and collectibles.  Sadly, they were all very expensive and there was not much there that I could afford or otherwise find cheaper elsewhere.  I did come back with this small prize though.

This special “Order 66” set of figures was only available at Target and paired a notable Jedi with their Clone Trooper counterpart.  This set was of Luminara Unduli and the AT-RT Driver.  Both are figures I do not have and go well with the figures I already got.  I got this for $4.

Well, that’s it for this post.  I will post later on the locations I visited to give you all more info on what they are like and where to find them.  Till next time…  Happy hunting!

 

Saturday 9/29/2012

This past week I ended up going to the Alamo Flea Market on Saturday the 29th.  I wasn’t planning to go that day and was instead planning to attend the following day (Sunday) which usually has a larger crowd of vendors and buyers but my wife insisted that we go because she was in the mood.

It was not one of my better trips and my wife says it’s probably because she was there.  I’m inclined to agree.  (J/K)  I do believe there’s a certain mojo that comes with seeking stuff out and maybe it’s because I went to the Expo the week before or that I went on the wrong day.  In any case I only found a few things of note so I am including a few things I found in an earlier expedition to boost this post.  Enjoy!

1.  Strutz

You’d be surprised how many random things you can find at the flea market.  A lot of these are “As seen on TV” type stuff that never gets sold or has been discounted or damaged somehow.  It was actually Kim (the Wife) who saw this and thought it might help me with the arches on my feet.  It was only a few dollars and they work surprisingly well so far.  They feel slightly uncomfortable and yet make walking easier.  Time will tell if they were a good buy.

2.  Star Wars: Shock Trooper Action Figure

I found this guy at one of the usual Toy vendors there at the Pulga.  It was the only figure still in its package which is almost Mint.  One can never have enough Troopers and this was a great find for $4 which was almost half of what you find in stores.

3.  Princess Celestia Figurine

Princess Celestia was a lucky find.  This particular figure is solid plastic and from a boxed set of similar figures.  As a Brony, I appreciate all things Pony but find that I can’t stand “brushies”.  That is the Pony figures with the brushable hair that was the point of the original toys and the basis for the current cartoon of which I fancy.  As such I try to find the solid plastic toys which are harder to find as they are only sold in certain stores in certain box sets which can be expensive.  She was only $2.

4.  G1 Transformer: Hound

I missed this guy the first time I browsed the isles at the Pulga.  I just happened to be walking out when I noticed him out of the corner of my eye.  He’s in fair condition, missing some pieces, has some broken parts and has a slight coating of paint on him.  Still, Hound has a place in heart as he was the 2nd Transformer that I got when I was a boy.  I still have my original somewhere at my Parent’s house but it was kinda nice to have him for my office at work.

5.  Star Wars Figures

More Star Wars figures for my collection!  The Luke Skywalker in his Pilot Uniform was a great find and was a favorite of mine growing up.  What makes him even better is that he’s a matched set with the X-Wing Fighter I found a while back.  The Jawa was just a fun figure to have.  I already have a few of them but making a little gang of them to torment my droids is just good fun.  The little Han Solo figure is from a set of figures marketed to smaller children but are a fan favorite.  I have a small collection starting and this Han goes great with the little Chewie I have.

6.  Pewter Mug

I had been searching for a pewter mug for a long time.  I had seen a few before now and again but there was always something wrong with them.  They were either broken, corroded, or etched with something that didn’t agree with me.  I finally found this mug that was in good condition with a decent shine and few scratches.  What cemented it was the stamp on the bottom saying that it was “Fine English Pewter” or some such so I snatched it up quick.  Only cost me $2.