It’s a grassroots marketplace weekend
Saturday’s Playa Vista Community Yard Sale and Sunday’s Venice Neighborhood Yard Sale offer too many bargains for just one house
By Michael Aushenker
If there ever was a weekend made for yard-sale bargain hunting, this is it.
Back-to-back community yard sales in Playa Vista and Venice, along with the opening of Playa Vista’s recurring summer-long night market, are a platform for neighborhood bonding that combines free entertainment with hot deals on cool stuff.
Thanks to the organizing efforts of Jennifer Kingshott, Playa Vista residents come together on the first Saturday in May and November each year for a community yard sale. This Saturday marks the fourth year the Playa Vista Community Yard Sale takes place at Concert Park and coincides with the nearby Playa Vista Farmers Market.
“It’s like Mayberry,” Kingshott said of her idyllic neighborhood. “It’s a close-knit community. Everyone kind of knows each other.”
On Sunday, more than 50 Venice homes will participate in the second annual Venice Neighborhood Yard Sale, organized by local real estate agent Laurie Woolner.
Participating homes are located in the area east of Lincoln Boulevard, west of Walgrove Avenue, north of Zanja Street and south of Rose Avenue. Directional signs will be posted throughout the neighborhood, but the easiest option is to pick up a vendor map at 2136 Walnut Ave.
Woolner said she hopes the event will bring neighbors closer together.
“I do it as part of my community to give back,” she said.
Woolner will stage a similar event in Mar Vista on May 18.
The Venice and Playa Vista events offer all the usual items you’d expect to find at a yard sale — clothes, furniture, tools, collectibles, toys, appliances and even electronics.
Kingshott stresses that her community bazaar also offers some amazing “new ‘used’ stuff.”
Returning to the Playa Vista sale this year is the popular Hello Kitty guy.
“He works for Sanrio so he has all new Hello Kitty stuff,” Kingshott said. “Last year, he took in two grand. He cleaned up.”
A resident of Playa Vista since the master-planned community’s 2003 launch, Kingshott approached the homeowners association four years ago to start the yard sale, and the first event attracted 55 vendors in 2010.
This year, with the help of fellow Playa Vista resident Patti Londre, Kingshott presents her biggest event yet. Kingshott already had 57 vendor booths filled earlier this week, and most participants tend to sign up last-minute, she said.
Further sweetening the deal: Goodwill of Southern California donates $50 to Playa Vista Elementary School for each bin it fills with donations at the Playa Vista Community Yard Sale. Last year’s spring event yielded 36 bins, or $1,800.
There’s also live music and a balloon-maker and face-painter to entertain the kids, and Kingshott said the concurrent farmers market adds to the fun.
“The farmers market has come leaps and bounds [since its early days],” she said. “Now you have a nice variety of food and crafts, homemade soaps, candles, clothing and jewelry.”
But don’t let all that shopping tire you out, because the Playa Vista Night Market returns for its second summer season on Wednesday, in the same location as the Saturday farmers market.
In addition to fresh produce, the night market offers an array of live musical entertainment, a Dancercise class led by Olympian Althea Moses and a variety of ready-to-eat food, including pizzas from Urban Oven, barbecue by Marvin and Matt’s Bake-Shack, the homemade flavors of Big Cup Soup, pastries, coffee and more.