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Best Place to Buy Furniture 

White Elephant Sale

Stuffy hills dwellers and scruffy Cal students alike would do well to visit this huge annual rummage sale, staged two weekends each spring by the Women's Board of the Oakland Museum. The Board collects a whole year's worth of donations -- furniture, clothing, electronics, and just about everything else -- and unloads it all from a massive warehouse in Fruitvale. (Borrow a truck, or forever wish you had.) The first weekend is the preview sale, where admission is $15, but it's worth it to find the best stuff. With great prices and a huge range of home accoutrements, it's the ideal place to locate that long-sought art deco coffee table and floor lamp to match your red velvet sofa. Your cash goes to a good cause: Over 42 years, the White Elephant sale has netted more than $7.5 million to support exhibits at the Oakland Museum. If you can't wait till spring, try the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire, the largest such event in Northern California, with tons of interesting furniture that you can often haggle down to bargain prices. The event happens at Alameda Point (the old Navy base) the first Sunday of each month from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Admission is $5 to $15 depending on how early you arrive. Call 510-869-5428 for details.)

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